This King Cake is a lot of fun and taste great! A New Orleans tradition where whomever gets the hidden baby in their slice of cake gets to host the next party.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 (.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup warm water (110°F/45°C)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs, reserve 1 egg white
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
Preparation time 210mins
Cooking time 240mins
Scald milk (I put in micro wave until it bubbles), remove from heat and stir in butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. (I use my mixer with bread hook and run for about 7 to 8 minutes.)
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down on floured surface.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter (Reserve 1 or 2 tablespoons) over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
Roll dough out into large rectangle. Brush dough with reserved butter. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place ring on a prepared cookie sheet with a small bowl to wrap and seal two ends together. Remove bowl and with scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1-inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Brush with egg white wash with splash of water.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners' sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles.
Make sure to buy a new small plastic baby so you can get the full effect from this cake! Sprinkle with purple, green and gold sugar, or decorate with whole pecans and candied cherries.
Be sure to tell everyone to inspect their piece of cake before they begin eating it. To be extra careful, use a plastic toy baby that is too large to swallow, or hide an orange wedge or 3-4 pecan halves inside the cake (avoid items that may hurt someone's teeth) and then simply place the honorable toy baby outside on the top of the cake for all to see and adore!