When I was in high school I took French for three years. I wish I still remembered more of what I learned. At most, I just remember a few words and phrases. What I do remember was that before winter break, we would get extra credit if we brough in a Yule Log Cake and that if we brought in a King Cake we could get extra credit in February. I never did it, I wasn’t really as interested in baking then (I’ve come so far!) but I always wanted to. This year I bring you my recipe for a King Cake.
King Cakes are used in Mardi Gras celebrations and generally have a few things that make them traditional. Each cake has a small (plastic) baby hidden inside of it. I was always told that whoever gets the cake with the baby in it has to make the next King Cake or at least continue the celebration. King Cakes are always decorated with purple, gold or yellow, and green with each having its own meaning. Purple represents justice, yellow or gold represents power, and green symbolizes faith.
There is a video at the end of the page of me making the full cake.
- 4 Cans of Pillsbury Biscuits
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
- 1/3 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 Mini Plastic Baby
- 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 6 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Purple, Green, & Yellow Food Coloring
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a bundt pan. When ever I make a cake, I like to use shortening to grease the pan, I have always found that cakes come out so much easier than if I had used butter or oil instead.
2. Remove biscuits from packaging. You should have about 32 biscuits. Cut each biscuit into four pieces.
3. In a small bowl stir together brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll each biscuit piece in the cinnamon sugar mix until coated. Place the covered biscuits into the bundt pan. When placing in the pan, try to keep it as even as possible all around.
4. In a medium sauce pan on low to medium heat, stir the granulated sugar, heavy whipping cream,nutmeg, vanilla , and butter. Stir constantly until the sauce begins to boil. Keep at a boil for 2-3 minutes, keep stirring constantly.
5. Pour the sauce over the biscuits in the bundt pan.
6. Bake the bundt pan at 350 degrees for 38-45 minutes depending on your oven. The outside will be crunchy. It can be hard to tell if this cake is done or not. You can pull a piece off and check to see how the outside of the cake looks. My cake was in the oven for exactly 40 minutes and it was cooked perfectly.
7. Once the cake has completely cooled, you can try to remove it. Run a knife around the outside (and don’t forget the inside circle) of the cake. Place the baby into the cake by pushing into the bottom. Try to push it towards the middle of the cake so that It is well hidden. You will want to choose a baby that is big enough so that no one accidentally eats it. If you can’t find a baby to use, substitute with half a pecan. Once the cake is cooled and loose, flip over on to a plate.
For the frosting:
8. Stir together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy whipping cream in a medium bowl. You want the frosting to be a thick glaze, not quite as thick as frosting, but not so thin that the cake just absorbs it.
9. Divide the frosting into three smaller bowls. Color one bowl yellow, one green, and one purple. For my purple and green I used gel based food coloring that I happened to already have. I love gel food coloring because the color always comes out so vibrant and exactly the color that I expected from the bottle. Water based colors I always have to use twice as much color for a darker and less pastel looking final color.
10. Pour the frosting over the cake in sections. You can do more or less sections I don’t think that the colors are traditionally supposed to go in any particular order, but that wasn’t something I have ever looked into. If you know any more about that, let me know!
Something new that I have added to this post, is a video showing my step by step process. It is something new that I will be trying out on a few of my recipes going forward. Let me know if its helpful!
Enjoy & Happy Mardi Gras!