New Orleans Public LIbrary
A Really Good King Cake Recipe!

This recipe was provided by Wayne Everard, formerly Archivist in the Louisiana Division/City Archives. Having eaten many king cakes made from this recipe, we at NOPL can assure you that it is VERY good eatin'. Enjoy (and feel free to reprint and share, if you like)!

Dough Ingredients:

  • 4 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water (110-115 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 5-6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 dried bean, shelled pecans, or naked plastic babies

Icing Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons soft butter or margarine
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 4-6 tablespoons milk

Directions:

Combine the yeast, 1/2 of the sugar, and the lukewarm water in a very large bowl, stir well and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture swells slightly and small bubbles appear on the surface. Stir in the remaining sugar, milk, yoghurt, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Add egg yolks and mix again.

In another bowl, work the butter/margarine into 5 cups of the flour.

Add the flour-butter/margarine mixture to the yeast mixture a cup at a time, mixing well after each cup is added. Begin to knead in the bowl, adding more flour if necessary to make a smooth, elastic dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour if the dough is still sticky.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a bowl which has been buttered or sprayed with a no-stick spray. Cover and let stand in a warm place until dough doubles in size.

OR

Add 1/2 of dough ingredients to the mixing chamber of an automatic bread machine, set the machine on the dough cycle, and it do all of the work. Remove the risen dough from the chamber at the end of the cycle. Repeat with second half of dough ingredients for two cakes or proceed using 1/2 of the filling and icing ingredients for one cake.

Punch dough down and divide in half. Roll each half on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 8 x 14 inches. Brush each rectangle with 1/2 stick of melted butter or margarine. Combine the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle 1/2 of the mixture over each rectangle. Roll up from the wide end, as you would a jelly roll, inserting one of the dried beans, pecans, or naked babies along the way. Press the ends of the dough together and stretch the roll into an oval about 14 inches long. Place on a greased/sprayed cookie sheet and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 35-45 minutes until the cakes are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped with the fingers. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes.

Beat the butter or margarine until softened. Add confectioner=s sugar and vanilla and continue to beat, gradually adding milk until a glaze consistency is achieved. Use half of the icing on each cake.

Spread the icing evenly over each cake and decorate immediately with granulated sugar that has been rendered purple, green and gold with food coloring, making alternating bands of color.

Other decorating options:

Divide the icing into three portions and use food coloring to make purple, green and gold icing. Spread in alternating bands along the length of the cakes.

Use purple, green and gold gumdrops, jelly beans, or other candy to decorate the white icing.


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