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King Cake

King Cake

From Emeril Lagasse


Instead of a coffee can to shape the cake around, a buttered mason jar can be used.

King Cake


  1. For the cake:
    1/2 cup warm water (105°-115°F)
    2 packages dry yeast
    2 teaspoons sugar
    4-5 cups flour
    1/2 cup sugar
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
    1/2 cup warm milk (105°-115°F)
    1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled
    5 egg yolks
    1/2 cup candied citron, finely chopped
    1 pecan half, uncooked dried bean, or king cake baby
  1. For the glaze:
    2 cups sifted powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons water
    Purple, green, and yellow sugar crystals


  1. Preheat the oven 350°F.
  2. Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to a warm place for about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon rind, and add warm milk, melted butter, egg yolks, and yeast mixture. Beat until smooth.
  4. Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
  5. Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Turn once so greased surface is on top.
  6. Cover the dough, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Punch the dough down, and place on a lightly floured surface.
  7. Sprinkle with the citron, and knead until the citron is evenly distributed.
  8. Shape the dough into a cylinder, about 30 inches long. Place the cylinder on a buttered baking sheet. Shape into a ring, pinching ends together to seal.
  9. Place a well-greased 2-pound coffee can or shortening can in the center of the ring to maintain shape during baking. Press the king cake baby, pecan half, or dried bean into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough. Cover the ring with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool.
  11. For the glaze: Combine the ingredients and beat until smooth.
  12. To assemble, drizzle cake with the glaze.
  13. Sprinkle with sugar crystals, alternating colors.
  14. Cut into the cake, and hope you do not get the baby.
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