This easy king cake recipe is a simplified version of the classic cake served at Mardi Gras. King cake is typically a sweet yeast cake, made from a brioche dough and filled with cinnamon and sugar, or sometimes cream cheese. The purple, green and gold decorations are the classic Mardi Gras colors.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
- 2 cans (8-10 biscuits each) biscuit dough
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- For the King Cake Glaze:
- 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 Tbsp. milk
- purple, green and gold colored sugar for decorating
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Separate the biscuit dough into biscuits and line them up side by side to form a rectangle. Now roll the biscuits so they form a flat rectangle of dough, about 1/4-inch thick. Hint: To keep the biscuit dough from sticking to the rolling pin, place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the biscuits. Roll the dough over the plastic wrap, then remove the plastic wrap and proceed - check out this king cake video to see how it's done.
- Brush the melted butter over the dough, leaving a quarter-inch border all the way around. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture over the melted butter.
- Starting from the wide end, roll the dough, jellyroll style, so that it forms a long log. Now place the rolled dough on a heavy baking sheet in a circle, pinching to seal the ends.
- Bake the king cake for 18-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked all the way through (the baking time will depend on how thin you rolled the dough, how wide you made the circle and how heavy your baking sheet is).
- Make the king cake icing: Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add a tablespoon of the milk, and mix well. Add more milk as needed, until the icing becomes the consistency of a thick, spoonable glaze.
- Remove the king cake from the oven, and immediately tuck a plastic baby (or pecan or bean) inside the cake from underneath. This represents the baby Jesus, and supposedly, the person who gets the piece with the baby in it has to make the king cake next year. This is, of course, optional.
- Now spoon the glaze quickly over the warm cake (the glaze will melt into the cake if it's still warm, which is what you want), and immediately sprinkle on the colored sugar. The warm icing will help the colored sugar stick to the king cake.
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