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Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

The King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras dessert. It was created to use up all of the rich things (butter, sugar, alcohol) in our pantries before a season of fasting begins.

This is a delicious traditional King Cake with a flaky, buttery brioche, a sweet filling of toasted pecans, cane syrup and cinnamon and a bourbon glaze.

Ingredients for the Brioche:

1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast

2 Tbsp Warm Water (115 degree F)

1 tsp Iodized Salt

2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar

1/4 Cup Milk

2 tsp Orange Zest, minced

2 Cups All Purpose Flour, sifted

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Eggs, beaten

1 1/4 sticks cold Unsalted Butter, cut into very small


1 Egg beaten and 2 Tbsp water, for the egg wash

1 plastic baby trinket or dried bean

Dissolve the yeast in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted

with the dough hook attachment, let stand until frothy.

Dissolve the salt, sugar, orange zest and milk in a small bowl.

When dissolved combine the milk mixture with the yeast

mixture. Mix the cinnamon with the flour.

With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, then gradually

add the flour, until all is incorporated. Knead on low speed

for 10 minutes, or until a smooth elastic dough is formed. A

a little more flour may be necessary. With the motor running,

incorporate the butter into the dough, a little at a time but

rather quickly so that it doesn’t heat up and melt.

Turn the dough into an oiled bowl, loosely cover with plastic

wrap and let rise for 1 hour in a warm spot.

When the dough has doubled in bulk punch it down, cover

and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll the dough out to a 6 x 18 inch rectangle. Spread the Pecan

filling (recipe below) out in the middle of the rectangle along

the whole length, leaving about 1 1/2 inch on each side. Place

the baby trinket somewhere with the filling. Fold the length of

the dough over the filling and roll up tightly, leaving the seam

side down. Turn the roll into a circle, seam side down and put

one end inside of the other to hide the seam, and seal the

circle. Place the cake on a baking sheet and let rise, loosely

covered with plastic wrap, for 45 minutes or until doubled in


Brush all over with the egg wash, then place the king cake

into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

When the cake cools, brush with some of the glaze (recipe

below) thinned out with more cold water. This will help the

sugars adhere. Decorate the cake with the colored sugars and

drizzle some of the thicker glaze onto the cake.

Place on a large round serving plate and decorate with Mardi

Gras beads, doubloons and whatever else that you like.

Ingredients for the Pecan filling:

1 Cup Pecan halves, broken up slightly and roasted

until fragrant

2/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ground Allspice

1 pinch of salt

4 Tbsp Steen’s Cane Syrup

Combine all of the ingredients together.

For the glaze

1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Tbsp Bourbon

Water (enough to make a paste that can be drizzled)

Combine the sugar and bourbon, whisk in enough water to

make a glaze that can be drizzled.

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