Crawlin’ King Cake

With apologies to John Lee Hooker, The Doors, and others, this is the line that runs through my mind when I think of King Cakes:

Eagle Mills flour is a nice compromise (for me) between standard flour and one like King Arthur, which is really nice, but really pricey. Unbleached is the important factor, and Eagle Mills offers that.

Well, I’m the Crawlin’ King Snake / And I rule my den / I’m the Crawlin’ King Snake / And I rule my den…

I was humming it to myself Sunday night while baked my first-ever homemade King Cake. I knew Mardi Gras wasn’t until Tuesday, but I’m far more likely to bake on a weekend than a work night. Here’s my experience:

The project started with a trip to the grocery store to buy ingredients. There’s nothing fancy in the King Cake recipe I used, but I didn’t have everything I needed, like flour. (I used up the last of my flour in my attempts to get a decent loaf of Salt-Rising Bread. Success has remained elusive!)

I combined butter, sour cream, sugar, and salt and stirred over medium heat until butter melted, then set it aside (in the top rack of my dishwasher, which acts as an auxilliary countertop at times) to cool sightly.

Rich ingredients, worthy of a King Cake!

Yeast was next: very warm water + yeast + sugar makes the yeast get bubbly, like these pictures:

This is what happy yeast looks like!

Oops! This yeast got a little too happy!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Then I combined happy yeast, eggs, and butter mixture in large bowl (I used my stand mixer) and continued following directions* until dough was smooth and elastic. I put it in a warm oven and allowed it to rise until doubled.

My dough runneth over!

More apologies–in all the dough-rising excitement, I forgot to take pictures of the rolling-into-a-rectangle-and-brushing-with-butter-and-cinnamon-and-sugar stage of the process.  After rolling & brushing, you coil the dough up from the long side (like a jelly roll) and shape it into a circle. It rises again, you bake it, and then drench it with a confectioner sugar icing.

Buttered, brushed, and tucked into itself

King Cake, fresh-baked…

Last, but not least, I was inspired by Short Street Cakes to decorate my King Cake with Mardi Gras beads (purple, green, and gold) rather than the usual colored icing/colored sugar, which is not that attractive (to me) and causes one to develop a dark and sinister “candy-tongue” if you eat much of it (purple, green, and gold = muckledun).

Iced & beaded!

Ready for a close-up…

 And then I took it to work…

And we laissez les bon temps rouler!

All over but the shoutin' and a tangle of sugar-coated beads...

*Special thanks to Southern Living  and allrecipes.com for sharing this easy and delicious King Cake recipe!

2 thoughts on “Crawlin’ King Cake

  1. Mtnsmith says:

    I’ve actually read some articles recently denouncing King Cake as sort of…. too Southern and, you know, just a little bit… tacky.

    As if.

    Someone wiser than me nailed it when they said, “if you don’t like a big ol’ cinnamon roll, you just ain’t right.”

    I suggest you make another immediately, and share it, just to prove a point (the main point being the sharing…. you do know where I live, right?)

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