Make your own king cakes with these tips.
Don’t be afraid.
If you’re not used to working with yeast, don’t worry. You can still master this recipe, says Wild Flour Bakery owner Sue Johansen. “There are three things that will cause it not to activate: too high a water temperature,” she says, “and either cinnamon or salt coming directly into contact with it.”
Get creative with the fillings.
These colorful, brioche-dough rings are topped with the royal colors of gold, green and purple. “Different countries and regions each make it a little differently,” Johansen explains. “We make ours with nuts. Traditionally down South it’s cheese and fruit. Ones in France are almond cake.”
Keep your eye on the prize.
Traditional king cakes have a trinket hidden inside, usually a baby doll, thought to represent baby Jesus, or a ring or bean to denote the king or queen of Mardi Gras. Whoever finds it has to host the party next year. “Poke it into the bottom of the cake after its baked,” Johansen says.