King Cakes are a vital part of history of the New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition. The King Cake is baked with a small plastic baby hidden inside, the person who gets the slice with baby in it has to host the next party. Make sure to buy a new small plastic baby so you can get the full effect from this cake! Sprinkle with purple, green and gold sugar, or decorate with whole pecans and candied cherries.
Note: Be sure to tell everyone to inspect their piece of cake before they begin eating it. To be extra careful, use a plastic toy baby that is too large to swallow, or hide an orange wedge or 3-4 pecan halves inside the cake (avoid items that may hurt someone’s teeth) and then simply place the honorable toy baby outside on the top of the cake for all to see and adore!
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon to 2 water
2 smalls plastic dolls (from party supply store)
1. Scald the milk, then remove from heat and stir in the butter. cool the mixture until it reaches room temperature.
2. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, approximately 10 minutes.
3. When the 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 in, adding 1 cup at a time.
4. Once the dough has formed, put it on a lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth and elastic, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Lightly oil a large bowl. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat the dough with oil. Cover the dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, approximately 2 hours. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it in half.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 cookie sheets, or line them with parchment paper.
7. Make the filling: combine brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour the 1/2 cup of melted butter over the mixture and mix until crumbly.
8. Roll out the dough halves into large rectangles (approximately 10 x 6 inches). Sprinkle the filling over the dough and roll the dough up like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form two oval shaped rings. Put each dough ring on a prepared cookie sheet. Use scissors to make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.
9. Bake the rings in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove cakes from oven and press a plastic baby doll into the bottom of each cake.
10. Mix the confectioners sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water and frost the cakes while warm. Decorate with green, yellow, and purple colored sugars.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour Filling:
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- Pinch of ground coriander 1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Garnish:2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut & Sweetened whipped cream -recipe follows
- 1/2 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts Zest from 1 lime
- Mini Muffin Tins
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Beat cream and sugar together on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- For shells:
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt and coriander.
- Place the sugar and zest in a mixer bowl and, using your fingertips, work the zest into the sugar until the sugar is moist and the mixture fragrant.
- Using a mixer, beat the butter, sugar and zest on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Add the coconut and nuts and pulse to incorporate them. There will probably be some dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl–don’t work them in with the mixer, just reach into the bowl and knead them in.
- Pat dough into a disc , wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour or for up to 2 days.
- Take 1 tablespoon of chilled dough and roll into a ball. Place the dough ball in one of the mini muffin tin cups, pressing dough to come up sides of cup. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Chill dough filled muffin tins for 30 minutes.
- Bake in a 325 degree preheated oven 14 minutes. Remove tins from oven. Using the back of a teaspoon, press the dough down and into sides of mini muffin tin cups, to maintain shape.
- Meanwhile, prepare filling:
- Whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl. Fill pre-baked tart shells with filling. Return tarts to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. Cool completely in tins. Carefully remove (tarts are fragile!) from muffin tins and transfer to large baking sheet. Refrigerate at least one hour, or up to 2 days before serving.
- Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and lime zest