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King Cake-#TwelveLoaves February

I’m well aware that I completely missed Mardi Gras by almost a week. I know that King Cakes are usually adorned with pretty sprinkles. I think that King Cakes should be made any time of the year because it is that good.

I am not sure why I’ve never made it before. I only recently had my first King Cake at my children’s school one year. A parent had one delivered to one of their classes from a bakery and a war ensued over who could keep the baby. Nevertheless, it was a delicious cake and I kept thinking that one day I should bake one.

Last year we came across one on Mardi Gras at Publix and picked one up. It was not that bad and my kid got a kick out of finding the baby in his slice. I promised to bake one this year. I had to keep my promise even though it was almost a week later. It was a perfect excuse to share something here for #TwelveLoaves February.
With what happened in my personal life recently, the February launch date was pushed back a little. The girls in the group were fantastic and kept the bread baking conversation going without my input.

They suggested a fun and easy share whatever bread you’d like from today until the end of February and link up! March 1st we will share our next #TwelveLoaves idea…so stay tuned!

Over 35 delicious Clean Slate January #TwelveLoaves breads that you much check out!

We would love to have you join our #TwelveLoaves group; it’s easy!
1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this February, 2013 posted on your blog by February 28, 2013.

It’s been a pleasure baking with you since I launched this Twelve Loaves this past May.
Check out what we have been busy baking!

May theme: Focaccia
June theme: Corn Rolls
July theme: Challah
August theme: Summer Fruit
September: Say CHEESE!
October: Seeds, nuts and grains
November: Autumn Fruits: Apples and Pears
December: Boozy Bread
January: Clean Slate

I've submitted this King Cake to Susan at Wild Yeast Blog .
Follow @TwelveLoaves on Twitter

See what’s freshly baked for #TwelveLoaves on our growing Pinterest board.

notes on this bread: I used this challah recipe for the dough. It’s a keeper of a recipe and the filling can be changed up to your taste. If you’re not into using booze in baking, switch it out for orange juice. You can change the walnuts to pecans. Whatever route you choose, it will be wonderful. I let the dough rise in the refrigerator for the day while we went out to meet some friends. I took the dough out and let it warm up on the counter a bit before punching it down.  As for the decorating, I didn’t have yellow, purple and green sprinkles so opted for the food coloring route. Let’s just say the kids had a blast decorating it. I wasn’t sure if I would post it because it wasn’t the prettiest glazing we’ve ever done. My daughter told me I had to because it was SO delicious and my son said, “Mommy…this is GORGEOUS!” So there you have it. Don’t worry if Mardi Gras has came and went. Make this any time and enjoy it as we did. 

King Cake


For the dough:

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (no more than 110°F [43°C])
1/3 cup sugar
4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour, or 5 1/2 to 6 cups bleached all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup peanut, corn, or canola oil
2 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup  raisins
1/4 cup rum (or whatever booze you prefer or even orange juice)
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup walnuts (or pecans) chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

confectioner’s sugar
yellow, green and purple food coloring (or colored sprinkles)

For the filling: In a small bowl, add the filling ingredients. Mix together and set aside.

For the dough: In a mixer, with a dough hook attachment, add the warm water and yeast. Mix until blended.  Add the sugar and mix about a minute. Slowly mix in 1 cup of the flour until combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time until they are combined.  Add another 2 cups of the flour, the honey, oil, and salt.  Mix together on medium-low speed stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Slowly add the rest of the flour (the remaining 4 cups) and mix until combined. Stop the machine as you add each cup of the flour to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate the flour. Mix on low speed for 12 minutes until dough is incorporated. Be sure to give your mixer a break and as you don’t want to burn it out. Add flour if needed 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough will be a little sticky but also firm.

Take dough out of mixer bowl, form into a ball and coat with a light film of canola oil.
Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil). Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours).

On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 20-by-7-inch rectangle, with the long edge facing you.

Spoon the filling in an even layer over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the top and bottom.

Fold the bottom and then the top edge over the filling to make a tight roll; pinch to seal. Transfer the roll seam-side down to a parchment-lined baking sheet; tuck one end into the other to form a ring. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the ring doubles in size, about 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cake until firm and golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Mix 3 tablespoons water with the confectioners' sugar. Separate into 3 small bowls. Add a drop of each color food coloring and stir together. Add more water or confectioner’s sugar to achieve a spreadable consistency. Spread in alternating sections over the cake.

