Fat Tuesday: Easy King Cake Recipe

What better way to celebrate Mardi Gras then with a delicious cinnamon filled king cake to share with the family. Check this quick and easy recipe for this Mardi Gras staple.

kingcake2Ingredients:
• 3 ½ cups of flour
• 1 package of rapid rise yeast
• 1 cup of milk
• ¼ cup of sugar
• 1 tsp. of salt
• 2 eggs
• 6 tbsp. of salt, softened, cut into 12 pieces.

Filling:
• 2/3 cup of brown sugar
• 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
• 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

Icing:
• 1 cup of powdered sugar
• 1 tsp. of milk
• ½ tsp of vanilla

Extras:
• Dark green, purple, and yellow sugars
• Miniature plastic baby

Directions:

  1. Start by mixing 2 ½ cups of the flour with the yeast in a large bowl. Use the paddle attachment on your mixer and mix on low for about 30 seconds.
  2. Next, in a small saucepan over medium heat on the stove, heat the milk, sugar, and salt. Heat until milk is dissolved and between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Turn mixer on low and pour liquids in and mix until well combined. Continue mixing on low until a shaggy dough forms. Clean off the paddle and switch to a dough hook and mix in remaining cup of flour at this time. Also, add the softened butter and knead until all the butter is absorbed.
  4. Knead the mixture for about 8 minutes on a low speed. Add another tbsp. of flour if dough is too sticky. If dough seems dry, spritz with water a few times.  Every couple minutes, stop mixing to scrape off the hook and then continue.
  5. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand to make sure dough feels smooth. Form a ball with the dough and place it in a greased bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  6. While dough is in the refrigerator, make the cinnamon filling. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Then combine butter with cinnamon mixture and mix together.
  7. Take dough out of the refrigerator and roll into a 10×20 rectangle. Spread the filling on one half of the long side of the dough. Fold the dough in half so it sticks together.
  8. Cut the dough into three long strips and press the tops of the strips so it sticks together. Now, braid the strips and press together the ends at the bottom of the braid.
  9. Gently stretch the braid so it measure 20 inches again and shape it into an oval. Press the ends together.
  10. Place the oval onto a greased baking sheet. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 while dough is rising. After dough is done rising, bake the cake for about 20-25 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet. Next, place the ring on a cooling rack to completely cool.
  11. To hide the baby in the cake, make a small slit in the bottom of the cake and put the miniature plastic baby in after the cake has cooled.
  12. Make icing by mixing powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Spoon icing over the cake and immediately sprinkle with colored sugar, alternating colors.

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