Photo of King cake by WW

King cake

8
8
8
SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
3 hr 55 min
Prep
3 hr 20 min
Cook
35 min
Serves
24
Difficulty
Difficult
This dessert is a staple of Mardi Gras celebrations, with its signature green, yellow, and purple stripes of sugar on top. This cake has a surprise baked inside: a tiny plastic baby doll. If you find it in your slice, you have the honor of bringing a king cake to next year’s Mardi Gras gatherings. The cinnamon and brown sugar filling with raisins and pecans is delicious, but these cakes can be stuffed with a variety of fillings, from cream cheese mixtures to fruit fillings. When making the dough, you’ll want to test the temperature of the water with a thermometer. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. If it’s too cold, the yeast won’t be activated. With either, the cake won’t rise properly.

Ingredients

Fat free skim milk

1 cup(s)

Reduced-calorie margarine

4 Tbsp

Yeast

½ oz, use two 1/4 oz packets

Water

cup(s), warm (about 110°F)

Sugar

½ cup(s), granulated, divided

Regular liquid egg substitute

½ cup(s)

Table salt

1 tsp

Ground nutmeg

1 tsp

All-purpose flour

5 cup(s), or as little as 4 cups (see instructions)

Cooking spray

2 spray(s)

Packed light brown sugar

½ cup(s)

Raisins

½ cup(s)

Unsalted pecan halves

½ cup(s), chopped, chopped (or walnuts)

Ground cinnamon

1½ tsp

Reduced-calorie margarine

1 Tbsp, melted

Powdered sugar (confectioner's)

1 cup(s)

Water

3 Tbsp

Sugar

3 Tbsp, granulated (use 1 tbsp each purple, green and gold decorating sugar)

Instructions

  1. To make dough, combine milk and 4 tablespoons of margarine in a small saucepan; set pan over medium-low heat. Heat mixture until tiny bubbles appear around edges of pan. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, 2/3 cup of warm water and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar; let stand 5 minutes. Beat in egg substitute. Beat in cooled milk mixture. Beat in remaining granulated sugar, salt and nutmeg.
  3. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix until blended and no longer sticky (this will take 4 to 5 cups). Using dough hook attachment on your mixer, or your hands, knead dough until smooth and elastic (about 2 minutes with dough hook and 8 minutes by hand). Shape dough into a ball.
  4. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Add dough and turn to coat all sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  5. When dough has risen, punch dough down with your fists to let air out. Roll into a large rectangle, about 14 X 18 inches; set aside.
  6. To make filling, combine brown sugar, raisins, nuts, cinnamon and melted margarine in a bowl; combine until mixture is crumbly.
  7. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough, to within 1/4-inch of edges of rectangle.
  8. Starting from wider side of rectangle, roll dough up tightly, like a jelly roll. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval-shaped ring.
  9. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place dough ring on baking sheet and pinch ends together to form a seal.
  10. Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  12. Using a serrated knife, cut slits 1/3 of way through dough all around ring, 1 inch apart, to let steam vent. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and insert plastic baby doll into bottom of cake so it is completely hidden. (You can substitute a whole pecan or walnut for the doll.)
  13. To make frosting, combine powdered sugar and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.
  14. While cake is still warm, spread frosting over top and sides. Sprinkle colored sugar over cake, alternating colors. Cut into 24 pieces and serve. (Note: Our lightened up King Cake contains only a small amount of fat so it dries out quickly. For the best results, prepare the cake the day you plan to serve it.)