I LOVE king cake and it has become one of my kids favorite treats as well. I went out searching for a clean King Cake recipe and I couldn’t really find one so I adapted a recipe from my grandmother and made it cleaner. It still has butter and sugar but it is less fattening than the original recipe.
Using Coconut Flour can be tricky and it takes practice but generally if it seems a little thick you need to add more liquid as coconut flour absorbs liquid much faster than wheat flour.
What you Need:
¼ cup warm water (110 F)
2 Tbs. granulated honey
2 ¼ tsp. (1 packet) highly active, fast rise yeast
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup butter (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
3 Tbs. granulated honey
¼ cup warm milk (dairy or non-dairy)
14 large eggs (crazy I know but the coconut flour will absorb it)
3 cups Coconut Flour
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
½ tsp. salt (¼ tsp. salt if using non-dairy alternative)
2 Tbs. milk (dairy or non-dairy) for brushing on pastry before baking
(If you use a Wheat Flour use 3 cups flour and 2 eggs)
2 Tbs. butter or non-dairy alternative (e.g. Earth Balance® Buttery Sticks)
2 Tbs Applesauce
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup coconut Flour
1 apple, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Gluten-Free Icing Ingredients:
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1-2 Tbs. milk (dairy or non-dairy)
¼ tsp. almond extract (optional)
Colored sugar (purple, gold and green)
What to Do:
Prepare the filling by melting the 2 tablespoons butter and setting aside. In a separate bowl, toss the chopped apples with the Coconut Flour. Whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon; stir the floured apples in with the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
In a small bowl, combine the warm water, 1 tablespoon honey and yeast; stir and set aside to proof. If the mixture is not bubbly and doubled in volume after 5-10 minutes, toss out and start again with fresh yeast.
In a large mixing bowl, blend the remaining 3 tablespoons honey and butter until lighter and fluffy. Add the milk and eggs and beat until well-integrated. Add 2 cups of Coconut Flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg and mix well. Stir in the proofed yeast-sugar-water mixture, then add the remaining 1 cup Coconut Flour. Beat another 1-2 minutes, until the dough is clumping together and is not too sticky.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the dough on a pastry mat or a clean counter dusted lightly with Coconut (almond or oat) flour. Roll the dough out to an elongated rectangle (24-30 inches long by 9-10 inches wide). Brush on the melted butter & applesauce for the topping, coating the entire rectangle. Sprinkle the topping mixture on top of the melted butter, spreading to the ends of the rectangle, but leaving 1/2-1 inch without topping on each of the long sides of the rectangle.
Peel up one of the long sides of the rectangle and begin rolling it as you would a jelly roll. Pull the two ends of the roll together to form a circle or oval. Dabbing the ends of the pastry with water, join the ends together to close the circle. Transfer the ring to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the milk on top. make a cut in the top of the pastry every 2 inches to expose one layer of the roll. Spray a sheet of wax paper with cooking oil, then cover the cake and let rise in a warm spot for 20-30 minutes like a warming drawer or an oven heated to 200 F then turned off.
Preheat oven to 350 F
Remove the wax paper from the cake and bake for 20-25 minutes. While cooling, mix icing ingredients and drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle colored sugar on top of wet icing, alternating colors between each cut in the top of the cake. Insert a small baby into the underside of the cake to hide it.