Monday, February 20, 2012

It's Mardi Gras!

Living in the Detroit area, we generally do not celebrate Mardi Gras.  Around these northern parts, we celebrate Fat Tuesday with a little Polish treat called a pazcki.
Photo courtesy of the City of Hamtramck Website

Paczkis are what you would typically call a jelly-filled donut, but these suckers are made with lard and deep fried to the tune of about 480 calories per luscious one.  Growing up in a Polish/Italian neighborhood, every Fat Tuesday, we would preorder and get these little gems delivered from a Hamtrack bakery to my Catholic elementary school.  I grew up loving these fattening fried pieces of dough.  Fast forward to my adult life, unfortunately, my husband and kids do not share my love for the paczki.  I have tried to sway them with different flavors of raspberry, blueberry, custard, lemon, but to no avail!  It has been years since I have had one (yes, my waistline thanks me), but I still like to celebrate Fat Tuesday because after all it is the last day to indulge before 40 days of Lenten sacrifice.

I decided this year, I was going to make an attempt at the traditional Mardi Gras King Cake to celebrate New Orleans style.   Here is how my King cake turned out....

I used this recipe from the taste of home.  It is time consuming because you do have to wait an hour on two separate occasions for the dough to rise.  It was so worth the wait.  The cake is fabulously delicious!

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe
Remember after the cake has cooled, make a slit in the bottom of the cake and hide the plastic baby.  Tradition is the person to find the baby hosts the next Mardi Gras party or bake sthe next King Cake.  We have decided that who ever finds it will have a year of good luck!


  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cans (12-1/2 ounces each) almond cake and pastry filling
  • GLAZE:
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water
  • Purple, green and gold colored sugar


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, shortening, sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll one portion into a 16-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spread almond filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet; pinch ends together to form a ring. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. For glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough water to achieve desired consistency. Spread over cooled cakes. Sprinkle with colored sugars. Yield: 2 cakes (12 servings each).

Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with Solo brand cake and pastry filling. Look for it in the baking aisle.
Nutritional Facts 1 serving (1 slice) equals 227 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 123 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.
Originally published as Mardi Gras King Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2007, p191

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