Hello sweet friends!
This week marks the meat of Mardi Gras – the real good stuff. Parades every night. Long lunches that somehow turn into dinner. Parking strategies. Late night snack strategies. Comfy sparkle shoes to walk from one side of town to the other. Friends that leave their houses open for long parade nights. Jambalaya in a crock pot. King cake truly everywhere we go.
Mardi Gras is a game of strategy to maximize the absolute best time. Strategy and a week long trust fall into the arms of New Orleans herself.
We’re living in excess. We’ll gather our senses come next Wednesday exactly.
Until then – one more King Cake recipe to cement this fine season, shall we?
This cake is part pull-apart bread, part biscuit- all baked in a loaf pan and peeled apart to eat.
Here’s what you’ll need for this biscuit-cake magic-meld:
• flour, sugar, salt and leavening whisked together to fluffy.
• plenty of cold and unsalted butter for inside the biscuits.
• an egg and buttermilk to bind the biscuit dough.
• cinnamon and sugar for inside the cake, plus melted butter of course.
• powdered sugar and cream to make a quick glaze and sprinkles + a feve to make this cake a king.
Start by making biscuits.
Work cold butter into the dry ingredients, quickly breaking the butter into small bits the size of small peas and oat flakes.
Whisk an egg into the buttermilk and add the wet ingredients to the buttered flour all at once.
Toss the dry ingredients into the wet. We’ll create a shaggy dough.
Turn the dough out on the bowl onto a lightly floured counter and work the dough into a rough disk.
It’s a big boy of dough.
I find it easiest to wrap the dough in waxed paper and refrigerate it for at least an hour before rolling thin to slice into little sheets.
Roll the chilled biscuit dough into a rectangle about 13×14-inches. The edges may be a bit shaggy, that’s alright – it will all bake well together.
The thickness of the dough will be just under 1/2-inch.
Slice the dough into rectangles about 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 -inches in shape. I cut the dough 5×4, 20 pieces total.
Brush generously with melted butter.
Toss together an ample amount of cinnamon sugar and dust the buttered dough such that the sugar is thick enough to sit on the dough without being absorbed into the butter. Lots is plenty.
Stack the dough pieces into 4 piles of 5.
Carefully add each packet into the heavily parchmented pan.
You won’t have to shove the dough in, there will be plenty of room. Place the dough slices so they all touch one another, but fold and slouch a bit to fill the pan edge to edge.
Chill the dough while the oven heats.
I think this cake is best served just warm so I bake this cake shortly before I serve it. The cake can hang in the fridge for an hour before baking.
Bake to golden and bubbling.
The dough will bake to fill the space of the pan.
Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes then lift out of the pan and drizzle with a thick powdered sugar glaze.
Sprinkle with color and top with a baby or feve of some sort.
Peel, slice by slice and enjoy! It makes sense to serve with coffee before hitting these carnival streets.
Photos with my dear Jon Melendez.Print
Pull-Apart Biscuit King Cake
This cake is cinnamon sugar biscuit slices, baked to golden, made Mardi Gras festive and served warm.
I find this cake is best served the day it is made. Feel free to make the dough and assemble the cake in the loaf pan up to 12 hours before baking. Preheat the oven and bake from chilled (if the cake has been refrigerated it may need a few extra minutes in the oven). Drizzle with glaze and sanding sugar and serve just warm.
- Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
For the Biscuit Dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
For the Filling:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
For the Topping:
- yellow, green, and purple sanding sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar mixed with a few teaspoons of milk or water for glaze
- In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using your fingers, quickly work the butter into the dry ingredients until some bits of butter are the size of oat flakes, some the size of small peas. Chunks of cold butter is what we want in our dough.
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine egg and buttermilk and beat lightly with a fork.
- Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg mixture all at once. Stir into a shaggy mixture. The dough will be moist, but not overly wet.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and use a floured rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a into a 1-inch thick oval. At the short end of the dough closest to you, fold the dough over until the edge of the dough meets the center of the dough. Fold the top edge of the dough towards the center over the first fold. Gently roll the dough into a 1-inch oval and wrap the dough in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the loaf pan lengthwise and heightwise, leaving a few inches of paper overhang in order to easily pull the baked cake from the pan.
- On a lightly floured counter, roll biscuit dough to just under 1/2-inch thick rectangle. The dough will be about 13×14-inches in shape. Lightly trim the ragged edges but don’t worry too much, the edges don’t have to be perfectly smooth. Slice the dough into approximately 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 – inch rectangles.
- Brush the dough with melted butter. In a small bowl mix together sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture generously across every bit of the biscuit dough. Stack four or five dough pieces atop one another. Stack all of the dough in little packs. Gently place the packs of dough, long side down in the prepared pan. No need to press the dough together. It should ruffle in the pan a little and will bake together and rise slightly in the oven.
- Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Allow the dough to chill in the refrigerator while the oven preheats. The cake can chill in the refrigerator up to an hour before baking.
- Bake for 18-25 minutes or until golden brown on top and bubbling. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 20 minutes before drizzling with glaze and topping with the colorful sugar. Serve slightly warm. This cake is best the day it’s made.
- Serving Size: 6