Sunday, March 2, 2014

Gluten Free King Cake

Store bought or home made? - Gluten Free King Cake
Photo by J. Stahl

In honor of Karneval, I decided King Cake was in order. Tuesday the children are celebrating at Kindergarten, so my husband and I put our heads together to get this made.  For whatever reason, baking with yeast never turns out well for me. However, my husband is able to make magic happen with yeasty goods.

So our plan was that he make the dough and bake everything while I worked on the decorating aspects. We modified the Gluten-Free King Cake recipe from Celiac Family.

Here are our modifications:

  • 2 (.25 oz.) packages of active dry yeast
  • 1/2 Cup warm water (100 – 110 degrees F) 
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 Cup milk  (Alternatively, use Coconut, Rice or Soy Milk)
  • 1/4 Cup butter (Alternatively, use dairy free butter)
  • 2 eggs (can be substituted with flax-water mixture)
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2-1/2 Cups white rice flour (fine)
  • 1 Cup potato starch
  • 1/2 Cup tapioca flour
  • 2 tsp guar gum (Alternatively Xanthan Gum, or Pixie Dust)

Nut Filling:
  • 1 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter (or butter replacement)
  • 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts

  • 2 Cups powdered sugar, run in the food processor and sifted again to remove lumps
    1/4 Cup fresh orange juice
    1 tsp butter, melted and cooled (or butter replacement)
    1 tsp almond extract
    2 tsp vanilla extract
 Additionally needed:
  • three small sandwich-sized ziploc bags with 1/2 cup fine white sugar
  • purple, yellow and green Wilton icing colors
  • toothpicks and paper towels

Mix all dry ingredients together, including yeast in your mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time. Add milk once the eggs are incorporated into the dough. Add the butter immediately after. You may or may not need the water depending on your weather and altitude.

Separate your dough into two balls. Roll out the dough on a large baking sheet with baking paper. Make your filling by combining all ingredients and place carefully in the middle of the dough in a long line.  Roll the dough together very carefully and pinch the sides together. Roll again very carefully while pinching the ends together so that they are on the bottom of the dough as you put the ring together.

It will look something like this:

Yeast has risen on this King Cake - Photo by A. Stahl

When both rings are done, rise carefully in the lowest temperature in your oven for an hour and a half. Remove from oven and heat the oven to 375°F/190°C.

When the oven has reached the appropriate temperature, fill an oven safe glass dish with water and place it on the bottom rack of your oven. Place one king cake inside and bake for 20 minutes. You may need to cover it halfway through with aluminum foil. (we did!)

When it comes out of the oven, it will look like this:

King Cake, finished baking - Photo by A.Stahl

 It has cracked a little, but this is fine. The icing and the sugar will cover this and no one will notice!
 Allow the cake to cool for about an hour. Allow the other cake to bake for 20 minutes while you begin making the icing and coloring the sugar in ziplock bags.

The icing is a very thin icing. For me, it is easier to decorate once I have removed it from the kitchenaid bowl and put it into a glass to more easily manipulate while pouring over the cake. I would highly recommend placing the cake back on the parchment paper as this will get very messy!

Carefully cover each cake around the ring with icing. Don't worry about being "cheap" at first. You can always fill in later with left over icing!

To make the colored sugar, simply use a toothpick to dip into the Wilton icing colors. At this juncture, you simply mix this in the plastic baggies by hand, making sure there are no lumps of dye in the sugar, and no clumps. It's easy work and you can quickly make it happen by asking your preschooler to help mix a bag or two. (wink!)

Put your colored sugar crystals into cups and distribute evenly on both cakes. There are many ways to decorate your King Cake with sprinkles or sugar crystals.  When you are finished, it will look something like this:

King Cake - photo by J. Stahl

You can transfer the cake onto a decorative plate or cake stand once the icing has quit dripping and the sugar has settled. I would recommend asking a friend or spouse to hold the pan while you use a spatula or cake knife and server to transfer it from the pan to the plate.

Since we had two cakes, one of them is for us to have today during lunch.  Here is how the filling looks when you cut a slice out.

King Cake filling - photo by J. Stahl


Slice of King Cake - photo by J. Stahl

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