King Cake: Mixed, baked, and frosted in just over an hour. No problem. And just in time for an early Mardi Gras.
Have you checked the calendar? Mardi Gras is early this year: February 9. (Thanks to a super early Easter on March 27!)
With Mardi Gras in just a few days, this year certainly calls for a Quick and Easy King Cake. What makes it ‘quick and easy’? Basically, it’s a no-yeast, buttermilk sweet dough. But more on that in a minute. First, a few facts on King Cake:
It is typically baked between Kings Day (Epiphany on January 6) and Mardi Gras by New Orleans bakeries and other King Cake-loving folks (me and my friend Rebekah!)
According to this NPR article, the little plastic baby that is/was baked inside symbolized baby Jesus on King’s Day (Epiphany) the day the Three Kings/Three Wise Men visited him. There are all sorts of interesting and funny stories on how this plastic baby was baked in the cake…and now typically is not baked inside.
King Cake is generally:
- Not really ‘cake’ – but a yeast bread with a cinnamon/sugar-filling
- Shaped into a braided ring
- Frosted with creamy white frosting
- And sprinkled with gold, purple and green colored sugar
My King Cake started at noon on Kings Day! I decided to surprise my kids with a King Cake as an after school snack. At 3:00 PM when they walked through the back door, there were shouts of surprise all around. There, sitting on the kitchen table was the brightly-colored cake.
This King Cake is quick and easy because:
- It contains no yeast – so there is no rise time.
- Buttermilk bread dough that I adapted so it could be pressed out, then rolled up.
- Baked it in a pretty beveled bundt pan to simulate the braiding.
And my version is healthier! It has about a ton less butter and sugar. But it must still be sprinkled with sugar on top; this is because tasting the dusting sugar first on your tongue makes the cake seem extra SWEET (sweeter, actually, than adding more sugar inside).The traditional Mardi Gras sweet homemade in a little over an hour: Quick & Easy King Cake via @tspcurry Click To Tweet
May your Mardi Gras be sweet!
Have you ever eaten (or baked) King Cake? Do you have other favorite Mardi Gras treats? Let us know – we love the food in New Orleans like these Baked Beignets!