Mardi Gras King Cake with Praline Filling

New Orleans is one of my absolute favorite places to visit. Since my first visit in 2015, I’ve managed to get back out there once a year. I love it so much that I’m even planning on getting married there.

I’ve experienced a lot there, but I’ve yet to make it out for Mardi Gras yet. Since I can’t make it out this year, I figured I could still celebrate, by making my own king cake. This is my first time making, one and I think it came out pretty good. I wanted to give it a flavor reminiscent of another New Orleans treat, so I made a praline filling. You can fill it was anything you usually put in breads, or it’s tasty on it’s own.

 

Cake:

  • 1 c warm milk, about 110°F
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 c AP flour
  • 1 c butter, melted
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Filling:

  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 T water
  • 6oz pecans

Frosting:

  • 3 c powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c condensed milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 T water
  • Purple, green, and gold/yellow sprinkles

Process:

1. To make the dough, pour the warm milk into the bowl of a mixer. Whisk in the granulated sugar, yeast, and a tablespoon of the flour, mixing until the sugar and the yeast have dissolved.

2. Once the mixture begins to look foamy, whisk in the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Add the remaining flour and salt, place in the mixer with the dough hook.

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What the yeast mixture should look like when it’s ready

3.  After the dough comes together, mix until it is smooth and elastic. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky.

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Dough ready to proof

4. Keep the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place to let it rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.

5. While the dough is proofing make the filling. Place the brown sugar, vanilla, water and salt in a saute pan. Cook until bubble and the sugar has dissolved. Stir in pecans until coated. Spread out on a greased cookie sheet to cool. Once the nuts are cool, pulse in a wood processor until finely chopped.

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Cooking the sugar mixture
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Cooling candied pecans
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Finished filling

6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough in to a 24in. by 8in. rectangle. Spread 1/3 of the filling on to each rectangle, then roll each piece lengthwise in to a long log.  Braid the 3 logs around one another and then form the braid into a circle, pinching ends together to seal. Gently lay the braided dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.

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Dividing dough before rolling
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Rolled dough spread with filling
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Rolled up log
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Starting the braid
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Braided logs
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Forming the braid into a ring

7. Once it’s doubled in size, place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake until the braid is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

8. While the cake is cooling make the frosting. Whisk together the powdered sugar, condensed milk, water and lemon juice in a bowl until the icing is smooth and very spreadable. If the icing is too thick, add a bit more water, if it’s a too loose, add a little more powdered sugar.

9. Once the cake has cooled, spread the icing over the top of the cake and sprinkle with purple, green and gold/yellow sprinkles while the icing is still wet. If you have a plastic baby, tuck it under the cake. Carefully move to a large platter to serve.

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Finished king cake slice
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1 thought on “Mardi Gras King Cake with Praline Filling”

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