Indulge in the festive spirit of Mardi Gras by savoring your very own individual Mini King Cakes.. Crafted with wholesome grains, this king cake recipe boasts a reduced amount of butter and sugar, yet manages to retain its scrumptiousness!
King Cake reigns as the ultimate embodiment of Mardi Gras cuisine. Indisputably, a king cake is an absolute must-have to revel in the spirit of Mardi Gras, as far as I’m concerned.
As a child, we indulged in the mouthwatering king cake during our daily classroom sessions, eagerly counting down the days to the much-anticipated Mardi Gras break. Though it may not have been an everyday affair, it certainly felt like it, infusing our young hearts with sheer delight. And let me tell you, experiencing the glorious “Mardi Gras break” in Mobile was an absolute marvel, an unparalleled delight that words simply cannot capture.
If you received the infant, it was your duty to bring the subsequent king cake to the classroom.
Ah, the good ol’ days in New Orleans, where vibrant king cake parties were the highlight. Greetings to the inevitable king cake hangover!
Now that I’m in San Diego and almost 2000 miles away from Mardi Gras events, I decided I’d make some king cake.
What is a King Cake
A king cake, what is it exactly? Let’s delve into the realm of Mardi Gras King Cakes. Picture a delectable circular pastry that effortlessly combines the tantalizing flavors of a coffee cake and a cinnamon roll. This masterpiece, known as a Mardi Gras King Cake, boasts a brioche dough foundation adorned with a luscious layer of icing and a vibrant sprinkle of colored sugar.
Why this recipe works
During my time residing in Birmingham, far from my Mardi Gras destination of Mobile, I ventured into the realm of king cake creation. My inspiration derived from a recipe bestowed upon me by Southern Living. Alas, though the end result was satisfactory, I couldn’t help but find it slightly lacking in moisture and lacking that certain spark of excitement.
This time, I made them small, so everyone has their own, which I personally believe is more enjoyable 🙂.
In my culinary experiment, I incorporated a dash of additional milk, a modest reduction in sugar, tangy whole milk Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream (to boost the protein content, yay!), Egg yolks instead of a complete egg (for an enhanced richness), and indulged the cake with a sprinkle of brown sugar within. Furthermore, a delicate hint of orange zest or lemon zest imparts an exquisite burst of flavor, delicately enhancing the cake without overpowering its essence.
How to Make King Cake
Anything that involves yeast can be daunting. I understand. But it truly doesn’t have to be challenging.
Tips for Making King Cake
Make sure to give your yeast a lively test before anything else. Avoid adding it to excessively hot milk. The water should mimic the soothing warmth of a bathtub. The bubbling and foaming will confirm its vitality.
Ensuring the utmost perfection, it is crucial to roll out the dough with great width and a delightful thickness. Thinness must be avoided at all costs to avoid any unfortunate tearing while spreading the buttery filling. Striving for maximum wideness is key, as it allows for the creation of long enough dough pieces that can be skillfully shaped into a beautiful circle.
If you desire, you have the freedom to amplify these to a slightly larger size. I have transformed them into magnified mini cakes, and needless to say, they are absolutely remarkable 🙂.
The best ingredients for Mini King Cakes.
Make sure to opt for yogurt and milk with full fat or a 2% fat content. The added richness will contribute to a dough that is exceptionally tender and tantalizingly delicious.
The recipe underwent meticulous testing with both ordinary whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour. Surprisingly, the pastry flour exhibited a slightly more delicate texture, yet both variations proved to be equally delectable.
Make Ahead Tips
These delectable delights are perfect for preparing in advance as I firmly believe that king cake reaches its pinnacle when savored at room temperature, and dare I proclaim, even a day past its creation… (I genuinely do. I perpetually relish the flavor of king cake a day subsequent to its making or purchase from a store).
If you don’t have yogurt, use sour cream or buttermilk. If you use buttermilk, use ⅞ cup instead of 1 full cup.
These can be stored in the refrigerator, on the kitchen surface, or within the confines of the freezer. Ensure that they are properly sealed to prevent any flavor absorption in the refrigerator or freezer, and to avoid any external contamination while resting on the counter.
These delectable treats maintain their freshness for approximately three days before reaching a delightful state of staleness. Fear not, for even in their transformed state, they can be transformed into a delectable breakfast casserole.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to freeze a king cake?
Absolutely! It is totally possible to freeze a mouthwatering king cake. Just make sure to tightly wrap it up and store it in the freezer for a maximum of one month. When you’re ready to indulge, simply allow it to thaw at room temperature for approximately one hour.
Can you send a king cake by mail?
I have yet to experience the thrill of sending a king cake by mail, although I am well aware that it is a common practice. The delightful aspect is that, typically, the weather during the Mardi Gras season is refreshingly cool, alleviating any concerns about the king cake becoming overheated or peculiar.
Personally, I store my king cake in the refrigerator due to the frosting, but I don’t believe it is entirely essential.
What to serve with Mini King Cakes.
The time you choose to savor your king cake greatly influences its enjoyment. Personally, I take immense pleasure in indulging in this delectable treat after a delightful meal or simply as a delightful accompaniment to a steaming cup of tea or coffee. Moreover, I find myself relishing the king cake’s delightful flavors even during breakfast, pairing it with some fresh fruit, a perfectly boiled egg, or a crispy strip of bacon.
King cake is an irresistible treat that transcends time, perfect for indulging at any hour. It is an absolute must to savor the delectable delight of king cake at least once throughout the festive season of Mardi Gras!
ADDITIONAL MARDI GRAS RECIPES THAT YOU WILL ENJOY:
For the cake:
For the glaze:
In a small bowl, mix together lukewarm milk, sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt, melted butter, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and orange zest. Incorporate the yeast mixture.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the dough hook attachment, include the flour, nutmeg, and salt. Mix.
Incorporate the yogurt-yeast mixture. Mix until well blended, gently pushing down the sides occasionally.
Use the dough hook attachment to knead for approximately 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, grease the interior of a mixing bowl.
Add the dough to the mixing bowl, and cover with a towel. Set aside until it doubles in size, about 90 minutes.
Once prepared, gently deflate the dough and shape it into a magnificent 18×12 inch rectangle. Generously coat it with luscious softened butter, delectable brown sugar, and aromatic cinnamon. Carefully roll it up and slice it into a delightful dozen portions.
Shape each portion into a perfect circle and delicately position them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave undisturbed for a duration of 25 to 45 minutes, allowing them to undergo a magnificent transformation as they almost double in size.
Set the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake the small king cakes for 12-16 minutes until lightly yellow. Allow to cool.
Mix together the icing sugar, a tablespoon of milk, and vanilla. Add additional milk if necessary to create the glaze.
Pour the glaze over the cooled king cakes and sprinkle with colored sugar. Enjoy the drizzle!
*Make sure your yeast is active and foamy before proceeding with any other steps.
Ensure that you roll your dough generously, extending its width and thickness. Avoid making the dough excessively thin prior to spreading the butter for filling, as this may lead to tearing. Aim for a width that allows you to cut the dough into sufficiently long pieces, enabling you to shape them into a circular form.
*Derived from this recipe from Southern Living.
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[Showhide type=”post” more_text=”Click here for Nutritional Information” less_text=”Hide Nutritional Information”].
Mini King Cakes.
1 small king cake.
*Percent Daily Value.
* The Daily Values are calculated based on a 2000 calorie diet.
What ingredients should be used in this recipe?
This article was initially published on February 17, 2017. The text, recipe, and pictures have been revised.
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