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Alright folks, it’s confession time here at Southern Plate. You see that King Cake up there? Well that was the first time in my entire life that I’ve ever made or eaten a King Cake. After tasting this recipe though, it will NOT be the last time! I’m already craving more and plan on making it for breakfast without all the rampant sprinkles when my in-laws come to visit this weekend.
Now for those of you who have never made a King Cake, let me tell you this was INCREDIBLY EASY to make! Taste wise it is kind of like a coffee cake or a cinnamon roll, only without the ohmygosh sweetness, which is why I liked it so much. If you like desserts (or coffee treats) with just a touch of sweetness that are a little filling, this one is perfect.
Some of you are probably surprised that I’ve never had a King Cake before. I’ve never in all my born days celebrated Mardis Gras, even though the original Mardi Gras celebration took place in my beloved Alabama. Mobile still has a Mardi Gras celebration each year and I’ve read that it is actually very family friendly. I will most likely go through the rest of my life having never been to Mardis Gras though, but as I speak there are two little people in front of me singing and dancing to Tao Cruz’s “Dynamite” as sung by KidzBop.
Honestly, who needs Mardi Gras when I have a party at my house every night?
P.S. Did I mention this is good? Don’t let all the sprinkles and such turn you off. Ignore the glitter and make it for breakfast. You’ll thrill your family and have a new favorite! Now purists (because I’m sure there are Mardi Gras purists out there in Southern Plate land) will notice that the colors on my King Cake are a little varied from the traditional. Each color on the cake symbolizes something and since I made the cake in my kitchen, I used different colors to symbolize different things. Hey, your kitchen, your rules!
Traditional King Cake colors are:
Purple - to symbolize Justice
Green - to symbolize Faith
Gold - to symbolize Power
Here is what the colors I chose stand for:
Green – to symbolize Faith
Gold - to symbolize Power
Pink - to symbolize that the grocery store didn’t have purple and I didn’t want to go all over tarnation looking for it.
~grins and nods~ Yeah, that works for me.
When I decided to do a King Cake for Southern Plate, I immediately got to thinking about our Rhode’s bread dough. I went to their site to see if they happened to have a King Cake recipe and theirs looked so good I decided I had found what I needed and stopped there!
To make our King Cake, go into your freezer and get that last roll of White bread dough. You know the kind we used on the Cinnamon Rolls and Stuffed Pizza Sticks? Well they come in three packs so ya got one left!
You’ll need: Frozen White Bread Dough, Cream Cheese, Confectioner’s Sugar, Lemon Extract*.
You’re also going to need an obscene amount of sprinkles if you want to make this into a King Cake but like I said, I’ll be making it again and again without the sprinkles so if you want to leave them off go for it. If you want to add festive sprinkles and have some on hand but they are the wrong color, just invent your own festival and say those are what your colors stand for. No sense in spending extra money here if we don’t have to.
*I really do recommend buying the lemon extract though because that little hint of lemon just makes this.
Let your bread dough thaw completely.
I seldom think to do this ahead of time so I set my loaf on a plate in the microwave and microwave it for thirty seconds, then flip it over and do another thirty seconds and then let it sit a bit to finish thawing. It thaws much faster this way but if your microwave cooks a little fast you will want to do less time.
Okay, now roll that out on a floured surface, using extra flour on your rolling pin to keep it from sticking.
Rhode’s says to roll it out to about 10×18 inches.
I say to roll it out about that or until you get close enough and are tired of fooling with it.
Let that sit and rest while you prepare the filling because you scared it a bit rolling it out like that.
Now, in a mixing bowl place your cream cheese and add your lemon extract.
Dump in your sugar.
Mix that up til it is all smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides.
(do as I say, not as I do ~winks~)
Spread that absolutely delicious and not overly sweet cream filling over your dough, leaving about an inch or so at each edge.
Now roll that up and take a brush to brush water along the final edge. Press that up against the rest to form a log.
After you’ve done that form it together into a ring shape and press the ends together,
brushing with water if you need to, to seal.
Now a lot of instructions will tell you to spray cling wrap with cooking spray to keep your dough from sticking as it rises but I’ve found its easier and less messy if I just give the dough itself a little spray where the plastic wrap is going to touch.
Spray cooking spray lightly over top of dough.
This is the point where Katy came into the kitchen and her eyes got big as dollars as she said “Whoa! That is one big doughnut!”
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.
Or, if you’re like me, until you get busy doing something else and then realize an hour and a half later, “Ack! I forgot my bread was rising!”
What I do is start my oven and let it preheat for just a minute or two, then I turn it off and open the door and make sure it is just warm, not hot, then put my dough in there.
Here is our risen dough.
Bake that at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
Even with my pitiful photography, that is a beautiful loaf right there!
Lets make it into a King Cake now, alrighty?
Note: I didn’t put a little plastic baby or bean or coin or anything else inside because this was for our family and with two little kids the last thing I need is one of them taking a big old bite of a cake their Mama made and ending up choking, and goodness gracious you know that would sooooo happen – because my life is funny that way.
If you want to stick a little something in there, per tradition, this is the point where you would do it but do so at your own discretion.
You’ll need some confectioner’s sugar and something to flavor it with.
Confectioner’s sugar and milk are what makes our little simple icing but I find that this glaze really needs a bit of flavoring to it also. I like to add clear butter flavoring but you can also use vanilla flavoring or even a little more of that lemon extract if you like. I would add 1 teaspoon of whatever you use (1/2 for stronger flavors) and know that if you don’t use clear Vanilla your icing will have a little tint to it, which is perfectly fine.
Add in flavoring and milk.
Stir until smooth and creamy.
Using a spoon, drizzle it over your cake.
The thing I love most about King Cakes is that whenever you see them in bakeries or the grocery store, they always look like they were decorated by a two year old in the midst of a tantrum so just go crazy and have fun with it.
Now this is where I’d stop if I were making this for breakfast or as a coffee cake.
Since I don’t have help beyond my family to eat this yummy cake (and I didn’t want to be left alone with it!), here are the slices I sent to my hubster’s work.
I hope you make this soon. Make it to celebrate Mardi Gras or just make it to celebrate your colorful friends and family!
This is a simplified version of a recipe from Rhode’s. The original one may be found by clicking here.
*Since I first made this King Cake last week, I’ve made three more to give people!
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I’m so glad to have you as part of my Southern Plate Family and appreciate all of your kindness and support!