What’s a better way to celebrate a holiday than with dessert? Part of the Mardi Gras tradition is to bake a King Cake. The sugary, doughy goodness is so delectable it’s hard to resist. However, there’s more to the cake than its ingredients, as it holds a lot of history.
The cake represents the three kings or three wise men that brought gifts to baby Jesus. To embrace this history, a plastic baby is baked inside the cake and whoever receives the piece with the baby must buy the next King Cake or throw the next party. Other traditions hold if one celebrates Mardi Gras outside of town the person who finds the baby becomes the “King” or “Queen” of the party. Either way it’s a fun tradition!
As most desserts are, King Cake isn’t the healthiest so we’ve found a vegan version of the tasty treat thanks to PETA! So, get cracking and bake up this yummy treat and enjoy Fat Tuesday!
Vegan King Cake
Makes 8-10 servings
For the Lemon Glaze:
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
Food coloring (optional)
• Combine the sugar, lemon juice, and water. Pour over the cake.
For the Cake:
½ cup soy milk
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
2 pkgs dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
Egg replacer equivalent to 3 eggs
1 tsp grated lemon rind
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
4 ½ -5 cups self-rising flour, sifted
1 lb. vegan cream cheese (try Tofutti brand)
1 tsp soy milk
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-inch baby doll, bean, or nut (optional)
• In a saucepan over high heat, combine the soy milk, sugar, salt, and shortening. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Cool to lukewarm.
• In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
• Add the soy milk mixture, egg replacer, lemon rind, nutmeg, cinnamon, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time until the dough can be shaped into a ball with your hands.
• Place in a greased bowl, turn over to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place free from drafts for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
• In a medium bowl, mix the vegan cream cheese, soy milk, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
• Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Pat out to form a large rectangle. Spread the “cream cheese” mixture lengthwise over the bottom half. Flip the top half over the filling and pinch the edges to seal. Roll with your hands into a cylinder and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Form into a ring and pinch the ends to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
• Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool. Carefully insert the baby doll into the bottom of the cake.
Note: For a traditional King Cake, make purple, green, and yellow frosting and frost the cake in stripes.