This post is for all of my fans who follow me on Facebook, who don’t live down south, but love King Cake. This recipe is easy, using:
*2 packages (each package should be for 8 servings) of refrigerated cinnamon rolls (that include the icing)
*1 cup of sugar (split into 3, giving you (3) 1/3 cup amounts)
*food coloring (red, blue, yellow, and green, and you will use all of these colors to create your own color)
*baking stone, also called a pizza stone, or another flat baking pan (baking stones are wonderful, because they cook your product evenly, and the more you use them, the more “seasoned” they become, meaning more color gets added on the stone)
*large and clean work area (I used a large cutting board and I set it up next to my pizza stone, but you can also use a clean countertop)
*possible use of non stick cooking spray (please check your labels on cinnamon rolls)
Because you are using 2 packages of cinnamon rolls, that’s actually 16 small servings, 8 medium servings, or 4 large servings of King Cake. This King Cake will come out thinner than store bought King Cakes, resulting in only an approximate 20 minute baking time on 400 degrees. I’m so happy to share this with you. The pictures I have here will be step by step. I would love for you to share your King Cake pictures with me. Have fun and good luck!!!! Here we go…..
Step 1 – Open your 2 cinnamon roll packages and do your best to make 3 piles of even, long strands with the dough.
Step 2 – You will now create longer strands (each one totalling 2 feet) from the 3 sets of dough that you just separated. Using your hand like a hook, drape one of the dough strands over your hand, and squeeze it gently to make the dough longer (almost like you are milking a cow). Gently place on your pan or baking stone, and move on to the next one. Once you are done, place all three, 2 foot strands onto your pan or baking stone. (This baking stone is not dirty, but “seasoned”. It is almost 15 years old, and the more you use it, the darker and more “seasoned” it becomes with each use).
Step 3 – Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (or the temp stated on your package, but it’s usually around 400 degrees). Place your added work space next to your baking pan or stone. I used a large cutting board, and placed it to the right of my baking pan, but you could work whichever way is comfortable for you. Place the beginning of your long strands on your stone or pan, and carefully move the remaining long pieces off of the pan. You are setting the strands up to be braided, and you need to place them in a straight line, as best as possible. Now we are going to begin making our braid by pinching all 3 strands together to “seal” the beginning of the cake.
Step 4 – Now you are going to begin braiding your strands the best that you can. The braid that I made is not perfect, but I did my best. Lol. ♡ The easiest way to do this is to overlap your strands on the left and right over the middle strand, while fixing the long strands at the end. In the 2 pictures, I overlapped them twice already. I began with the left strand, and placed it over the middle strand (remember to pick up the rest of the long strand and move it). Next, pick up the right strand, and place that over the 2 strands (so, you are going to bring it all the way over to the right, and it will now be on top of your 2 other strands). Just in case you are having a hard time, no worries, I did, too, until I got used to it, as I kept going. ♡
Step 5 – You will now use your middle strand for the first time. Once you use the middle strand, and move it, and each time you continue with your braid, after this step, you will be creating “new” middle strands, because you will be alternating your strands now. Notice what happens here: you will use your middle strand and place over your right strand. Because of what you just did, you now have a new middle strand.
Step 6 – Now, do you see where the bottom strand looks like legs that are crossed? You will use the bottom strand, that is now your middle strand, and overlap it on top of your left strand. The pattern you will start using is left middle strand over right strand, and right middle strand over left strand.
Step 7 – Here is a close up and far away picture of the braid. Your braid should be in one long strand now.
Step 8 – You will now arrange your cake in a round way, like this, or you can make it an oval shape. I posted an up close picture for you showing the beginning and end of the cake, where they meet. You will do the same at the end of the cake, as you did in the beginnning, and pinch the end together to “seal” the strands, and then join your 2 pieces to “close” your circle, or oval, of your cake. Don’t worry if it doesn’t “seal” in the best way, because you can always “cover” it with the icing and colored sugar. ♡ It is now time to place your King Cake in your preheated oven, on the middle rack, and bake for an estimated 20 minutes. Because cinnamon roll varieties vary, as well as the type of pan used, and oven temperatures, please watch your King Cake during the cooking process. You are looking for a beautiful, toasty look on top, and light toasty look on the bottom. To look at the bottom of your cake, please carefully lift the bottom of the cake with a butter knife to see the color.
Step 9 – It is now time to make your colored sugars. I used a measuring cup, that way I could mix my sugars with the food coloring and mix it with a fork. As I completed each color, I placed the colored sugar into a bowl, washed out my measuring cup and fork, dried them, and made my next color. The recipe for the colors are:
Purple- 1/3 cup white sugar mixed with 12 drops of red and 8 drops of blue
Green- 1/3 cup white sugar mixed with 25 drops of green
Yellow- 1/3 cup white sugar mixed with 25 drops of yellow
Step 10 – It is now time to check your cake and if ready, remove from oven. It is up to you if you would like to remove your cake off of the pan you baked it on, and onto a platter. I left mine on the platter so that I could show you step by step instructions. ♡ The cake is incredibly hot, and may break, which is also why I left it on the stone.
Step 11 – We are almost done. Let your cake cool for a few minutes. The next step is to spread your icing on your cake. If for some reason there is no icing in your cinnamon roll packages, then you can use confectioner’s sugar (also called powdered sugar), and follow the directions on how to make icing. Please note: only apply your icing, when you are ready to immediately after apply your colored sugar. The reason you need to do it that way is so that the colored sugar will stick to the icing for you, otherwise, if you wait too long, the top of the icing hardens, and the sugar will fall off. The icing acts like your glue.
Step 12 – We have finally arrived to the final step, and that is to put our colored sugar on top of the King Cake. Traditionally, the colors are alternated, like purple, green, and yellow, but you can decorate however you like. Well, that’s it. Congratulations! !!! You did it. Enjoy your King Cake in moderation. ♡
(To soften King Cake the next day, warm a 2 inch piece in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Let cool a few seconds before eating).