Time to break out the beads and turn up the jazz wherever you are and celebrate Mardi Gras! Our king cake recipe is highlighted with spicy cinnamon and nutmeg to get everyone in the mood.
1/2 cup warm milk (not hot- just a little bit warmer than your body temperature, about 110 degrees)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons organic cinnamon, ground
sprinkle of grated organic nutmeg, whole
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup condensed milk (maybe more)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
purple, green and gold sprinkles
1 dried bean or plastic baby to hide in the cake
In a mixing bowl, combine milk, sugar, yeast and a big pinch of flour. Whisk together and let sit in a warm place until bubbles appear on the surface, about 5-7 minutes. Add butter, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest. Whisk together until well mixed. Add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
If using a stand mixer, combine ingredients with dough hook attachment on low speed and let it run until the dough is smooth, consistent and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough is too wet. If mixing by hand, use a spatula to fold into the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Once combined, pull the dough onto a dry surface and knead until dough is smooth, consistent and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Roll dough into a ball, return to the bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until the ball has doubled in size. Punch down the dough and divide into three equal parts. Roll each part into a rope and braid together, tucking each end under the loaf and place on a lined sheet pan. Let the braid rise in this position for another 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. After the second rise, bake in oven for 30 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
Cool on a wire rack and make the icing by combining sugar, condensed milk and lemon juice in a bowl. Add more condensed milk until the icing has reached the consistency desired. A thicker icing can be spread over the top of the cake or a thinner one can be poured onto the cake. Add colorful sprinkles and enjoy!