The Perfect Vegan King Cake

After a couple of years of tinkering with King Cakes and working on a good vegan recipe, I’ve finally succeeded in making one that tastes almost exactly like the ones my mother made growing up. I grew up in South Mississippi where making and eating King Cakes during Mardi Gras was just a normal thing. It wasn’t until I made one a few years ago that Brian asked, what’ s that? I guess most places outside of the Deep South aren’t too familiar with the tradition (and deliciousness) that are King Cakes. 

They are a fond memory of my childhood, as in primary school we had parties where someone brought a King Cake and then the kid who got the baby brought the King Cake for the next party, and so on! MMmmm.  My mother use to make King Cakes and sell them to friends and family during the Mardi Gras season. She was well-known in our circle for her cakes; moreover, as a nice addition, she filled them with a cream cheese and fruit filling.

I have always wanted to recreate her recipe as a vegan one that yields the same results. After testing (and tasting), many different versions of it, I have found one that I really like! Her’s did contain a container of sour cream, but I believe the use of the flax mixture and coconut oil make up for the lack of sour cream in the mix. The texture and taste are almost identical to what I remember as a child. Though the King Cake making process is very time-consuming, the result is worth every minute of prep! This recipe will make one very large or two medium-sized King Cakes – one to eat and one to share!

Vegan King Cake

Dough:

1 tsp Sugar

½ cup of warm water (110 – 115 degrees)

4 ½ tsp of Active Dry Yeast

4 tbsp ground flax + 12 tbsp water (mix together and let sit for 5 min)

½ cup of Sugar

½ cup of warm almond milk

2 tbsp Earthbalance soy butter, melted

2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp salt

2 tsp grated lemon rind

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp lemon extract

4 ½ to 5 cups of bread flour

Filling:

1 8oz. package of soy cream cheese

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 tbsp of all-purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

A drop or two of almond milk

1 14 oz can of pie filling (blueberry is my favorite to use)

Frosting:

2 cups of powdered sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp of coconut milk creamer (or almond milk)

Colored sugar crystals (you can make these with some food color drops and sugar – just mix)

Instructions

In your mixing bowl, combine sugar, warm water, and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes or so to proof (mixture will double in size).

Meanwhile, in a smaller bowl mix 4 tbsp ground flax and 12 tbsp water and let sit while yeast proofs. After yeast mixture proofs, add the flax mixture, warm almond milk, soy butter, coconut oil, nutmeg, sugar, salt, lemon rind, vanilla and lemon extracts. Mix or whisk together.

Add 3 cups of bread flour and use your mixture dough hook to begin mixing. Gradually add more bread flour until dough is correct consistency (I typically need to use all 5 cups and sometimes a little more). Knead with a dough hook or by hand for 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a large greased bowl, covered with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in size (1 ½ hours or so).

While rising, in your mixer add soy cream cheese, powdered sugar, flour, vanilla extract, and a tsp or so of almond milk. Cream together. Add more milk if you need to soften mixture a little. It should be solid, but spreadable.

After dough has risen, punch down and divide in two (or keep in one big mass if you choose to make one cake). Roll dough into a rectangle (about 16 inches long each for two, 30 inches for one) and add filling – cream cheese part first, fruit on top. Add a plastic baby, large dried bean, or almond before rolling up. Then roll up and shape the long cylinder into a circle, joining at the ends. Make sure roll is pinched so that the filling doesn’t run out.

Place cakes onto a greased cookie sheet. Recover with the towel and let rise for another 45 minutes or so. Preheat oven to 350 and bake cakes for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

While king cake is baking, make the colored sugar and frosting. When cake has cooled for 15 minutes or so, drizzle the cake with the frosting glaze and add sugar crystals right away, alternating colors.

Serving while warm is always best! This cake will keep for a few days (if it lasts that long!).

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Nutrition Information: 26 slices – per slice – 4 g Fat, 225 cals, 42 carbs, 3.5 g protein

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