Get in on the fun of the King Cake. Hide a little toy baby in the cake and whoever finds it has one year of good luck! Rebecca Baird, Salt Lake City, Utah
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3-1/4 to 3-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water
- Green, purple and yellow sugars
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 1/2 cup sugar, butter, milk, egg yolks, salt, lemon peel, nutmeg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
- 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 and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 16-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle over dough to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet; pinch ends together to form a ring. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush with egg.
- Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. For glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and enough water to achieve desired consistency. Spread over cake. Sprinkle with colored sugars. Yield: 1 cake (12 slices).
Originally published as Traditional New Orleans King Cake in Taste of Home February/March 2010, p76
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