26 January 2012

Mardi Gras: Quick Mardi Gras King Cake

Quick Mardi Gras King Cake

From Denny:  This version of the sweet yeast bread known as King Cake only requires an hour in the fridge to chill and rest the dough.  Then it rises for another hour or so while you work on putting together the yummy filling.

The traditional three colors of icing are green, purple and gold.  Make sure you wait for the baked cake to cool off before inserting a small hole in the bottom of the cake to place the miniature plastic baby.  

It's considered good luck for the following year to receive the baby in your slice of King Cake.  You also get to pay for the next King Cake.  Hey, with fame comes social responsibility! :)

From the Betty Crocker site:  

Did You Know?
This recipe uses Rapid Rise yeast which eliminates the time consuming first rise in a typical brioche recipe.

Use a pizza cutter to easily cut dough into strips.

The cake can also be made without braiding. Just roll up the dough jelly roll style after spreading the filling.
Mardi Gras conjures up images of fun, frivolity and feasting and no Mardi Gras celebration would be complete with a colorful King Cake. A brioche or sweet roll dough is braided, baked in a circle and decorated with icing and purple, green and gold sugars. Kind of like a crown shaped cinnamon roll all dressed up for a party.

Quick Mardi Gras King Cake

From:  Betty Crocker and BarbaraBakes.com (blogger Barbara Schieving) -  “A brioche or sweet roll dough is braided, baked in a circle and decorated with icing and purple, green and gold sugars. Kind of like a crown-shaped cinnamon roll all dressed up for a party.” says Barbara.

Prep Time:  1 hour

Total Time:  3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield:  12 servings


3 1/2
cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
package (2 1/4 teaspoons) Rapid Rise yeast
cup milk
cup sugar
teaspoon salt
tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, cut into 12 pieces
Cinnamon Filling
cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2
teaspoons ground cinnamon
tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
cup powdered sugar
tablespoon milk
teaspoon vanilla
Dark green, purple, and yellow or gold sugars, if desired

Miniature plastic baby, if desired


  1. Mix 2 1/2 cups flour and yeast in mixing bowl of stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, on low for about 30 seconds.
  2. Heat milk, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and milk is between 120°F to 130°F.
  3. With mixer on low, pour in liquids and mix until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time. Continue mixing until a shaggy dough forms. Clean off paddle and switch to dough hook. Mix in the remaining 1 cup flour a little at a time, adding more or less flour as needed to make a soft dough. Add the softened butter, a piece at a time, kneading until each piece of butter is absorbed.
  4. Knead for eight minutes on low. The dough should completely clear the sides of the bowl. If it is too sticky, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing in thoroughly before determining if more flour is needed. If the dough seems too dry, spritz with water from a spray bottle a couple of times, mixing in thoroughly before determining if more water is needed. Every 2 minutes, stop the machine, scrape the dough off the hook, and then continue kneading.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times by hand to be sure it’s smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball. Place dough into a greased bowl. Turn once so greased surface is on top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. While the dough is chilling, make cinnamon filling. In small bowl, combine the brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Combine butter with cinnamon mixture and mix well.
  7. Roll the chilled dough into a 10 x 20 inch rectangle. Spread the filling on half of the long side of the dough. Fold the dough in half covering the filling. Pat dough down firmly so the dough will stick together. Cut dough into three long strips. Press the tops of the strips together and braid the strips. Press the ends together at the bottom. Gently stretch the braid so that it measures 20 inches again. Shape it into a circle/oval and press the edges together.
  8. Transfer the ring to a parchment lined or greased baking sheet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350┬║. Bake the cake until it is golden brown, 20 – 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on baking sheet and then place it on a cooling rack to cool completely before icing. To hide the baby in the cake, if desired, make a small slit in the bottom of the cake and put the miniature plastic baby in after the cake has cooled.
  9. Icing: In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth (add additional milk if mixture is too thick or powdered sugar if too thin).
  10. Spoon icing over top of the cake. Immediately sprinkle on colored sugar, alternating between the three colors.

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