Rheinlander Bakery’s King Cake

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 12 servings
  • Prep 15 mins
  • Cook 45 mins

Between the brilliant colors and the hunt for the hidden trinket, it's easy to forget how delicious this cinnamon-swirled buttery cake is.

Ingredients

Cake:
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 package (.25-ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
1/8 teaspoon mace
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs,beaten
1 Plastic trinket
Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
Glaze and Sugars:
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 tablespoon Water
Green, gold and purple sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan until it steams; remove from heat. Add sugar, salt and butter, stirring until butter is melted. Let cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Stir to dissolve and let stand until frothy. Add milk mixture to yeast mixture.
  2. Combine mace, cardamom and flour.
  3. Add eggs and 1 1/2 cups flour mixture to milk mixture; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add remaining flour mixture. Stir until dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 4 minutes, until a small piece of dough stretches, without tearing, to form a thin windowpane. If it tears, the gluten has not developed; continue kneading. Place dough in an oiled bowl. Loosely cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour in a warm room. Punch dough down, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. To prepare filling, combine sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Roll dough into a 6 x 24-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough and sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Fold dough over the filling and roll up tightly, forming a long rope and leaving seam side down. Form roll into a circle, placing one end inside the other to hide the seam; pinch to seal. Place on a baking sheet and let rise, loosely covered with a cloth or plastic wrap, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F.
  8. Bake cake 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. When cake has cooled, make a slit in the bottom and insert trinket, so it does not show.
  9. To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar and extracts. Drizzle in enough water, while whisking, to make a thin icing. Spoon icing over cake. Decorate cake with alternating bands of purple, green and gold sugars.

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