In New Orleans, after the cake is baked a tiny toy baby is often inserted into it. Whoever gets the piece with the baby is supposed to have a year of good luck. The catch is they must also throw a Mardi Gras party next year. — Stacey West-Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 3/4 cup butter, cubed
- 5 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1-1/3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk
- Purple, yellow and green colored sugars
- In a large bowl, mix the sugar, yeast, salt and 2 cups flour. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add egg yolks; beat 2 minutes longer. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
- For filling, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 24-in. x 6-in. rectangle. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar lengthwise down one half of the dough. Fold dough lengthwise over filling; pinch seam to seal. Transfer to a greased baking sheet, seam side down. Shape into a ring, pinching ends together to seal. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. For topping, mix the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to reach desired consistency. Spread over cake; sprinkle with colored sugars. Yield: 1 cake (16 slices).
Originally published as Festive King's Cake in Taste of Home February/March 2013
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