Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: King Cake

I've always associated Fat Tuesday with paczki. I'm amazed to hear how many people have never eaten one or even heard of them though! Pretty much they're like fruit or cream-filled doughnuts. But better. The kids have mentioned them multiple times since we made them a couple years ago. Instead of making them again this year, we made another Fat Tuesday treat - king cake.

While we don't partake in or condone the festivities of Mardi Gras, we do enjoy yummy food. I had never had king cake before or really knew much about it. The cake represents the 3 wise men that visited Jesus. Oftentimes, a small plastic baby is baked inside the cake as a special surprise.

A traditional king cake is very similar to cinnamon rolls. The dough is made, rolled out, filled with a cinnamon-sugar mixture, and rolled. Instead of being cut, the log is formed into a ring and baked. It is then topped with a simple icing and decorated with purple, yellow, and green sugar.

The kids had fun making this, but even more fun eating it! We're a big cinnamon roll family, so I knew they would love it. Alyssa was very impressed with how "beautiful" and "fancy" it looked with the stripes and Jake would have gladly eaten half the cake in a singe sitting had we let him. "It is Fat Tuesday," he argued. Hmm, good point!

I have a feeling we won't be waiting until next Fat Tuesday before making this again.

King Cake
Cake Ingredients:
¼ cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp softened butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 c sour cream
3½ Tbsp white sugar
3½ c all-purpose flour, or as needed
2½ tsp active dry yeast

Filling Ingredients:
½ c white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
5 Tbsp melted butter
1 c chopped pecans (optional)

Glaze Ingredients:
1½ c confectioner's sugar
1½ Tbsp melted butter
⅛ tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk, or as needed
1 Tbsp purple colored sugar
1 Tbsp green colored sugar
1 Tbsp yellow colored sugar
1. Place the warm water, salt, softened butter, egg, sour cream, 3½ tablespoons of sugar, flour, and yeast into a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer, select the dough cycle, and start the machine. Check the dough after about 5 minutes of mixing, and add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of water or flour if the dough is too dry or wet.
2. Mix ½ cup of sugar, the cinnamon, and 5 tablespoons of melted butter together in a bowl. Grease a baking sheet, and set aside.
3. When the dough cycle is finished, remove the dough and roll out to a 10x28-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Spread the cinnamon-butter mixture over the dough, and sprinkle on an even layer of pecans, if using. Starting at a long edge, and roll the dough into a 28-inch long log. Place the rolled dough onto the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and form the dough into a ring. Moisten the ends of the dough with a little water; pinch the two ends together to seal. Cover the dough ring with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
4. Bake the cake at 375 degrees F until the top is golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.
5. Mix the confectioner's sugar, 1½ tablespoons of melted butter, vanilla extract, and just enough milk to make a smooth but not thin glaze.
6. Remove the cake from the oven, and cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. While the cake is still warm, spoon the glaze onto the cake, allowing drips of glaze to dribble down the sides of the cake. Immediately sprinkle the cake with alternating bands of purple, green, and yellow colored sugar.
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.
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  1. Oh YUMMY!! My children love cinnamon rolls too. I might have to try this.