I've always wanted to make King Cake. It just seems like Carnival and Mardi Gras careen into Ash Wednesday and it's over before I know it. This year, I was determined. Even being back to a gluten-free household wasn't going to deter us from King Cake. I found several recipes online, and they were all very similar. We took this one as our model and went from there.
- 3/4 cup (5 oz, 150 g.) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 oz margarine (Earth's Best Soy Free)
- 1/4 cup warm water (110 F)
- 1 Tbs. granulated cane sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp. (1 packet) yeast
- 1/2 cup (3.5 oz, 150 g.) shortening
- 3 Tbs. granulated cane sugar
- 1/4 cup warm coconut milk beverage (like So Delicious, see note.)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 3 cups gluten free flour mix (we used King Arthur), divided
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. coconut milk beverage for brushing on pastry before baking
Add the warmed coconut milk and the eggs. Mix until well combined.
Add 2 cups flour mix, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Mix.
Add the proofed yeast mixture, followed by the third cup of flour. Mix until the dough comes together and is not sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a counter lined with parchment paper. (This really helps prevent the dough from sticking to the counter.) Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll into a large rectangle, with the dough reaching 1/8" final thickness.
Spread the filling onto the dough, and roll.
Ideally, you roll it from the long side, so you have a long rectangle that you can shape into a ring. I didn't think our dough was going to hold up to shaping, so we started at the short end and rolled it into a log. If you want to attempt the traditional ring, roll it longways, and gently bend the roll until the edges meet. Brush with milk and crimp the ends together.
Leave the filled dough on the parchment paper and slide it onto a baking sheet.
Brush the roll with coconut milk, cover with another sheet of parchment and let rise for 30-60 min.
(Our oven has a "bread proof" setting, so we stashed it in there.)
After the dough has risen, remove the top parchment. Bake in a 350*F oven for 25-30 min.
- 2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 6 Tbs. coconut milk beverage
- colored sugar (purple, gold and green)
Combine the sugar and the milk to make a glaze, and drizzle or pour onto the cake.
Sprinkle the colored sugar into stripes on top of the finished cake.
To be a true King Cake, a small baby figurine or pecan is tucked in. If you choose to do this, slide it in from the under side (so nobody can see where it has been hidden), and make sure everyone knows to look for the baby (so they don't eat it!). Tradition holds that the finder of the baby hosts the next Mardi Gras party (and of course, bakes a King Cake!).
You want to use coconut milk beverage, rather than regular canned coconut milk, unless you want a tropical undertone. Other milks (cow's milk, soy, almond, etc.) should work well, too.
I prefer to weigh out messy ingredients. Partly because it is more accurate, but also because it's easier for Jude to add a little at a time until the weight is sufficient, rather than trying to accurately fill a measuring cup. I've included the weights for these ingredients.
What's a party without friends?