It is that time once again, Mardi Gras season. It is time to break out the beads, the gumbo and the King Cake. Every year our special friends throw a huge party to celebrate Mardi Gras. They go all out with the decorations and the food. We have been going to their party for years. The first time we attended their Mardi Gras party served a King Cake they bought from a local bakery. I love to bake and anytime I see something that is appealing, I want to bake it myself.
From that point on, I brought the King Cake every year. When I first started making King Cakes, I was vegetarian and I used an Emril Lagasse recipe. The original recipe had eggs in it.
So I have updated the recipe over the years to make it what it is today. Including making it vegan. King Cake is not very difficult to make, but it does take time. It is called cake, but it is actually bread. There is yeast in the dough and it needs to rise a couple of times so it takes approximately four hours. It is definitely worth the wait.
Vegan King Cake
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
5 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened/ Plain Coconut Milk, warm
1/2 package (8 oz.) firm tofu
1 can apple pie filling
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
Purple, green and gold sugar crystals
Combine warm water, yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside to a warm place for 10 minutes.
Combine 4 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon rind, warm almond milk, tofu and yeast mixture. Using a stand mixer, beat on low until smooth. Add more flour if necessary to get a consistency that is not overly sticky. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead enough additional flour into the dough until dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a well oiled bowl. Turn once so oiled side is on top. Cover dough and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours).
Punch the dough down and place on lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a rectangle approximately 8″X30″. Place filling along the long edge and then sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll like a jelly roll and press to seal the edge. Take each end and bring together into a circle. Join the ends by pinching and rolling. Try to get the dough into a circular shape as much as possible. Place on a buttered (using vegan margarine) baking pan. Adjust the shape if necessary to get an even circle.
At this point, if you have a plastic baby to hide place it into the dough so that it is not too close to the bottom. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. After rising, preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
For glaze, combine all ingredients. Drizzle the cake with glaze and then sprinkle with sugar.