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Traditional King Cake

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“From Southern Living. My mom wants to try this one out for Mardi Gras. The King Cake tradition came to New Orleans with the French settlers around 1870, continuing a custom dating back to twelfth century France. Similar cakes were used then to honor the three wise men who visited the Christ child, calling it the feast of Epiphany, Twelfth Night, or King's Day. The traditional colored sugars used to decorate the cake are purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power). You are supposed to tuck a little plastic baby in the cake and whoever gets the piece with the baby has to host next year's party. We don't do that because with my luck, someone would choke and aspirate the little baby.”
2hrs 31mins
2 cakes

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cook the first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts; set aside and cool mixture to 100-110°.
  2. Stir the yeast, ½ cup warm water, and 1 tablespoons sugar in a 1 cup glass measuring cup; let mixture stand 5 minutes.
  3. Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until smooth.
  4. Decrease speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4-4 ½ cups) until a soft dough forms.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
  6. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease the top.
  7. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.
  8. Punch down dough, and divide in half.
  9. Roll each portion into a 22x12 inch rectangle.
  10. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border.
  11. Stir ½ cup sugar and cinnamon together; sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.
  12. Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side.
  13. Place 1 dough roll seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet; bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal.
  14. Repeat with second dough roll.
  15. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, 20-30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  16. Bake in a 375° oven for 14-16 minutes or until golden.
  17. Make glaze: stir together the first 4 glaze ingredients; stir in 2 tablespoons milk, adding more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.
  18. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes).
  19. Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes, sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands; let cool completely.

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