Sunday, 20 March 2011

King Cake: BOM

The March Bread of the Month for the Artisan Bread Bakers is King Cake.  King Cake is usually served on Fat Tuesday during Mardi Gras, but I decided to wait and make it when my youngest son was home for Spring Break. 

The version the Artisan Bread Bakers made sounded really good, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients so I made a Traditional King Cake instead.  I couldn’t find the different colored sugar sprinkles so I made my own.  The purple turned out a little bit dark but it tasted really good.


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Traditional King Cake

Recipe found here:

This traditional Mardi Gras dessert makes two king cakes each topped with a creamy glaze and festive gold, purple, and yellow sugar sprinkles.  I only made one coffee cake so I halved all of the ingredients listed below:

Yield: Makes 2 cakes (about 18 servings each)


  • 1  (16-ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3  cup  sugar
  • 1/4  cup  butter
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1/2  cup  warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1  tablespoon  sugar
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6  to 6 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour (I used an all-purpose mix of white and whole wheat flour)
  • 1/3  cup  butter, softened
  • 1/2  cup  sugar
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon
  • Creamy Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles


I colored the sugar with yellow and green food coloring and a mixture of red/blue food coloring for the purple:


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Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.


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Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.


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Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.


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Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle.


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Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.


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Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side.


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Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet.


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Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.


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Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.


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Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes).


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Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.


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For our Mardi Gras celebration, I made this King Cake and some Jambalaya from the March edition of Bon Appetite.  I didn’t take a photo of the Jambalaya, but it was really good.

Then came time for dessert. All I can say is that I’m glad I didn’t make two of these coffee cakes  It tastes so good!  I sent some home with my BF and some back to school with my son.


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Notes: Prep: 30 min.; Cook: 10 min.; Stand: 5 min.; Rise: 1 hr., 30 min.; Bake: 16 min. This recipe uses bread flour, which makes for a light, airy cake. You still get tasty results with all-purpose flour--the cake will just be more dense.

For a Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake: Prepare each 22- x 12-inch dough rectangle as directed. Omit 1/3 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Increase 1/2 cup sugar to 3/4 cup sugar. Beat 3/4 cup sugar; 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 large egg; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders. Proceed with recipe as directed.


Creamy Glaze Recipe:

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups


  • 3  cups  powdered sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  butter, melted
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 2  to 4 tablespoons milk


Stir together first 4 ingredients. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, adding additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.

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