King Cake

04 April 2024

Made my first King Cake-- for no other reason than I wanted to try it. It was good. I definitely had some feedback for myself for next year. It still tasted yum and was really simple. And next time I'll plan better and have a baby. I had to steal a little Encanto man from the girls :) 

For the cake: 
2 1/4t active dry yeast (1 package)
1/4 C warm milk
1C plus 6T bread flour
1T honey
3/4 cup cake flour
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
2T sugar
1/2t ground cinnamon
1/2t vanilla extract
1/4t almond extract
1t kosher salt
4T unsalted butter at room temp, plus more for greasing bowl

For the filling:
1/4C unsalted butter
1C pecans, chopped
1/2C light brown sugar, packed

For the egg wash:
1 large egg
1T milk

For the frosting:
1/4C sweetened condensed milk
1t fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
2C confectioners' sugar
purple, green, and gold dusting sugars, for decorating
king cake baby

In the bowl of stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm milk along with 6 tablespoons bread flour and honey. Combine until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise 20 minutes or until doubled. 

And 3/4 cup bread flour, the cake flour, the eggs, the sugar, the cinnamon, the extracts and the salt to the dough and combine with paddle attachment on low. Switch to a dough hook and knead for 2 minutes on medium speed. 

Turn speed to medium high and add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to dough, allowing each pat of butter to dissolve into dough before adding the next tablespoon. Mix until dough becomes a slack, tacky ball. If dough doesn't come together, add up to 1/4 cup more bread flour. 

Once the dough is kneaded, transfer into a greased bowl and cover. Let rise 1 hour or until doubled. 

Make the filling: 
Melt butter over low heat. Add sugar, stirring until it dissolves. Remove from heat. Mix in pecans, Set aside. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly flour a large work surface with remaining bread flour (if you used 1/4 cup of bread flour in step 3, use more). Roll out dough into an approximately 6-inch-by-24-inch rectangle 1/4-inch thick. 

Spread filling along the length of the rectangle and tightly roll so you have a rope of dough about 2 feet long and 2 inches thick. Pinch the seam, and transfer dough to the baking sheet, forming dough into a ring with the seam side down. With wet fingers, pinch ends of dough together. It is fine if the ring looks uneven. Cover dough with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise about an hour. Heat oven to 375 degrees. 

Make the egg wash:
Whisk egg and milk with fork until combined. Once dough has risen, use a pastry brush to spread egg wash thinly over the dough. 

Bake cake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Remove cake from oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. While warm, carefully flip ring over. Using a paring knife make a small x in the bottom of the cake and insert the kind cake baby, if using. Flip cake upright and let cool on a rack. 

Make the frosting: 
While cake cools to room temperature, use a stand mixer on low to whisk condensed milk, lemon juice and confectioner' sugar until smooth. Add more lemon juice if frosting is too thick. 

Once cake is cooled, frost using a pastry bag or spatula until the cake is covered. Working quickly, sprinkle iced cake with dusting sugars in an alternating pattern of purple, gold, and green. Cake is best served fresh, but will keep covered in plastic for a day or two. 

Enjoy. XOXO! 


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