little paths so startled

living, decorating, and eating in hattiesburg, mississippi

homemade king cake

with 4 comments

King cake is my favorite desert, and I can’t believe I made it halfway through Carnival season this year without one.  I also can’t believe that I’ve never actually made a king cake before – I suppose I’ve been too busy eating everyone else’s fabulous cakes, and I’ve felt vaguely intimidated by the process of making the brioche.  But, I’m happy to say, I have found a wonderful, authentic New Orleans-style recipe that is manageable AND delicious.  It’s everything a king cake should be: moist, just sweet enough, and with a hint of orange.

This is important to me, of course, because now that Daniel and I are eating vegan, most king cakes are not for us.  This cake is indeed vegan, and as such, it’s lower in fat and doesn’t have cholesterol.  But you have my word and Daniel’s that you’d never know it.  (Don’t believe me?  I’ll bring you some.)  As a novice brioche maker, I followed the recipe closely, with just a few substitutions: I used only all-purpose flour, because I didn’t have any whole wheat pastry flour on hand, and I blended about 4 oz. of silken tofu to use in place of 1/2 cup soy yogurt, because I certainly didn’t have the latter on hand.*

The freshly-kneaded dough, before rising. I don't know how important this is, but I did rub the bowl with a bit of oil since most king cake recipes include that direction.

After I punched down the risen dough, Daniel rolled it out for me. (Yes, we use wine bottles as rolling pins.)

I spread a mix of granulated sugar and cinnamon over the rolled out dough.

Then I carefully rolled up the dough.

I made the traditional loop, pinched the ends, and transferred the cake onto the parchment paper-topped baking sheet. It is, apparently, important to pinch the seams of the cake on the bottom and sides, too, because mine did leak a bit at the bottom.

My cake was browned and ready to go after 35 minutes. I let it cool for a few minutes while I made the frosting (from powdered sugar and almond milk), then I moved the cake to a plate and drizzled on the frosting.

Et voilà! Like the recipe author, I can't seem to find purple sprinkles, so I made mine by mixing a couple drops of purple food coloring into a bit of granulated sugar. The green and sparkly gold sprinkles were store bought. And probably not entirely vegan.

The texture of this cake is simply perfect.

The tiny pieces seem so innocuous - until you realize you've eaten quite a few of them. Fat Tuesday, indeed.

*Daniel and I are trying to reduce our gluten consumption, but I didn’t make this cake gluten free.  I bet it would still be great, though, with gluten-free all-purpose flour.


Written by Ann

January 29, 2012 at 1:22 am

4 Responses

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  1. Looks yummy! I want to make Kittee’s recipe, too–did you have to use a candy thermometer to “Bring the temperature to 110F” in step two?


    February 1, 2012 at 10:05 am

    • Hi Liz! I actually used the thermometer (I think it’s liquid crystal) from my husband’s beer making kit.


      February 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    • So glad this worked for you! I actually just posted a gluten-free dough if you ever want to try it. It’s not quite the same, but it’s better than no King Cake at all.


      January 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      • Very cool! Thanks, Kittee!


        February 3, 2013 at 7:16 am

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