Kings Cake

Decorated in traditional Mardi Gras green and yellow, King's Cake is first served on January 6, Twelfth Night. Whoever is served the hidden pecan becomes the king or queen for the week and bakes another King's Cake. This festive ritual continues each week until Mardi Gras, the day before Lent.



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Servings: 12 to 16
Prep Time: 40 mins
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Ingredients
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    3 1/2 - 4   cups 
    all-purpose flour
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    1   package 
    active dry yeast
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    1/2  cup 
    milk
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    1/3  cup 
    sugar
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    1/4  cup 
    butter or margarine
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    1/2  teaspoon 
    salt
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    3   
    eggs
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    1/2  cup 
    diced candied citron
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    1   
    pecan half
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    1   cup 
    sifted powdered sugar
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    1/2  teaspoon 
    vanilla
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    Milk
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    Green-and yellow-colored sugar

Directions
1.
In a large mixer bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour and yeast. In a saucepan heat milk, sugar, butter or margarine, and salt until warm (115 degree F to 120 degree F) and butter or margarine is almost melted, stirring constantly.
2.
Add heated mixture to flour mixture. Add eggs, Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 1/2 minute, scraping bowl. Beat 3 minutes on high speed. Stir in citron. Using a spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
3.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total).
4.
Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl. Turn once to grease surface. Cover. Let rise in a warm place until double (1-1/2 to 2 hours). Punch dough down. Cover. Let rest 10 minutes.
5.
Press the pecan into the dough. Shape dough into a 30-inch-long roll. Join ends to form a ring about 10 inches in diameter. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost double (about 1 hour).
6.
Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. If necessary, cover loosely with foil after 20 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Cool on a rack.
7.
In a small bowl beat together powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk (1 to 2 tablespoons) to make a thin frosting. Spoon the frosting over cooled cake. Sprinkle the colored sugar in 2-inch rows, spoke fashion, alternating colors around the top of the cake. Makes 12 to 16 servings.
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 137, Fat, total (g) 3, chol. (mg) 32, sat. fat (g) 2, carb. (g) 24, fiber (g) 1, pro. (g) 3, vit. A (IU) 145.77, vit. C (mg) 0, sodium (mg) 83, calcium (mg) 10.1, iron (mg) 1.08, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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