Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mardi Gras!

Although we aren't Catholic or Southern, we do "celebrate" Mardi Gras in our house.  With Big Sis being a Louisiana-born girl, we have to.  I made a slow-cooker Red Beans & Rice recipe which was good, but not great.  I've realized that it's just tough to beat my favorite-from-a-can variety, and that's saying something!

I also tried out a new King Cake recipe this year, and THAT was a winner!  Bookmark this for next year, and then send me a thank you note after you've enjoyed the doughy, buttery, creamy goodness.

Please note that "Cake" is a deceptive term here.  If you haven't had a King Cake before, be prepared for a baked good that more resembles a pastry ring than a "cake".  This recipe produces a brioche-type dough that is tender and slightly sweet, and really delicious.   


King Cake
(taken from & altered just a bit)


  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 can cherry pie filling
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon multicolored candy sprinkles


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and white sugar in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir the egg yolks and melted butter into the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest. Beat the flour mixture into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and cherry pie filling. Mix well. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 6x30 inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough. Bring the two long edges together and seal completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder and place on a greased baking sheet, seam-side down. Shape the dough into a ring press the baby into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Place a well-greased 2 pound metal coffee can the center of the ring to maintain the shape during baking. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the coffee can and allow the bread to cool. Drizzle cooled cake with lemon/sugar glaze and decorate with candy sprinkles.

Notes: This cake was HUGE!  I cooked it on a pizza stone, and it expanded to nearly fill the entire thing!  


Ashley said...

THis is when I wish technology was so advanced I could just grab a bite through the Internet because this looks just that good!!!

Thanks for Sharing the recipe!!

Chrissy Jo said...

So now you have to share your recipe for your favorite "from a can" red beans and rice. We lived in the south for a few years of my childhood. I loved getting out of school and going to the local parades, loading up on beads, and eating king cake every Friday for what seemed like 2 months of the school year. Whoever got the baby had to bring the next cake. Soooo yummy!