Happy Marti Gras everybody! Today’s the day to eat like shit and act like an idiot. So to all those who are celebrating today’s festivities, enjoy! This year I’ll be celebrating with this ridiculously large, multi-colored cake. That’s right, I made my very first homemade king cake and I have to say it’s pretty badass.
Not only was this my first time making a king cake, but it was the first time I used a standing mixer to make a dough and holy moly is it smooth! I’m fairly proud of myself for finally creating a pretty ball of dough you guys… just sayin’ :)
And if that wasn’t enough, I also learned how to braid dough. My mom is an amazing baker, so having her around during this process was a huge help! What would I do without that women…
After baking the cake I realized it came out A LOT bigger than I had anticipated. I let the dough rise twice — once as a ball and again after it had been braided. But when I took it out of the oven it looked like it had doubled in size again… The bigger the cake the better, right? The more I thought about it the more okay I was with creating this obnoxiously huge cake. It’s a King Cake. It’s supposed to be outrageous.
The best part of making this cake was having an excuse to buy a bunch of little baby Jesus’. Not easy to find, but more than worth it. If you’re not familiar, hidden inside every king cake there is a little plastic baby Jesus. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the baby has “special privileges” for the following year. These special privileges basically mean you have to buy the king cake next year.
No king cake is completely without green, yellow and purple colored sprinkles and lots of Marti Gras beads!
My dad’s side of the family (the italian side) is from Louisiana so every year they send us a king cake straight from the bayou. Growing up it was always a special treat. And for the longest time I always associated Marti Gras and king cake as an Italian thing. I remember thinking… there must be a lot of Italians in New Orleans to have such a crazy celebration on this one day. Obviously as I grew up I realized it isn’t an Italian celebration it’s the celebration of the Epiphany, the day before Ash Wednesday, and the beginning of Lent. I wonder if all those people on Bourbon Street tonight know that? ;)
– 3 1/2 C flour
– 1/4 C sugar
– 1 package active dry yeast
– 1 t salt
– 1 cup almond milk
– 2 eggs
– 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
– 3/4 C brown sugar
– 2 t cinnamon
– half a stick of softened butter
– 1 C powdered sugar
– 1 T almond milk
– one splash vanilla
green, yellow & purple sprinkles !
How – to :
** this is probably one for a standing mixer. I used one and it was g.r.e.a.t.
– in the bowl of a standing mixer, using the paddle attachment mix together all but one cup of the flour and the yeast packet
– in a sauce pan heat together the milk, salt and sugar. heat until the sugar is all dissolved and remove from heat
– while the mixer is on low, add the milk mixture to the flour mixture
– add eggs one at a time. once incorporated switch to the hook attachment and mix in the remaining flour
– with the mixer on low, add a few pieces of butter at a time. waiting for each to incorporate before adding the next few
– let the mixer run on low until the dough completely clears from the sides of the mixing bowl. add water if the dough is too dry and flour if too sticky
– remove the dough onto a floured surface and form into a ball. It should be smooth and elastic
– place in a greased bowl in the fridge and cover until it has doubled in size.
– in a bowl combine all the filling ingredients and mix well. set aside
– once the dough has doubled in the fridge remove onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle about twice as long as it is wide
– spread the filling mixture on half of the long side and fold dough in half covering the filling side.
– cut into 3 ling strips and braid. form a circle with the braided dough by pressing the two ends together
– place the braided circle onto a grease baking sheet, cover and let rise again for about an hour.
** I started braiding the dough on top of a greased baking sheet. the long ends of the dough hung over the edges of the baking sheet. But that way, once i got it formed into a circle I didn’t have to figure out how to move it from the counter onto a baking sheet!
– bake at 350 F for about 20ish minutes or until the top is golden brown. let cool!
– mix icing ingredients in a bowl or jar
– once cake is cooled (hide a baby jesus inside the cake !!) top with icing and sprinkles
I hope all of you have an gluttonous and safe Fat Tuesday. I know I will. Thanks for tuning in. Much love – Sarah.