Celebrate Mardi Gras with this Mini King Cake recipe. A perfectly sweet, festive, tender and delicious king cake drizzled with icing and topped with colored sugar. Easy to make and the perfect size for serving one or two people.
King Cakes and Mardi Gras go hand in hand – you just don’t have one without the other.
As you might know, I grew up in New Orleans and around this time every year, I get an intense longing to go back.
It’s Mardi Gras season and if you’ve never celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you simply must put it on your travel bucket list. There’s just no other party like it anywhere.
If you aren’t planning a trip any time soon, be sure to put this festive Mini King Cake on your menu so that you can bring a part of the celebration into your own home.
What Is A King Cake
A King Cake is a round cake associated with Mardi Gras and is rich in history and rooted in tradition.
King Cakes are typically enjoyed during the Carnival season which always begins on January 6, which is the Feast of the Epiphany and also known as Twelfth Night.
Originally, King Cakes were more similar to bread dough and they weren’t nearly as sweet as they are today.
In the 1980’s bakers began to fill the King Cakes with fillings such as cream cheese, fruit fillings and pastry fillings. But many people still enjoy the traditional unfilled King Cake which is always topped with purple, green, and gold or yellow colored sugar.
Mini King Cake
I’ve been making King Cakes for years but this year I decided to make a small King Cake that would serve just a few people instead of the typical eight to ten.
If you would like to make a large King Cake, be sure to check out my other King Cake recipe.
When I began to work on scaling down the ingredients for this small King Cake, I ran into a little trouble. Scaling down recipes isn’t easy, especially with baked goods. I wanted to create a wonderful tasting King Cake and I wanted it to be easy for you to make. I also wanted to make sure the ingredients were easily accessible and could be made in a short amount of time.
Because of these reasons, this mini King Cake is different than my original but believe me, it’s every bit as tasty.
The dough is more like a scone or a crumb coffee cake than a soft pastry. It’s got a nice cinnamon flavor and is only slightly sweet as a scone might be.
When working on this recipe, I envisioned this King Cake being enjoyed with coffee or tea either in the morning or as an afternoon treat.
How To Make A King Cake
The ingredients needed to make a Mini King Care are:
- baking powder
- baking soda
- ground cinnamon
- cold butter
- egg yolk
- orange juice
- orange zest
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon.
Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, milk, orange juice, and orange zest.
Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Knead very lightly and form a circle. (Add a little more flour to the dough if the dough becomes too sticky to handle).
Roll the dough out so that it forms one long piece of dough.
Shape the dough into a circle and gently press the edges of the circle together.
Place the dough on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
After the King Cake has cooled, make the icing and drizzle it over the top.
You can use colored sugar in the traditional Mardi Gras colors or choose different colors for different holidays or events. Maybe red or pink for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day, or even a combination of red and green for Christmas.
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King Cake Recipe
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup cold butter (4 tablespoons)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
FOR THE GLAZE
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons milk or cream
FOR THE COLORED SUGAR
- 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1-2 drops purple, green, and yellow food coloring
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C)
- Line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, salt, and baking soda
- Using a pastry blender or your hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, milk, orange juice, and orange zest. Pour into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead very lightly and form a circle. (Add a little more flour to the dough if the dough becomes too sticky to handle)
- Roll the dough out so that it forms one long piece of dough.
- Shape the dough into a circle and gently press the edges of the circle together.
- Place the dough on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden.
TO MAKE THE GLAZE
- In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar and the milk.Drizzle over the top of the cooled King Cake.
TO MAKE THE COLORED SUGAR
- Place 1 tablespoon of the sugar into three small bowls. Add in 1 to 2 drops of the food coloring in each bowl. Make a separate bowl for the purple, the green, and the gold sugars.Spoon a little of each of the the colored sugars over the icing.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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