I know Mardi Gras is over, and it’s not really something I celebrate anyway, but Tuesday I found a recipe online for a gluten-free king cake and decided on a whim to bake it. Of course, I did have to make a few substitutions and slight changes, but I think it came out just fine.
This is one to eat the same day, as it doesn’t keep very well. I sealed it up in cling film but by the following afternoon it was pretty dried out. I’m not sure how to remedy this. Considering it’s king cake though, I suppose there’s not meant to be any left over to add temptation during lent. But I don’t do lent, and I would like to enjoy it for more than one day.
I don’t have step-by-step photos this time, mostly because my kitchen table was otherwise occupied on the day, and it was a cloudy and rainy afternoon so the light wasn’t all that great. Still, I have a photos of the yeast proofing (exciting, I know!) and the finished cake. Also, I know that the sprinkles aren’t technically Mardi Gras colors since there are a few white and pink nonpareils in there, but lacking purple, gold, and green sanding sugar, I had to improvise.
I found this recipe on the Art of Gluten-Free Baking website, and it calls for a special flour blend. I didn’t have any tapioca flour or the sweet rice flour. Since it seemed pretty similar to Flour Blend #2 from the Gluten-Free Baking book, and I had some of that already mixed, that’s what I used. Except I was short 1/2 cup, so I subbed some Flour Blend #1.
4 cups gluten-free flour mix
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt (recipe called for 2 teaspoons salt)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 extra large egg (I only had large eggs)
4 yolks from extra large eggs (I used 2 whole large eggs and 2 yolks from large eggs)
3/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375% and grease and flour a bundt or tube pan.
Dissolve the tablespoon of sugar in the warm water and add in the yeast. Set aside to proof. As promised, here are the photos. It may be necessary to transfer the yeast to a bigger bowl.
Mix flour, nutmeg, salt, and lemon zest together in a large bowl and set aside. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg(s) and egg yolks and beat until well combined.
Add the flour and warm milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with the flour, and mix after each addition until just combined. Pour in the yeast gradually so it doesn’t slosh out everywhere. Once all the yeast has been added, beat on high for a few minutes.
Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the top and let the cake rise until doubled (about an hour).
Just before baking, you’re supposed to brush the top with egg wash, but I didn’t do that. Since I used a bundt pan, the top becomes the bottom, so what’s the point? Bake for 25-35 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees.
Let cake cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack before icing. I used the simple glaze recipe, which is just powdered sugar and the juice from one lemon mixed together. You want it to be a little runny, but if it’s too thin it won’t do a good job of covering the cake and it will just make a mess. Before the icing dries, add sprinkles.
I was really happy with how this cake came out. It tastes similar to an old-fashioned coffee cake, and the texture was spot-on. It’s just a shame that it dries out so much. I’m wondering if the recipe could be halved. Since it doesn’t keep well, I think I’d rather make a smaller cake next time.