Sunday, April 6, 2014

King Cake

 Being new to the South, we knew we had to try King Cake this year. We had a few kinds from local bakeries and I wanted to try to make one of my own to have for dessert after our jambalaya. I found THIS recipe from Baking Bites and we all loved it way more than any of the others we had tried! It's super easy and delicious! (I made one change and left out the white chocolate; we still loved it without, but you could try it that way, too!)

2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast (.25-oz)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk (any kind), warm (100-110F)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup white chocolate, melted
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*Grease a 10-inch bundt pan well with butter or vegetable oil/cooking spray.
In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine 3/4 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Stir to combine.
*Add in warm milk and oil, then beat mixture for 2 minutes at medium speed. The paddle attachment works the best for this recipe. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each has been fully incorporated to add the next. Add in the vanilla extract and an additional 1/2 cup of flour and beat for 2 more minutes at medium-high speed.
*Stir in all remaining flour (creating a thick batter, rather than a standard dough), then cover the bowl and let rest for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
*For the filling, beat together melted white chocolate, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl at high speed until smooth and fluffy.
*Pour about half of the dough into the prepared bundt pan. Using a spoon, add dollops of cream cheese filling to the pan to create a ring in the middle of the bread dough. Pour remaining batter into pan, trying to cover most or all of the cream cheese filling. The batter will not be very high in the pan at this point. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
*Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
*Bake king cake for 30 minutes. Bread will be golden and should spring back when lightly touched.
*Turn cake out of pan onto a wire cooling rack and let cool completely before frosting.

King Cake Icing

1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3-4 tbsp water
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring

*Place 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar into each of three small bowls. Add a tablespoon of water and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract to each, along with food coloring to dye each bowl one color: purple, yellow and green. Stir well, until icing is smooth and thick, but not stiff.
*Pour icing over cooled King Cake.