Mardi Gras King Cakes

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History behind the King Cake…

As part of the Christian faith, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. This is referred to as the Feast of the Epiphany or Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night. This is a time of celebration, exchanging gifts and feasting. Today, the tradition continues as people all over the world gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. A popular custom was and still is the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings called “A King’s Cake.”

Inside every cake is a tiny baby (generally plastic now, but sometimes this baby might be made of porcelain or even gold). The tradition of having King Cake Parties has evolved through time, and the person who receives the slice of cake with the baby is asked to continue the festivities by hosting the next King Cake party.

Originally, King Cakes were a simple ring of dough with a small amount of decoration. Today’s King Cakes are much more festive. After the rich Danish dough is braided and baked, the “baby” is inserted. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with delicious sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.

In more recent years, some bakeries have been creative with stuffing and topping their cakes with different flavors of cream cheese and fruit fillings.

January 6, the Twelfth Night after Christmas, is also the day our Mardi Gras season begins. Mardi Gras Day is always 47 days prior to Easter Sunday (Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday).

Soooooo…. In anticipation of the Mardi Gras spirit, you can follow this delicious recipe & make your own KING CAKES for your next Mardi Gras celebration!!

Here’s what you will need:
PASTRY:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • FILLING:
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • FROSTING:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Directions

    1. Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
    2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
    3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
    4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
    5. To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
    6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10×16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. When both are rolled, twist the rolls together and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet, form into a circle, and seal the edges together. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

    Twist the 2 parts together

    Join ends of twisted dough

    7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. Add pruple, green, and yellow sugar crystals to garnish~

    Bake for 30 minutes

    Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

    ~Let the Good Times Roll~

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    New Year’s Cupcake Idea: Champagne Cupcakes

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    Looking for a sweet treat to help you ring in the New Year? Champagne goes with everything, so why not try Champagne Cupcakes?!?  No need to break the bank buying Cristal for this fun recipe, a good ole bottle of Andre will do the trick!  As an added bonus, you could always use the rest for one of my faves…. MIMOSAS!

    Here’s a fairly simple recipe you can try to kick off the festivities:

    Champagne Cupcakes

    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

    3 tsp. baking powder

    1 tsp. salt

    2/3 cup butter

    1 1/2 cups white sugar

    3/4 cup champagne (the sweeter the better – even strawberry would be great!!)

    6 egg whites

     

    Champagne Buttercream

     3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (more or less to taste)

    1 cup butter, at room temperature

    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    3 tablespoons champagne, at room temperature

    3-4 drops of red food coloring (also optional)

    Lets Start Baking~

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  Prepare a cupcake pan with liners. 

    In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together, and then blend into creamed mixture alternately with champagne.

    In another large clean bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into batter to lighten it, then fold in remaining egg whites.  Fill the cupcake liners about 2/3 full.

    Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

    Let’s Start Frosting~

    With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter. Mix on low until well blended, and then on medium for another two minutes.  Add vanilla and champagne, beating on medium for another minute. You may need to add a little more sugar or liquid depending on how thick or thin you want your frosting.

    Decorate & Enjoy!

    Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

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    Happy October Cupcake Lovers!  As you all may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  What better way to celebrate such an amazing cause than with pink cupcakes!  This month I will be baking my own creation of strawberry berry goodness cupcakes in the local Memphis area  and all proceeds will go to the Susan B. Komen Foundation, the worlds largest network of breast cancer suvivors & activists, fighting to save lives.  The only thing better than baking cupcakes is baking cupcakes with a cause.

    This is one of my favorite strawberry cupcake recipies.  Super moist & amazingly delicious.  Enjoy!

     

    Strawberry Cupcakes (makes 18 cupcakes):
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    3 egg whites
    2 teaspoon strawberry extract
    1 cups pureed fresh strawberries
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1 1/2 cups cake flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting:
    1/4 cup butter-softened
    1 8oz package cream cheese-softened
    2 teaspoon strawberry extract
    6 cups confectioners’ sugar (sifted)
    Pink Food Coloring

    Directions :

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    • In a large mixing bowl,beat sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg whites one at a time,beating well after each addition.
    • Stir in strawberry extract,pureed strawberries,and sour cream.
    • In a medium mixing bowl,sift together flour,baking powder,soda,and salt.
    • Gradually add to butter mixture,beating until combined.
    • Pour batter evenly into prepared cupcake pans.
    • Bake for 15-20minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    • Let cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove onto wire rack.
    • Cool completely before frosting

    Frosting:

    • In a large bowl,beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
    • Add strawberry extract beating until combined.
    • Add food coloring until desired color is reached
    • Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth

    Garnish cupcakes with fresh strawberries after frosting & Enjoy!~

     

    ~Peace.Love.Cupcakes.

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    Welcome to She Makes Cupcakes! I am excited about my new blog and everything I have in store for you. Feel free to share all experiences related to cupcakes. Here you will find recipies, photos, decorating tips and reviews on everything related to cupcakes. Oh, and if you want to see anything else featured on your new favorite blog… just ask!

    ~Peace.Love.Cupcakes.