- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup butter
- ⅔ cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- ½ cup white sugar, divided
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ⅔ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup melted butter
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 plastic baby doll
Make pastry: Scald milk over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.. Stir together warm water, 1 tablespoon white sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add cooled milk mixture to yeast mixture and whisk in eggs. Stir in remaining white sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Beat flour, 1 cup at a time, into milk/egg mixture. Once dough comes together, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper
Make filling: Combine brown sugar, pecans, flour, raisins, and cinnamon in a bowl. Pour melted butter on top and mix until crumbly. Roll each piece of dough into a 10×16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle filling evenly over dough and roll up tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at a wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval-shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. 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. Bake in the preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Check often for doneness so the ring does
Make glaze: Stir together confectioners’ sugar and water in a bowl until smooth. Push doll into bottom of one warm cake. Drizzle glaze over both warm cakes.
Meaning of Baby in King Cake?
When a king cake is served at a Mardi Gras celebration, everyone wants to know who was served the slice with the baby—but what does it mean if you find one? Tradition dictates that finding the baby in your cake symbolizes luck and prosperity, and the finder becomes the “king” or “queen” of the evening.
The person who hosts the Mardi Gras party buys or makes the king cake, and since whoever finds the baby is said to be prosperous in the coming year, they take on the responsibility of providing the king cake for the next year.