Mardi Gras is a fabulous celebration in Louisiana. Many people only see what the news decides worthy enough to air. As in drunk fights, shirts flipped up for beads, and yeah...whatever...that is NOT my Mardi Gras. My Mardi Gras is fabulous Cajun Food, Drinks, celebrations, laughter, catching beads (no I do not show my ta-tas people), and King Cake. I have been away from my Louisiana home for almost 7 years now. However, I always make sure to bring a little bit of Mardi Gras to wherever we may be stationed. This year I brought Mardi Gras to North Carolina. After weeks of trying to find a local place that sales King Cakes I went to the Internet to make my very own King Cake. Thanks to Our Best Bite (you will hear more about them within the next few posts) I created my first ever King Cake!!!
King Cake - Recipe - Our Best Bites
2 c. whole milk
1/2 c. canola oil
1/2 c. sugar
1 package active dry yeast
4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 scant tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
3/4-ish c. powdered sugar. This depends on personal taste–once you’ve added the fruit filling, adjust the sweetness to taste.
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 heaping c. cherry (or strawberry) pie filling
**In Louisiana you will find everything from cherry, blueberry, cinnamon, and yummy pralines. You truly can't go wrong with the filling. I used cherry because that is my favorite!**
8 oz. powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. almond extract
Enough milk to make a glaze to desired consistency
Yellow, green, and purple colored sugars. **I made my own purple with sandwich baggies, sugar, and few drops of red and blue food coloring. Mix/shake bag and go from there on what to add of the red or blue to create purple**
First, you’ll want to prepare the dough. In a large (at least 4-quart) pot or saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and oil. Heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.
When the milk is warm (around 105-115 degrees), sprinkle yeast over the milk mixture. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Stir. Mix in 4 c. flour and cover. This can be done with a wooden spoon; the dough is VERY soft, more like a batter. Allow to stand for 1 hour. **When it was time to add flour, I have done it two ways, by hand or the Stand Mixer. For King Cake I went by hand but I think the Stand Mixer is so much easier!**
Mix remaining 1/2 c. flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle over the dough and then mix it in with the wooden spoon. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to a few days.
When ready to make your King Cakes, prepare the filling. With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, almond extract, and powdered sugar until soft and fluffy. Mix in fruit filling and add more powdered sugar and/or fruit filling if you need to. Keep in mind that you’ll have the filling in a semi-sweet dough and topped with a sugar glaze PLUS a sugar garnish, so you might want to go easy on the sweetness.
To prepare cakes, turn dough onto a greased surface and divide in half. Roll one half into a 4-5″-24″ rectangle. Spread with 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture and then carefully fold the top half of the dough over the filling and then fold it again so you have a tube. Seal the edges of the dough and then carefully form a circle and seal the two ends together.
Place on a greased cookie sheet and cover with a clean cloth.
Preheat oven to 375 and repeat with other 1/2 portion of dough.
Bake each ring for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are deep, golden brown–you don’t want to burn them, but you want to make sure the cakes are cooked all the way through.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the glaze. Mix powdered sugar and melted butter together with an electric mixer. Add in almond extract and then add enough milk to achieve the desired consistency you want for your glaze. When the cakes are cool, spoon the glaze over the cakes and then sprinkle with alternating yellow, purple, and green sugars.
Milk mixture cooled off
After I let it rise
Form into a ball was/is easiest for me
The cream cheese mixture
After adding yummy cherry filling
Half of the dough about to rolled out
Hands were a mess but the filling has been added
and I then folded to transfer to baking pan
Lightly golden brown
(sorry but have really bad lighting in kitchen)
Decorated with glaze and the colors of Mardi Gras
This King Cake is truly easy, delish, and so much fun to make! Enjoy and hope you hop over to check out Our Best Bites site!! Next up will be my review on their cookbook and recipe of Chicken Cordon Bleu'