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King Cake

1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups flour unsifted
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest, this is lemon rind, grated
1/2 cup warm milk
5 egg yolks
1 stick butter cut into slices, softened
2 tablespoons more softened butter
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1" plastic baby doll

Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl, and sprinkle yeast
and 2 teaspoons sugar into it. Allow the yeast and sugar to rest
for three minutes then mix thoroughly. Set bowl in a warm place
for ten minutes, or until yeast bubbles up and mixture almost
doubles in volume. Combine 3 1/2 cups of flour, remaining sugar,
nutmeg and salt, and sift into a large mixing bowl. Stir in lemon
zest. Separate center of mixture to form a hole and pour in yeast
mixture and milk. Add egg yolks and, using a wooden spoon, slowly
combine dry ingredients into the yeast/milk mixture. When mixture
is smooth, beat in 8 tablespoons butter (1 tablespoon at a time)
and continue to beat 2 minutes, or until dough can be formed into
a medium-soft ball.

Place ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and knead like
bread. While kneading, sprinkle up to 1 cup more of flour (1
tablespoon at a time) over the dough. When dough is no longer
sticky, knead 10 minutes more until shiny and elastic.

Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a large bowl evenly with
one tablespoon softened butter. Place dough ball in the bowl and
rotate until the entire surface is buttered. Cover bowl with a
moderately thick kitchen towel and place in a draft-free spot for
about 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in volume. Using a
pastry brush, coat a large baking sheet with one tablespoon of
butter and set aside.

Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Using
your fist, punch dough down forcefully. Sprinkle cinnamon over the
top, pat and shake dough into a cylinder. Twist dough to form a
curled cylinder and loop cylinder onto the buttered baking sheet.
Pinch the ends together to complete the circle. Cover dough with
towel and set it in draft-free spot for 45 minutes, or until the
circle of dough doubles in volume. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Brush top and sides of cake with egg wash and bake on middle rack
of oven for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Place cake on wire
rack to cool. If desired, you can hide the plastic baby in the cake
at this time.

Colored sugars

Green, purple, & yellow paste
12 tablespoons sugar

Squeeze a dot of green paste in palm of hand. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons
sugar over the paste and rub together quickly. Place this mixture
on wax paper and wash hands to remove color. Repeat process for
other 2 colors. Place aside.


3 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 - 6 tablespoons water

Combine sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons water until smooth.
If icing is too stiff, add more water until spreadable. Spread
icing over top of cake.

Immediately sprinkle the colored sugars in individual rows consisting
of about 2 rows of green, p urple and yellow.

Cake is served in 2" - 3" pieces.


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