I have had a huge craving for a New Orleans tradition this time of year and that’s King Cake! I just moved to the Chicago area from Louisiana last June and for the most part, there is nothing to complain about— except the fact that there is no Mardi Gras.
So Saturday night I put on my chef hat and got to baking a 100% vegan and 100% delicious King Cake.
New Orleans King Cake (yields two cakes)
1 cup vanilla soymilk
2 tablespoons butter (earth balance)
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 (.25 oz) packages of active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon ener-g egg replacer
3 tablespoons warm water
2 tsp canola oil
1 + 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of nutmeg (freshly ground is always best)
4 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans (opt.)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon warm water
sprinkles of colored sprinkles (opt.)
1) Bring soy milk just barely to a boil and then stir in the applesauce and butter (for the pastry). In a large bowl, dissolve the packets of yeast in the warm water and add in a tablespoon of sugar from the 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk. Let stand for ten minutes until frothy and creamy.
2) While the yeast is doing it’s thing, make an egg! Mix the tablespoon of egg replacer with the 3 tablespoons of warm water and 2 tsp of canola oil. Mix well.
3) Once the yeast mixture is bubbling, stir in the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the egg you made earlier and stir in the remaining nutmeg, white sugar, and salt. Beat the flour into this mixture one cup at a time, electric hand mixers or a kitchen-aid machine is very helpful with this process. Once the dough is pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic for 5-10 minutes.
4) Lightly oil a big bowl and place the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight for 12-16 hours.
5) Good morning! So now we are going to get the dough out the fridge and let it return to room temperature while we make the filling. To make the filling, just stir together the brown sugar, flour, pecans, and cinnamon and then stir in the applesauce until the mixture is gooey and a dark brown color.
6) Once the filling is prepped and the dough is room temperature, take the plastic wrap off and punch down the dough. Then divide it in two.
7) Preheat the oven to 375℉ and line two lightly oiled cookie sheets with parchment paper.
8) Roll the dough into large rectangles (10x12 inches or so) and spread the filling evenly. Roll up each half tight like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a cookie sheet. With scissors, make cuts 1/4 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Place damp paper towels over the rings and let them rise for about an hour.
9) We’re almost ready to eat! Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. While the cakes are baking, whisk the powdered sugar with the water until a glaze is formed. Add more water as needed. Once the cakes are done, place them on parchment paper or a wire rack and pour the glaze over them whilst warm. Let the glaze cool for a couple minutes and then go crazy with some mardi gras colored sprinkles! The purple stands for justice, the green stands for faith, and the gold stands for power.
LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER! ⚜