king cake // cinnamon rolls

14 Feb

So, I’ve never had an “official” king cake, but as far as I can tell from reading stuff online it’s basically cinnamon roll dough shaped in a ring, a plastic baby inside and some colored sugar on top.

Makes 4 small king cakes or 16 good-sized cinnamon rolls

4 tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup wrist-temperature water
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1 1/2 cups soymilk or almond milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
6 cups all purpose flour

2/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup Earth Balance, softened to room temp
plastic baby or dried bean for king cake

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Earth Balance
1/2 8 oz pkg Better Than Cream Cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Sugar crystals (optional, for king cake):
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided into 3 jars (about 3 Tbsp in each jar, no need to be exact)
Green, Yellow & Purple food coloring (10ish drops, until desired color)

Whisk together the yeast, sugar & water in the stand mixer mixing bowl. While the yeast is activating, melt the Earth Balance. Add the milk to the EB. Add the EB/milk, sugar & salt to the yeast mixture and whisk until combined. With the dough hook on speed 2, add in the flour about 1 cup at a time. When all the flour is incorporated, let the dough hook do it’s magic for another 3-5 minutes or so, until it’s a nice springy, uniform, ball-like mass. Cover and let sit for an hour or so, until about doubled.

Meanwhile, take the Earth Balance for the filling out and leave it on the counter to soften. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon together until uniform.

When the dough has risen, divide into two balls.

If making cinnamon rolls
Roll the first ball into a long rectangle (I roll each out to the size of my large cutting board). Spread with 1/2 the softened Earth Balance and then top it with the 1/2 the cinnamon mixture, leaving a 1/2″ margin on one long side. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll (the side with the margin will be the outside). Pinch it shut, roll it over so the pinched side is in the middle on the bottom, and slice it with a sharp knife into 8 rolls. Repeat with the second dough ball. Put the rolls in a greased pan so that they are close together but not touching. Proceed below.

If making king cakes
Divide again for a total of four balls of dough. Roll the first ball into a long rectangle. Spread with 1/4 the softened Earth Balance and then top it with the 1/4 the cinnamon mixture, leaving 1/2″ margins on both the short sides and one of the long sides. Put the bean/baby somewhere on the rectangle. Roll the dough from the long side like a jelly roll (the long side with the margin will be the outside). Pinch it to form a long log. Form the log into a ring in a round pan or on a cookie sheet, pinching the ends together. Repeat with the other dough balls (you could connect them to make one big ring). Proceed below.

Either let the buns/cakes rise 30 minutes longer or rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare frosting and sugar sprinkles, if using.

For frosting – cream together margarine, btcc vanilla and powdered sugar.
For sugar sprinkles – add food coloring into sugar, close jar, and shake until sugar is uniformly colored.

When rolls/cake have cooled some, spread with frosting. If making a king cake, decorate in stripes of gold, purple and green with the sugar crystals.

**you could use equal amounts jelly, coconut or white sugar instead of brown sugar and Better Than Cream Cheeze instead of Earth Balance for a different kind of King Cake filling. Omit the cinnamon if that is the case.


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