Every year, I forget that Lent is approaching until it’s upon us, and then I’m all in a rush to have a proper Fat Tuesday menu. This year I really have no excuse, with Ash Wednesday being so late. I still found myself without a kit to make a King Cake, though, so I decided to try to duplicate the ones we enjoyed in Louisiana, right here in Washington State! I think everyone is glad I did…the resulting cake turned out almost exactly like those authentic ones!
First, I just made the dough for One-Hour Cinnamon Rolls from a post a couple of weeks ago. After letting it rest fifteen minutes, it was ready to roll. I made a long, thin rectangle of dough instead of the regular one. This one was about 24” x 8”….see, it’s too long to even fit in the photo!
I mixed the filling according to the recipe…1/2 cup softened butter, 1-1/4 cups brown sugar, and 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon…and patted it evenly (more or less) onto the dough. If you’d like, you can put a dried bean somewhere in the filling at this point. Whoever gets the bean in their piece can either be “King for a Day” and choose all his favorites, or, in keeping with New Orleans tradition, be responsible for throwing next year’s party. We generally don’t do this, because, first of all, it would be my luck for a kid to break a tooth on the bean, and, secondly, I don’t need to spoil them anymore than they already are…and they’re certainly not going to be throwing any parties next year!
I smooshed (that’s a technical baking term) the ends together as best I could and baked it at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.
After it came out of the oven, I let it cool until the hooligans got home from school, when we made a simple glaze of powdered sugar and milk to drizzle (heavily) over it. Then each hooligan chose a Mardi Gras color in the sprinkles container, and sprinkled their little hearts out.
Along with our King Cake, we always have Jambalaya for our Mardi Gras celebration…here’s our favorite recipe.
We used a King Cake kit from World Market, Mama Papoul’s brand, last year…it worked really well, if there’s a World Market near you.But I think our from-scratch one looked and tasted just as wonderful!
Here’s our cake from 2011….
And decorating last year’s…
This is one of my favorite small holiday traditions…it gives us a chance to talk about Lent, the meaning of the King Cake, and the real reason for Easter while we create something together.