Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mardi Gras King Cake ... & Cupcakes :)

You must know by this point that I love to blog about cooking & baking, whether the recipes be tried & true or just intriguing! These two recipes today are ones that I have never tried, but they definitely caught my eye! With Mardi Gras right around the corner, what better way to celebrate than to bake up some traditional treats! Check these out...

Mardi Gras King Cake is something I've never heard of, but boy is it pretty & it looks delicious too!  I found it while looking at one of my favorite blogs, Great Full Day, where the author posted a recipe!  Here it is for you to try, & if you do...let me know what you think!  Unless I beat you to it :)

For the Cake
  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg white
Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
White Icing:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
Colored Sugar


1. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium mixing bowl Add the evaporated milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar, tablespoon of ground cinnamon and the salt. Stir so that the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool.
2. Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water and stir in the remaining teaspoon sugar. Allow to stand for 10 minutes, until foamy. If the yeast does not foam up it is not live so you’ll have to start over with new yeast and sugar.
3. Add the yeast mixture to the butter and milk mixture. Add the eggs and lemon zest and whisk together vigorously, until well blended.
4. Whisk in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until you have a thick paste–about 3 cups flour. Then switch to a wooden spoon and continue adding flour and mixing well. (I used my kitchenaid bread attachment) When you have added all the flour, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and knead it with your hands, which you have dusted with flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about a dozen turns.
5. Place the dough into a large clean bowl that you have sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Turn the dough to coat all sides with spray. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. (I heat the oven for 1 minute,then turn off oven before putting dough in overnight)
6. Make the cinnamon-sugar filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small dish and stir well.
7. Punch the dough down and divide the dough in two. Roll out each half into a 10 by 15 inch rectangle. Brush each rectangle with half of the melted butter and then sprinkle each rectangle with half of the cinnamon-sugar filling mixture. Roll up along the long end like a jelly roll. Press the roll together at the seam, sealing with water if necessary. Wind the two rolls together, forming one thick piece. On a baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray, form the dough into a circle and seal the ends together.
8. Cover with a tea towel and allow the cake to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it almost doubles in size.
9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the top of the cake with the egg white. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, until it is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.
10. Make the white icing: Combine the sugar and milk in a small dish and whisk until smooth.
11. Allow the cake to cool slightly then drizzle with icing (if you let it cool completely the icing dries quicker and it is harder to keep sugar sprinkles from falling off) Sprinkle the colored sugar in striped patterns over the icing.
12. Slice across the width of the cake into thin slices to serve. Makes about 12 nice sizes slices.
Also, along the same line, here is a recipe from my favorite baking company, King Arthur Flour.  It is for Mardi Gras King Cupcakes!  With the colorful sugar decorations & the lemon & nutmeg flavors, I don't see how these cupcakes could possibly be anything but delicious!  {Everything I've ever tried from King Arthur Flour has been!}


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia; OR 1 teaspoon vanilla + 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 2 large eggs


  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (half of an 8-ounce package) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, enough to make a spreadable icing
  • colored sugars, preferably purple, yellow, and green


1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a muffin tin. You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.
2) To make the cupcakes: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
3) Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, until the mixture looks sandy.
4) Combine the milk and vanilla and add, all at once. Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
5) With the mixer running at low speed, add 1 egg. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Add the second egg, again beating for 30 seconds.
6) Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and beat briefly, just till smooth.
7) Scoop the batter by heaping 1/4-cupfuls into the prepared muffin tin. A muffin scoop works well here.
8) Bake the cupcakes for 23 to 25 minutes, until they've domed, and are a light golden brown around the edges. They'll spring back when pressed gently on top, and a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean.
9) Remove the cupcakes from the oven, and place on a rack to cool completely before icing.
10) To make the icing: Combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and lemon oil in a medium-sized bowl, and beat them together until light and fluffy.
11) Add the sugar gradually, beating well.
12) Beat in the milk a little at a time, until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.
13) Spread each cake with icing, and immediately dip in gold, purple, and green sparkling sugars, covering about 1/3 of the cupcake with each color sugar.
14) Store at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.
Yield: 12 cupcakes
And I know this is getting long, but I was curious about the history of the King Cake so I did a bit of research.  The cakes have a small trinket baked into them, usually a small baby, & whoever receives the slice of cake with the trinket inside has certain obligations they have to carry out, such as buying next year's King Cake!  The cake is popular all around the world for different holidays.  For instance, it is made for Christmas from France to Belgium to Bulgaria to Spain!  So this isn't just a Mardi Gras thing :)

I've never done anything to celebrate Mardi Gras.  Do you have anything planned?!