Monday, February 23, 2009

The history of the King's Cake travels back to the pre-Christian religions of Europe where a man was chosen to be the "sacred king" for a year and then sacrificed to ensure a good harvest. The method of choosing who would be the sacred king was through a King's Cake. A small nut or bean would be placed inside a cake before it was baked and who ever received the piece of cake containing the nut or bean was chosen as the sacred king. This tradition was carried down through the generations but was altered as the Christian religion became more prominent. The King's Cake was introduced to New Orleans with the French settlers around 1870 and is still a large part of the Carnival Season and Mardi Gras today.
Today it is popular to put a plastic toy baby in the cake, after it is baked. You can find plastic toys babies in craft stores.

King Cake
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1/2 cup butter, melted
5 egg yolks
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon multicolored candy sprinkles

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and white sugar in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

2. Stir the egg yolks and melted butter into the milk mixture. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and lemon zest. Beat the flour mixture 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 supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

3. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Mix well. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 2 cups confectioners' sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons milk. Mix well and set aside.

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 6x30 inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling across the center of the dough. Bring the two long edges together and seal completely. Using your hands shape the dough into a long cylinder and place on a greased baking sheet, seam-side down. Shape the dough into a ring press the baby into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Place a well-greased 2 pound metal coffee can the center of the ring to maintain the shape during baking. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F

5. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the coffee can and allow the bread to cool. Drizzle cooled cake with lemon/sugar glaze and decorate with candy sprinkles.

Found on

Just wishing everyone a Happy Mardi Gras Day!!! Eat as much cake, pies, or doughnuts today as you would like.

My mom when we were younger would get us doughnuts to have on this day because it was the last day before Lent and we would not have sweets for the next 40 days until Easter came. This was such a treat for us because we did not get sweets often and we looked foward to this day.

I have contiuned this tradition since I moved out on my own back in the day. I would even bring my parents their favorite pastries, but now that I live in Delaware I can't do that as easily as I would like. I hope my children will contiune this with their children and so forth. It is a nice tradition to look foward to.

Enjoy your doughtnuts!!!



Sounds yummy! Always love new recipes - not that I cook very often! I love hearing about all your traditions - my family didn't have very many and I think they're so wonderful.


Thanks Sally just remember to get yourself a treat tomorrow!!


Hey so are you orginally a southern girl? Intersting about the kings cake.

Lori, Lorelei, Lore

I love King Cakes and Mardi Gras! That's one of the things I miss most about Louisiana.


Donut? Did somebody say donut?

I know I'm a day late, but I think I can still have a donut.

Your traditions are so fun to read about.


You have a blog, who knew?! I LOVE it. You are so cute, Barb! I enjoyed the story about the cake. I hope you don't mind I added you to my friends list on my blog? (I'm loving the Rod stewart too!)


I love Rod Stewart!!! I have just started this not that long ago. I LOVE IT!!!