- 2 eggs yolks
- 1/2 cup warm water, 105°-110° F
- 2 1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast, rapid-rise
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 1/2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons warm milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- purple, green, and yellow sanding sugar or sugar crystals
- Scramble yolks in a small bowl and set them aside.
- Butter the sides of a large bowl and set aside.
- Stir yeast and sugar into warm water and proof for 5-10 minutes; see notes.
- Place sour cream and butter into a large microwave-safe bowl; heat them in the microwave for a few seconds at a time, stirring to mix together as the butter softens and the sour cream is warmed, do not get ingredients hot.
- Stir the vanilla into sour cream and butter, set aside.
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt into a medium-sized bowl set aside.
- Pour the yeast mixture (after it has been proofed) and the egg yolks into the sour cream mixture, stirring to combine.
- Stir the flour mixture, a small amount at a time, into the sour cream/yeast mixture until all ingredients are well incorporated; dough will be sticky.
- Remove dough onto a floured countertop and knead for 3-5 minutes incorporating the 1/4 cup of flour as you knead.
- Transfer the dough into the buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and place in a draft-free area to let rise for about an hour.
- Punch down the risen dough, place it on a floured surface, and roll into about a 12" x 20" rectangle using a floured rolling pin.
- Spread the filling evenly onto the dough, then roll up the dough tightly; starting at the long end, pinch all the seams closed with wet fingertips to help seal the edges.
- Bring ends of the roll together to form into a ring, pinching ends together trying to make an evenly seamless ring.
- Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow to rise for an hour in a draft-free place.
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Brush the risen King Cake with egg wash on all sides and bake for 20 minutes.
- Cool cake and drizzle with icing and sprinkle with colored sanding sugar or sugar crystals.
- Combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour in a small bowl mixing together with a spoon.
- Mix egg whites and milk together in a small bowl with a fork.
- Mix powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla with a spoon in a small bowl until smooth.
- Proofing the yeast in warm water means the mixture is left to sit while the yeast activates and starts to flower or bubble and grow on top of the water.
- Use softened butter and sour cream at room temperature to avoid using the microwave.
- Baking with ingredients close to the same temperature gives the best results.
- To braid the bread: After the first rise, divide the dough into 2 balls, roll each dough ball out into about a 6"x20" rectangle, spread filling, roll up, and pinch all seams closed. Pinch two of the link ends together and braid the links while pulling to lengthen them, form into a circle, then continue with the recipe for the second rise.
- Pinching the seems seals the dough, so the filling doesn't leak out.
- The recipe easily doubles for 1 large or 2 smaller king cakes.
- Divide the icing into 3 small bowls and dye the icing with purple, green, and gold food coloring to decorate the cake instead of colored sugar.
- Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Sweets
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Cajun
Keywords: king cake recipe, traditional king cake, king cake