Mini King Cakes

mkcAfter being betrayed by the snow blower yesterday, I woke up this morning with a pain from my shoulder to my neck that caused me to develop a nice little migraine. Ugh. Winter can be over now. I popped some Excedrine Migraine, put a Therma Care wrap on my neck, grabbed a cup of coffee and, after telling my kids there was actually no school, got back in bed and watched Good Morning America.

I got up a little while later, after watching Kelly and Michael and part of Rachael Ray feeling much better. My Faithful Assistant could see my recovery all over my face and proceeded to ask, “Isn’t it Mardi Gras?” Do you know where this is going? I did. For several years he has asked me if we can make a King Cake. Since we were all home today, I decided to cave and make him his King Cake. But instead of one large King Cake, I made four smaller ones.

I used King Arthur Flour’s Simple Sweet Dough Recipe. I was unable to find it online so I have transposed it here as it appears in the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. The cream cheese frosting is also their recipe. The filling I made up.

Mini King Cakes (four – six inch cakes)
Proofing Sponge
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter or oil or combination – I used butter
1/4 cup sugar
(I added 1 tsp of vanilla too)
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups flour

Filling (my creation)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz pack of light cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp of milk if needed

1. Combine ingredients for the proofing sponge in the bowl of your mixer and let sit until nice and frothy.
2. Stir in the rest of the water, salt butter and sugar.
3. Add 4 1/2 cups of flour and mix until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
4. Dump dough out onto a surface that you have dusted with flour and knead until it’s nice and soft like a baby’s cute little chubby cheek. At this point, my friends at King Arthur Flour recommend you leave the dough on the table to rest while you wash out your bowl.
5. Spray the bowl with some cooking spray and put the dough back in. Find a nice warm spot for it to rise for at least an hour until it has doubled.
6. When the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and knead it again for a little bit. Divide the dough into four sections.
7. Combine the filling ingredients and melt slightly.
8. Flatten out each section and brush with the filling.
9. Fold in half and then roll up. Brush with any extra filling. Here’s a picture.
photo 1
10. Allow your shaped cakes to rise for another 30 minutes
11. Preheat your oven to 335. I like it a little lower than the 350 recommended by King Arthur.
12. Bake your king cakes for 30 minutes until they are done. You’ll know they’re done because when you tap the bottom of them, you’ll hear a slightly hollow sound.
13. You can make your frosting now. Just combine everything and mix until nice and fluffy. Keep cool.
14. When your cakes are cool, frost and sprinkle with the traditional purple, green, and yellow sugar sprinkles.

This recipe can be used for a lot of sweet treats besides these cute little king cakes. You can make sweet rolls or a coffee cake. If you don’t have the KAF 200th Anniversary Cookbook, you can order it from Amazon.

This is a very fussy recipe for me. Fourteen steps. At least three hours of work. But trust me when I say it’s worth all the effort.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

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