Ya see that little plastic baby on top of the cake? (yes, there’s one inside of the cake as well.) I bought those FOUR years ago with plans of baking a king cake but didn’t. Every year since then I pull those little plastic babies out of my blogging miscellaneous drawer thats currently overflowing with every color paper straw in existence, tie dye ice cream cones, and a massive collection of wooden utensils that have never once been used. That’s where the babies live.
This year, I promised myself that those stinkin’ babies were going to get some use :) And, here we are! SO glad that 2017 was finally the year I baked you a King Cake. AND IT’S VEGAN!!
Veganizing a King Cake was surprisingly very easy. I didn’t try anything too fancy, simply replaced the butter with Earth Balance vegan butter, the milk with almond milk, and the eggs with Bob’s Red Mill Egg replacer. Full disclosure, this is NOT a sponsored post but Bob’s Red Mill did send me the egg replacer to try. AND, it’s really pretty awesome. I can’t quite explain why or how but it seems to work a bit better than a simple chia egg (which is what I usually use). I’ve been using the one bag they sent me for what seems like forever and it’s still half full. You can find the Egg Replacer on Amazon HERE.
In case you’ve never made a King Cake, it’s basically a giant cinnamon roll that is often braided and covered in crazy amounts of sprinkles. I grew up going to Catholic Schools where Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday) and King Cakes were a regular part of Februaries. It only seemed natural that this recipe needed to exist in a vegan form on my blog.
The cake itself is easy enough to make but does require a decent bit of waiting. What I did was make the cake the evening before and then ice/ load it with the sprinkles the next morning. It worked out perfect and is ideal if you’re taking it to work or to a party!
The dough is made, kneaded, and then rested for an hour. It’s then rolled out into a rectangle and covered on one half with loads of sugar and cinnamon. Then it’s folded over, cut, braided, formed into a circle and left to rest one more time before going in the oven.
After that it’s just a matter of icing it and covering it in obnoxious amounts of green, purple, and yellow sprinkles!
OH and hey, don’t forget to hide the little plastic baby inside! Tradition has it that the person that gets the baby in their slice of cake has to bring/ buy/ make the next one!
1 cup of non dairy milk, I used plain unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) Quick Rise yeast
2 egg replacers, I used Bob's Red Milll egg replacers BUT you can also use 2 chia or flax eggs
6 tablespoons of vegan butter, softened and divided
For the filling:
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
For the Icing:
1 cup powdered sugar
1- 1 1/2 tablespoons of non dairy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, salt, and sugar. Heat over medium until the mixture just begins to bubble around the edges and the sugar is fully combined. Take off of heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer* using the paddle attachment, mix together the yeast and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Mix until just combined.
Stand mixer on low, pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
Add in the vegan egg replacers and continue to mix on low until a shaggy dough begins to form. Turn off the mixer and replace the paddle hook with the dough hook.
With the mixer back on low, slowly mix in the remaining 1 cup of flour and then slowly add in the vegan butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Leave the stand mixer running to knead for about 8 minutes on low speed. Every couple of minutes, stop the kneading, taking the dough off of the hook, reposition it, and restart the kneading on low speed. Once done kneading, the dough should be elastic and neither sticky nor wet at all. If it's a bit sticky, add just a touch more flour in. I never need to do this step but just in case.
Form the dough into a ball and place it into a large, well greased bowl and very lightly grease the top of the ball. Cover bowl and let rise in the fridge for one hour. It should about double in size.
When the dough is nearly done rising, making the filling by simple mixing together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vegan butter. Set aside until ready to use.
Once the dough is ready, roll it out into a rectangle that is roughly 20 inches x 10 inches. Spread the cinnamon filling one long half of the dough and then fold the dough over the filling (see photos above).
Cut dough into three long strips (again, see photo above) and braid the dough from one end to the other. Stretch the braid out a bit so that it is once again roughly 20 inches long. Wrap the braid into a circle and form the 2 ends together by pinching them to seal the circle. **Now is the time to hide your plastic baby if desired!
Transfer the cake to a well greased or lined baking sheet (round is ideal), cover, and let rise for one hour.
When the cake is nearly ready to be baked, pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the outside is a nice golden brown color. Let the cake cool completely (even overnight) before icing it.
To make the icing, simply whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until well combined. Pour the icing evenly over the cake using a spoon to spread it out.
Finally, if desired, sprinkle the cake with the traditional green, yellow, and purple sprinkles immediately after icing it.
ENJOY and Happy Mardi Gras!
*Can be done in a regular mixing bowl as well although it's more work.
Recipe adapted/ veganized from http://www.barbarabakes.com/mardi-gras-king-cake/