Thursday, February 11, 2016

King Cake Fakes

Classic King Cake from New Orleans

We eat King Cake during Festival season. Festival begins on 12th Night (January 6th), aka Epiphany. The word Epiphany comes from the Greek word meaning "to show." Jesus first showed himself to the 3 Wisemen and to the world on this day. As a symbol of this holy day, a tiny plastic baby Jesus is placed inside each King Cake.
At the King Cake / Festival party, the King Cake is sliced and served. Each person looks to see if their piece of cake contains the baby. If so, then that person is named King for the day and should host the next party and provide the King Cake.
I'm not Catholic, but I like the culinary customs of everyone's holidays, especially when cake is involved!
A King Cake is usually made from thin layers of pastry, a cinnamon, sugared sweet bread, kind of like a cross between a brioche, a coffee cake and a doughnut. Many times a King Cake will have a cream cheese filling or any other sweet filling in addition to the cinnamon. The King Cake is decorated in three colors of sugar: Purple represents justice; green represents faith and gold represents power.

Chuck Taggart's mail order King Cake from Haydel's Bakery, 2008

I've been known to order a King Cake from a few different bakeries in New Orleans, Haydell's, Randazzo's, etc. There are some bakeries here in Los Angeles that make King Cake, but they are few and far between. Really, King Cake is just a fancy, decorated coffee cake.

Ellen's Monkey Bread King Cake, 2012

Who wants to make a yeast dough? Certainly not me! I'm always trying to figure out a way to make a King Cake Fake. There are recipes using refrigerated cinnamon bun dough, Bridgeford Monkey Bread Dough, and more. I've tried them all! One year I bought a couple of Entemann's coffee cakes and just iced and decorated them with colorful sugar!

Ellen's Entemann's King Cake, 2010

This year I tried the Pillsbury cinnamon bun dough method.  It looks OK, but I'm not sure how it tastes. I'll find out tonight when I serve it at the WeHo SnB Valentine's Swap Party! #guineapigs 

Pillsbury Cinnamon Bun King Cake

I came across a few other photos online for King Cake Fakes. Here's a plain old bundt pound cake, decorated in Mardi Gras style!
Pound Cake King Cake. So Festive!
This is my favorite! These are cupcakes...any flavor, topped with a vanilla wafer that's decorated like a mini-King Cake. Each cupcake has it's own baby! This means EVERYONE has to bring a King Cake to the next party. BRILLIANT! I'm doing this next year!

Cupcake decorated with Vanilla Wafer mini-King Cake!

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