March sure came in like a lion this weekend. Snow, sleet, frigid temps. A mountain lion would probably be more appropriate. The temperature read -6 this morning when we woke up and our old, drafty house is doing its best to keep the mountain lion on the outside. At least I got a snow day out of it.
This weather makes it hard to believe that Mardi Gras parades have been going strong all weekend long in New Orleans. I miss it. I wish I was down there right now, as I do every year at this time. Dance parties in the streets, food, drink, friends, music–what’s not to miss? (By the way, happy Lundi Gras, y’all!) So the next best thing has always been to have a king cake shipped from New Orleans and make a big pot of red beans and rice or jambalaya. Last year was my first Carnival season after having gone gluten-free, and my attempt at making a gluten-free king cake was a total, utter fail. It was such a failure that I couldn’t even bring myself to take a bite.
This weekend we had friends over to celebrate Mardi Gras (and coincidentally the 1 year anniversary of being in our house!). I was determined to make a gluten-free king cake this time that was not only edible, but tasted good.
Based on last year’s king cake fail, I decided to do a test run before actually serving it to friends. The recipe I followed this time was certainly edible, if it were 1492 and if we were sailing across the ocean with Columbus. Too dense, too dry, nothing like a king cake at all. Next.
Since my favorite way to have king cake is with cream cheese filling, I tried a stuffed gluten-free king cake recipe from the Baking Beauties and with only a few adjustments, this king cake tastes like the real deal.
Gluten-Free Stuffed King Cake
- 2 1/2 cups gluten free flour blend see note
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 Tbsp 1 packet rapid rise yeast
- 3 Tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp ground flaxseed
- 1 Tbsp hot water
- 1/4 cup dry milk powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk I used unsweetened almond milk
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- NOTE: 4 cups brown rice flour 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not flour), 2/3 cup tapioca starch. Combine in a zipper lock plastic bag, shake to mix.
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- Egg wash
- 1 egg white
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tbsp milk I used almond, until you get desired consistency
- purple yellow, and green sugar sprinkles or food coloring
- Mix all dry ingredients until combined. Set aside.
- In a glass measuring cup, add water and butter and microwave until just melted. In small bowl combine ground flax seed and hot water.
- Stir in wet ingredients and flax seed mixture with the dry.
- Slighty dampen your counter top and put down a piece of plastic wrap so that it covers an area bigger than 8"x16". To avoid sticky dough, spray some oil onto the plastic wrap, than sprinkle with about 2 Tbsp of sugar. Lay ball of dough on plastic wrap and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Roll the dough out to approximately 10"x18". Remove the plastic wrap.
- Mix cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a medium mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
- With a spatula, spread the filling mixture evenly onto dough, leaving an inch around the edge without any filling. Evenly sprinkle pecans over filling.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set right next to your dough. Carefully along the long end, start rolling it up into a long cylinder. Using the plastic wrap, lift the roll onto your baking sheet and placing it on its side. Remove the plastic wrap and gently form the roll into a circle and pinch the ends together.
- Whisk egg wash ingredients together. Using a pastry brush, brush top of king cake. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes until nearly doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Take out of oven and let sit for 10 minutes. Using two large turners, move to cooling rack.
- Mix icing ingredients together and drizzle icing onto top of king cake. When cool, cover top of king cake in thirds with purple, yellow, and green sprinkles.