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Homemade King Cake for Mardi Gras

Making a King Cake is a long held Mardi Gras tradition that’s easy to do and makes a fun project to get the kids into the kitchen too. Usually, these cakes contain a little gilded bean or tiny toy trinket that bestows the lucky finder with certain privileges in addition to the duty of bringing the king cake for next year’s festivities! If it’s your turn to make this lovely cake, here’s a great, traditional recipe that everyone will love.

King Cake

Photo from Nola.com

King Cake

Cake

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup water, warmed to 110° to 115° F
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk, warmed to 110° to 115° F
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten

Glaze

  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tbsp water
  • Green, purple and yellow sugar sprinkles

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. Add 1/2 cup sugar, butter, milk, egg yolks, salt, lemon peel, nutmeg, and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft, sticky dough.
  3. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16-in. x 10-in. rectangle.
  5. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over dough to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet; pinch ends together to form a ring. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush with egg.
  6. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. To make the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and enough water to achieve your desired consistency. Spread the glaze over the cake and sprinkle with colored sugars.

Photo Credit: Nola.com

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