Southern Living magazine's King Cake

This highly recommended recipe originally appeared in Southern Living in January 1990. 12-years later, it is still a fitting end to any traditional Mardi Gras celebration.

Southern Living magazine’s King Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • Colored Frostings (see below)
  • Colored Sugars (see below)
  •  
  • Colored Frosting:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 drops green food color
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 drops blue food coloring
  • 2 drops red food color
  •  
  • Colored sugars:
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 drops green food color
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 drops red food color
  • 2 drops blue food coloring

Instructions

1 COOK first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Cool mixture to 100 degrees to 110 degrees.

2 DISSOLVE yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add butter mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes or until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

3 TURN dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

4 STIR together 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

5 PUNCH dough down; divide in half. Turn 1 portion out onto a lightly floured surface; roll to a 28- x 10-inch rectangle. Spread half each of cinnamon mixture and softened butter on dough. Roll dough, jellyroll fashion, starting at long side. Place dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough, cinnamon mixture, and butter.

6 COVER and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 20 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

7 BAKE at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden. Decorate with bands of Colored Frostings, and sprinkle with Colored Sugars.

8 COLORED FROSTINGS: Stir together powdered sugar and melted butter. Add milk to reach desired consistency for drizzling; stir in vanilla. Divide frosting into 3 batches, tinting 1 green, 1 yellow, and combining red and blue food coloring for purple frosting.

9 COLORED SUGARS: Place 1/2 cup sugar and drop of green food coloring in a jar or zip-top plastic bag; seal. Shake vigorously to evenly mix color with sugar. Repeat procedure with 1/2 cup sugar and yellow food coloring. For purple, combine 1 drop red and 1 drop blue food coloring before adding to remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

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