Mardi Gras King Cake RECIPE!

a tri-colored sweet!

1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 egg (reserve the other half for the dough)
¼ tsp. vanilla extract

Cinnamon Filling:

2 ½ cups bread flour
¾ tsp. yeast, instant or rapid rise
3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. sugar 
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup butter
1 ½ eggs
½ tsp. honey
2/3 cup milk   

Dough:

2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Icing and Cake Decorating:

1. Melt the butter.

2. Pour the melted butter into a bowl and mix with the brown sugar until well combined. 

3. Add the flour, cinnamon, and honey. Mix well.

4. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well.

5. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Next, it's time to make your king cake dough.

1. Place all dough ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure butter is soft.

2. Mix ingredients on low speed using a stand mixer for 4 minutes until well combined. If you don't have a mixer, that's also fine; you'll just need more elbow grease.

3. Next, mix ingredients on medium speed for approximately 6 minutes. To check if the dough is ready, tear off a small piece.

4.You should be able to stretch it thin enough to see light coming through without the dough tearing.

5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dishtowel and set aside for 30 minutes to begin proofing the dough.

6. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll into a rectangle with 1 inch thickness.

7. Move the dough to a tray or baking sheet and cover it with plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator overnight to continue proofing.

 8. When you are ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for 30 minutes.

9. Roll the dough into a rectangle (approximately 20 x 8 inches).

10. Spread the cinnamon filling on the rectangle and fold in half lengthwise. Your folded dough should be approximately 20 x 4 inches.

11. Cut the dough into 3 even strips lengthwise.
 Stretch the strips to 24 inches each. Braid the 3 pieces, then shape into a circle or oval.

12. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the unbaked cake on it.

3. Cover and set aside in a warm place for approximately 1.5 hours, or until it's nearly double its size

14. Bake at 325°F until golden brown or until the cake is at an internal temperature of 190°F. 

15. This will be approximately 12 to 15 minutes in a convection oven or approximately 20 minutes in a regular oven.

Finally, everyone's favorite part – decorating!

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