Best Regard Bakery and Café owner Robert Duensing’s small-batch King Cake recipe is perfect for a couple or small family. You are able to use any stand mixer, with regular paddle. No dough hook is needed. He created a soft, wet dough to avoid stressing out your mixer.
Best Regards Mardi Gras King Cake
Makes 4 buns
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon yeast
¼ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
¼ cup buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, plus ½ cup reserved
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ stick (4 tablespoons) melted butter
2-3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Splash of vanilla extract
Green, yellow and purple sanding sugar
For the dough: Place eggs in a bowl of warm water. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together sugar, salt and yeast. Remove eggs from water and crack into the bowl. Warm butter and buttermilk in the microwave on LOW power 30 seconds. Whisk melted butter mixture into the sugar mixture until well incorporated.
In a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment gradually add 1 cup flour on medium speed for 1-3 minutes, or until the dough forms “strings.” Reduce the mixer to low speed and add the remaining ½ cup flour until the dough thickens. Return dough to a clean bowl; cover dough with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot free from drafts for 1-2 hours. The until the dough will double in size.
For the schmeer: In a small mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and butter; set aside.
For assembly: Spray a rimmed cooked sheet with vegetable spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Roll the dough to approximately 12 x 6 inches. Apply the schmeer evenly, leaving 1 inch along the 12-inch front and 1 inch at the far left. (If you really like cinnamon, you can sprinkle a bit more of the cinnamon on the schmeer before rolling the dough.)
Dampen the two strips without the schmeer by dipping your fingers into water and, brushing with your fingertips, gently roll the dough towards you. The damp dough along the front will seal by itself. Gently lift the roll and stretch slightly so that it is about 15-18 inches long.
Keeping the long seal on the bottom, place the oval on prepared cookie sheet. Pinch off the right side and taper slightly and place that inside the open, left end (has no schmeer). Lightly pinch the two doughs together.
Place in a warm place to rise slightly. This should only take 20-30 minutes. Avoid a draft as you don't want a skin to form on the dough.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Allow cake to cool completely before icing.
For the icing: In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk and a vanilla using a whisk; add more sugar, if necessary, to create an icing that coats but doesn’t run off the cake. Sprinkle a random pattern of green, yellow and purple sanding sugar. If you are going to follow the NOLA tradition of including a plastic baby, be sure to hide it before you cover with icing!
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