This might not be Louisiana, but many places in Mississippi do Mardi Gras, too. Even in places we don’t do parades, we definitely do pastries…and King Cake is one delicious pastry. In fact, some of the best king cake makers around are right here in the Magnolia State. (Paul’s Pastry Shop in Picayune or Jody’s Bakery in Hattiesburg are a couple that come to mind.)
I thought this year it would be fun to make a king cake myself so I did an internet search and recipe sources abound. I decided to begin with a recipe from Emeril Lagassee. I mean, he’s from New Orleans so he ought to know what he’s doing. I wanted to make the dough in my bread machine so I altered the recipe a bit and was very pleased with the result. (If you don’t have a bread machine or would like to make the pastry yourself, visit Emeril’s recipe and use his instructions for making the dough, but come back here for the filling!!)
What You Need to Make Mardi Gras King Cake
Ingredients (in the order I put them into my bread machine):
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 melted salted butter (you can use unsalted, but up the salt from 1 1/2 tsp. to 2 tsp.)
1/2 cup plus 2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups flour
5 egg yolks
5 tsp. active dry yeast (or 2 packages)
How to Make Mardi Gras King Cake
Put the ingredients into the bread machine as directed by the manufactured. After adding the flour, add eggs around the edges of the flour. Make a well in the top of the flour and add yeast. Use dough setting on bread machine.
When dough is ready, roll out onto floured surface and spread cream cheese filling (recipe follows). Roll the dough into a long cylinder and form into a ring.
Now, I had a comment from a reader that the dough did not cook thoroughly, and I have since decided that it is best to separate the dough into two or three sections and make smaller rings. This will help with baking time!
You can also divide the dough into three sections and braid it as above. Just pinch the ends together then braid. Pinch the other end together, and you’re done!
Allow the ring to rise in a warm place for about 30-45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely.
To make glaze, mix milk, powdered sugar and vanilla (or other favorite flavoring) to make a thick glaze. Drizzle over cooled cake and top with yellow, purple and green sugar sprinkles. Don’t forget to put the baby or a pecan half in the cake!
8 oz. creme cheese
1 1/2 – 2 cups powdered sugar
Beat together until fluffy then spread on dough.