No other bakery treat can beat King Cake during the Mardi Gras season. Take a stab at making your own with this recipe from the Junior League of Lake Charles cookbook, "Marshes to Mansions." Download the recipe card, here.
We want to see your creations! After baking, dress your cake up with Mardi Gras beads and flair, snap a picture and tag us with #swlamardigras.
1 Cup Milk
¼ Cup Butter
2 (.25 ounce) Packages Active Dry Yeast
2/3 Cup Warm Water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
½ Cup White Sugar
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Nutmeg
5 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
2/3 Cup Chopped Pecans
½ Cup All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Melted Butter
1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1 Tablespoon Water
Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in ½ cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the water with 1 tablespoon white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
To make the filling combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans and ½ cup flour. Pour ½ cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10x16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1-inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until double in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the plastic baby into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.
Happy Mardi Gras, y'all!