King Cake

So tomorrow is Epiphany or Twelfth Night where we celebrate the wise men finding Jesus. I didn’t grow up celebrating Epiphany but last year I decided I wanted to have more fun with food and my kids. I had no idea what Epiphany was until I looked it up and thought how great to not let the holiday season leave so soon. Plus I get to teach my kids more about the birth of Christ. Why not celebrate it? The king cake is a traditional cake from France dating back to the 19th century. It’s supposed to have three colors of icing, gold, purple, and green but I coped out and just used white. My daughter wanted pink but laziness won out. This is also a traditional Mardi Gras cake. Since I’m not from the south I had no idea.

Really, it’s just a glorified cinnamon roll. Sorry.

It’s still good though and worth making year after year.

First start out with some yeast, warm water, and sugar. I did this all in my bread maker this year but last year I did it all by hand. The bread maker made this really easy, I say use whatever you have.

 After the yeast mix sat for a while I added some melted butter and some warm milk.

I added the egg and turned my bread maker on to stir the ingredients together. It got a little messy and started shooting out milk and egg everywhere. I had to hurry to get the flour out. Not easy when your four year old is wanting to look into the bread maker.

 I added the flour. Thankfully this stopped the random spurts of liquid.

 Added the rest of the sugar.

 I added some salt and nutmeg and let the bread machine go to work.

 After a while of raising it looked like this, fantastic right?

 I like to use oil instead of flour when I’m rolling out my dough. I learned that once the dough is ready to be rolled it usually doesn’t need more flour so use oil. Roll your dough out into a rectangle.

 Then add the filling. I made mine with pecan’s, brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolate chips, for those of us who need a little chocolate fix. You could also do pie fillings, apple, cherry. My husband and I decided that apple sounded fantastic.

 Then you roll it up, just like a cinnamon roll.

Except instead of cutting it you make a ring and cut slits into the top. If you’re doing this for a party you would insert a small plastic baby doll (preferably one that couldn’t be swallowed, nothing ruins a party like choking on a plastic baby doll) the person who gets the baby in their slice hosts the next party. Just make sure you don’t get the baby and you’re set.

I cooked it for 30 minutes but I could have and should have done it in 20. Word to the wise, check your oven. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

 Here it is cut in all it’s glory.

The frosting I used, I’m actually not sure if it has a name but we always used it growing up then I went to college and my roommate called it poor man’s frosting. Which I thought was funny and it’s stuck ever since.

Make it, enjoy it and talk to your kids about the fact that the wise men didn’t come the night Jesus was born but later.

1/2 cup warm milk
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon yeast
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 3/4 cups flour

Combine milk and butter. Combine yeast, water and 1 tablespoon sugar until mixture is frothy and bubbles. Whisk in egg. Add milk and butter to mixture. Add remaining sugar, salt, nutmeg. Add the flour one cup at a time. Knead until smooth and elastic 8-10 minutes.

Let rise for 2 hours until doubled.

Roll into rectangle and add filling. Roll up and form into a circle. Let rise for 45 minutes. Cook for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees. 

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine all ingredients until mixture is crumbly.

Poor Man’s Frosting:
1 cup powder sugar
1 Tablespoon milk

Combine and pour over warm cake.

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