Buttery soft cinnamon swirl King Cake with lemon glaze and all the sprinkles.
For the Dough
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed to about 110 degrees F
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash
For the Filling
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- big pinch of salt
For the Glaze
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- purple, green, and yellow sprinkles
- a tiny plastic baby, to sneak in the cake after it’s baked
- To make the cake, heat milk in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in the granulated sugar, yeast, and a heaping tablespoon of the flour, mixing until both the sugar and the yeast have dissolved. Let sit for 5 minutes all allow the yeast to foam.
- Once bubbles have developed on the surface of the milk and it begins to foam, whisk in the butter, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest.
- Place the flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the wet mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine with a spatula until combined. Mix the dough with the mixer and the dough hook for 5 minutes. The dough will be rather wet and sticky. That’s ok! The dough will form a smooth but loose ball. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to ensure that no flour pockets remain
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside in a draft-free place to let it proof, or rise, for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in volume.
- While the dough rises, combine the filling by mixing all ingredients into a smooth paste.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. One at a time, roll each piece of dough to about 24-26 inches long. The width will be about 6 to 8 inches.
- Spread with half of the buttery filling mixture and roll (cinnamon roll style) starting from the long end of the dough.
- Repeat with the second piece of dough. You’ll have two rolled ropes of dough. Press and roll each dough out another 2-inches or so to even the thickness of the strands.
- Line the ropes of dough up and twist together starting from the center. Bring the edges around and seal into a circle.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the circular cake on the baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Brush cake lightly wish egg wash. Place in the oven for 30-37 minutes to bake until bubbling and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before glazing.
- In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, milk, lemon, and vanilla extract. The glaze should be thick but still pourable.
- Spread glaze over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with purple yellow and green sprinkles. Lift a corner of the cake and tuck the baby up inside for someone to find! Serve in big wedges with hot coffee. Happy Mardi Gras!
- Serving Size: 10