Wednesday, February 10, 2010

In the spirit of Mardi Gras -- I attempted King Cake

The key word here is attempted. It did not turn out like I had hoped. I got this recipe from Emeril Lagasse, of course, because he's from Louisiana. Well, this is a time consuming recipe...don't expect it to take just an hour. This takes a few hours to put together. The one thing I didn't like about the cake - well, besides the fact that it didn't really turn out - is the overdone lemon taste. There was too much lemon. I followed every step exactly...tried to at least. I thought it tasted really yeasty (I don't know if that is a word or not. Lol!), and I didn't like the texture. The inside of it didn't look like a king cake to me either. Well, here's the recipe, pictures, and some notes to go with it. Good luck...if you try! For me, I'm going to buy a king!

Recipe Source:  Emeril Lagasse

  • 2 packages dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
  • 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Purple, green, and gold sugar sprinkles
  • Plastic baby toy - I opted out of this.

  1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees F. Combine the yeast, sugar, butter, and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk. With the mixer on low speed, beat the mixture for about 4 minutes to dissolve the yeast. If the yeast mixture doesn't begin to foam after a few minutes, it means it's not active and will have to be replaced.
  2. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Add this mixture to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until it lightly comes together, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and climbs slightly up the dough hook.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl. Coat the dough with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set in a warm, draft-free place, and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Mix well.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the remaining powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk. Mix well and set aside.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out 30 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough.
  7. Bring the two long edges together and seal all sides completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder and place on a greased baking sheet, seam side down. Shape the dough into a ring. Place a well-greased 2 pound coffee can or shortening can in the center of the ring to maintain the shape during baking. Press the plastic baby toy into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm, draft free place. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
    I didn't have a metal coffee can or shortening can. This was about the only thing I could think of to use. It's an oven-proof pot.
    8. With a sharp knife, make several slits around the top of the ring. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. After baking remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool.
The reason my cake looks "all banged up" on the bottom is because that is how many times I took the cake out to check for doneness. =(

9. Drizzle the cake with the sugar glaze. Sprinkle the cake with sprinkles, alternating colors. Cut the cake into individual pieces and serve.

I don't know what happened. I checked the cake 3 times. Maybe I shouldn't have...I don't know. The 1st time I checked: not done, 2nd time: not done; 3rd time: overdone. Ugh! The cake, like I said, tasted yeasty, the glaze & cake were too lemony, and the cream cheese filling was basically dried and had absorbed into the cake. The filling should've been creamy. Anyways, I probably will never try a king cake again, but if I do, I will make sure I have ample time to make it and am not stressed out at the!



  1. Looked absolutely beautiful and yummy. Sorry that it just didn't work out. You will find a recipe that will blow you away and you'll try it again :) Love ya, Mom

  2. We'll see...I'm kinda in a sweet coma with all the cupcakes and sweets I've made!