Louisiana King Cake
Impress your friends this Mardi Gras season (or any time of year) with this authentic and delicious King Cake recipe.
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tbs yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp)
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 8 tbs unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups cake flour (Can sub for all purpose, but cake flour will result in a fluffier cake)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 oz marscarpone (Can sub for ricotta or cottage cheese)
- 1/2 cup Confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 1/2 cup Confectioners' sugar
- 2 1/2 tbs milk
- 1/8 tsp almond extract
- Purple, Green, and Gold colored sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Add yeast to the warm water along with 2 tbs sugar. Let rest while everything else comes together.
- In a large skillet or pan, scald the milk. To do that, heat the milk on medium high until it just starts to froth at the edges, but don't let it boil. Once it reaches that point, remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. (Ideally the bowl of a stand mixer, or a bowl you can use with a hand mixer.)
- Add the butter to the hot milk and allow to melt.
- One the butter has melted and the milk isn't so hot it would burn you (or kill the yeast), add the yeast mixture to the warm milk along with yolks and nutmeg. Beat on low for a minute.
- Meanwhile, in a separate container, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and salt to the flour.
- Using the paddle attachment, turn the mixer onto medium-low and begin adding the flour, about a cup at at time. Once that flour has just blended in, add the next cup, etc, until the dough is still slightly sticky, but not soupy.
- Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl, then cover and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Combine all the ingredients and blend until evenly incorporated.
- Punch out into a lightly floured surface, then cut the dough in half.
- Roll half the dough out into a long rectangle shape, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
- Spread half the filling on the dough, keeping it in a line in the middle. Then roll the dough into a tube.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough, then twist the dough tubes so that their ends meet and they form a circle. Pinch the dough to seal.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before putting on the frosting.
- To make the frosting, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, milk, and almond extract until spreadable but slightly thick.
- Drizzle the frosting over the cake, then sprinkle with the traditional Mardi Gras colors.
This cake can be enjoyed any time of year, with a few simple changes. Add fresh fruits to the filling before baking, and skip on the colored sugar, and you've got a perfectly good any-time cake, welcome next to a cup of coffee or after a light meal.