Thank you for your comments and constant support. I haven’t had a chance to pass by those that left me a message on my last post. Please know that I find comfort in your words and love you all!


  1. I´ve never made one either. Here bakeries sell one with hard boiled eggs on top, pastry cream and coarse sugar, but no colors or filling... It looks fantastic, and I love that it´s filled!

  2. Lora...I would take part in this if not for the giant King Cake I received from Sucre in NOLA, in which I ate at least a quarter of! It was FAT Tuesday, indeed! Yours looks gorgeous! However, I will definitely try your recipe at some point since I'm already craving another one! xo

  3. I just made my first ever King Cake this year, too! I love that you used challah dough - I bet it was delicious. I'm glad to see you back - I've been thinking about you.

  4. I have never made a king cake. here in the North we don't celebrate it much. Yours look and sounds so good Lora, wish I had a slice right now.
    Thanks for sharing, it's nice to see you back

  5. it is SO good to see you back, Lora. you were definitely missed.

    I have enjoyed King Cake, but never made one myself - yours looks great, and I imagine it tastes wonderful...

  6. I love that you used challah dough, Lora! The colors are so pretty! :)

  7. Very lovely King Cake! :) Good to have you back, too. I look forward to March's theme!

  8. Your king cake is lovely! I only recently discovered King Cake myself and recently made a king cake inspired braid. I love your filling, so sweet with the rum and brown sugar and hearty with the walnuts and raisins. Yum!

  9. Lora,
    I love all the colors, gorgeous!! and you got a “Mommy…this is GORGEOUS!” from your son? Perfection! Love it! :)

  10. Lora,
    Last year was the first time made king cake and it was delish. I wasn't thrilled about the way it looked either because the blocks of color were too big - I only made one block of each. If you get a chance, have a look
    I'd love to participate in your twelve loaves linky party too.

  11. Beautiful king cake, I can't wait to try it :)

  12. This is a beautiful loaf of bread, Lora. I love the raisins and walnuts in the filling and the festive, colourful sugar glaze is lovely.

  13. I love that your children helped decorate your King Cake...making such memories for them! Your challah looks plum perfect!

  14. Hi Lora! I have tried many many king cakes, but I've never made my own. I must try! I can see how little ones and big ones would have so much fun. Thank you for sharing with me tonight. I just ate a delicious dinner and I'm already hungry again :-) I hope you are having a great start to your week!

  15. Your King cake looks so fluffy and moist! It's okay it isn't covered in sprinkles, I always found that a little strange :)

  16. Lora, this king cake is so lovely and looks perfect for any of life's little celebrations! Great recipe, thank you for sharing.

  17. I have neither tasted a king cake or made one. I suppose I should just to see what one is like. Yours looks so pretty. I'm glad you shared the recipe so I can add it to my bread bookmarks of things to try/bake.

  18. Lora, it is a beautiful cake you made! Love the color. I make very similar but savory. I should post it and link here, still have time. :)

  19. OK, now I'm tempted to try baking a King Cake. Your recipe looks tasty and straightforward... but about that purple and green frosting. I know it's traditional, but green bread?!

  20. This looks so fabulous. Really gorgeous. I've never had a King Cake, but have obviously been missing out big time. Would love to join your #TwelveLoaves group sometime. I posted something today, but didn't follow the rules. Next time I will :-)

  21. I have so been meaning to bake a King's Cake like this. I always only bake the French version which is so different (puff pastry filled with fruit compote or frangipane). And I have wanted to try your Challah recipe, too. What a gorgeous cake. I'll try and add a bread this month! xo

  22. I agree! King cakes should be baked all year long! I love them! Yours is beautiful!

  23. Beautifully done!! and yes more often would be preferable! Happy to follow!
    Mary x

  24. My friend was trying to get me to make one of these and I was too scared to attempt. Looks amazing though. Next year, maybe.

  25. What a festive cake! I've never tried a King cake before but I really like what's in it and the fun behind the tradition. :)

  26. I've always wanted to make king cake. Yours certainly looks beautiful with that swirl of filling! I love that you made it even though it was a little late - maybe I should still make one without waiting for next Mardi Gras.

  27. Great to see your King Cake- I tried my first slice last month in New Orleans and I got the baby in my piece!! I'll have to try baking one myself ;)