King CakePin It
Ok- so not the most flattering picture I’ve ever taken, but this was hot and smelled so good that we devoured it right out of the oven. I wanted a picture of the whole thing (or as close as I could get) to show you the basic shape of the cake.
Every year, I bake a King Cake on January 6th. This is a tradition my husband experienced as a child in New Orleans that we decided to carry on with our family. Traditionally, a King Cake is baked on January 6th (and is only eaten until Ash Wednesday) to symbolize the end of the 12 days of Christmas (according to the Christian calendar). This is celebrated in many countries, including parts of the US. In Louisiana, the cake also symbolizes the kick-off of Mardi Gras.
A plastic baby (to symbolize Baby Jesus) or large nut is hidden in the cake. Whoever finds it has to buy (or make) the next cake. They are about $50-$75 each, so this is NOT an honor!
This cake is actually a sweet bread-like pastry filled with a variety of fillings (or none). I prefer a cream cheese filling. It is also supposed to be iced with purple, yellow, and green glaze, or covered with dyed sugars.
2 packages yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk (105-115 degrees)
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine- cooled
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1. In large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in milk. Let sit until dissolved. Mix in butter and egg yolks.
2. Mix in dry ingredients and lemon rind.
3. Stir until dough is smooth. Turn on floured board and knead for 5 minutes (or until smooth).
4. Let raise 1 1/2 hours.
5. Roll out in an 8″ by 36″ rectangle. Spread filling (recipe follows). Fold long sides together, sealing the edges. Lay on cookie sheet, twisting the dough while forming into a circle.
6. Let raise 45 more minutes.
7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
8. When cool, top with glaze and colored sugars.
8 oz cream cheese- softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 cup lemon juice
2 tbs milk
assorted food coloring if desired
Mix until smooth.