King Cake Cupcakes
I made these King Cake Cupcakes for a friend who recently had a baby. Instead of cupcakes, they have the texture of the pastry-like New Orleans King Cake. They are similar to a light cinnamon roll. The airy dough is filled with cinnamon cream cheese and topped with a vanilla glaze.
The King Cake is a New Orleans tradition honoring the wise men meeting Jesus on the Epiphany (January 6th). The pre-Lenten season continues until Mardi Gras on the day before Ash Wednesday. The King Cake was originally a simply decorated ring of bread. It has evolved into a glazed and filled pastry topped with purple, green, and gold sugar. A small “baby” is placed inside the cake, symbolizing the infant Jesus. The person with the slice of cake containing the baby hosts the next Mardi Gras party with the next King Cake.
Purple, gold, and green are the official colors of Mardi Gras. They were chosen in 1872 by visiting Russian Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich Romanoff. They stand for justice (purple), power (gold), and faith (green).
More information on the king cake.
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 teaspoons water
In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let sit a minute before stirring. Let sit for 5-10 minutes until puffy.
In the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a dough blade, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add yeast and water, egg, egg yolk, and melted butter. Process until a smooth, slightly sticky dough forms.
Lightly grease a large bowl and add dough, turning to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, 45 minutes-1 hour.
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until elastic, about 2 minutes. Roll into a rectangle, 18 inches x 12 inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving the top inch border dry. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the brushed butter, avoiding the top inch.
Tightly roll the dough, starting with the long side with the filling, and place seam side down. Lightly pat the dough so the ends equal the middle in diameter. Trim the ends and slice the log of dough into 3/4-1 inch thick rolls.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and fill 18 cupcake tins with liners or lightly grease. Place each roll in prepared cupcake tin and let rise about 20 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.
In small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, vanilla, and water until a smooth, thick glaze forms. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cupcakes.
Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
Tara\\\\\\\'s Multicultural Table
Tagged: bread, cinnamon, cupcake, dessert, king cake, louisiana, mardi gras, new orleans