Vegan King Cake Recipe
I’ve always been a huge fan of Mardi Gras. Even when I was a kid, I loved the bright colors and care-free atmosphere that comes with the time of year around Mardi Gras. Also, my mom is a tremendously talented cook so we always had red beans and rice and king cake to look forward to as well. I’ve been out of the house for nearly 8 years now and she still made a king cake just for me last year!
So with my new-found confidence in the kitchen (re: my vegan French bread), I was determined to make a king cake that was not only vegan, but a little bit healthier than the classic one. One awesome thing about king cake is that even though Mardi Gras is past now, you can use this recipe to make cinnamon rolls or jelly rolls with just a few alterations. (Sorry for the crappy instagram photo).
This recipe has a lot of rise time, but not a lot of actual time is needed in the kitchen. Also, after the dough has been filled and rolled, you could put it in the fridge to be baked the next morning. All you need to do is remove the loaf about 2 hrs before you want to serve, store in a warm place for 30 minutes to 1 hour so that it rises, and then bake as usual. You could also freeze the dough if you want to make it at a later date, though you need to be sure to give it enough time to thaw and rise before baking (you could thaw it out in the fridge overnight and then let it rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes prior to baking).
Again, remember you can mix up the filling as you like – though I find that you need at least 1 1/2 to 2 cups of filling for this dough recipe. What you fill it with is completely up to you! I hope you enjoy this king cake as much as I did – if you try out different fillings let me know how it turns out!
- 1 1/2 tsp Yeast (or 1 package)
- 1/4 Warm Water
- 1/2 cup Plain Soy Milk
- 1/8 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 tbsp Flax Meal + 3 tbsp Water
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
- 2 1/2 cups AP Flour
- 1/2 cup Crushed Pecans
- 2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 cup Vegan Cream Cheese
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 tbsp Soy Milk
- In a medium bowl, mix the yeast with the warm water. Let sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.
- While the yeast is waking up, in a saucepan heat the milk to boiling and then remove immediately from heat. Mix in the applesauce until all lumps are gone. Set the mixture aside to cool.
- Mix the flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water) and whisk into the milk mixture. Once all lumps are gone, add the milk, applesauce, flax mixture to the yeast mixture. Stir well.
- Add the rest of the dough ingredients - adding the flour 1/2 cup at a time. If the dough seems too sticky you can add more flour, 2 tbsp at a time. If it seems to dry you can add water 1 tbsp at a time.
- Knead the dough with your hands (or a dough hook on an electric mixer) for 8 minutes, until the dough is springy. Lightly oil a bowl, roll the dough into a ball, and turn it in the bowl to coat all sides. Place a damp towel over the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix together the filling ingredients until you get a consistency that's easy to spread.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down in the center and roll it out into a large rectangle on a floured surface. Add the filling to the top of the dough and spread it out across the rectangle, being sure to leave about 1 inch on every side so that the filling doesn't squeeze out during the rolling process.
- Once filling has been spread out, start rolling it up from the long side. Once you have the log rolled up, connect the ends to create a circle. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has doubled in size again, bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is just lightly browned. Mix the icing ingredients together (adding more milk/sugar as necessary) and ice while the loaf is still warm. You can also do the green, purple, and yellow food coloring in the icing or sprinkle the icing with the different colored sprinkles to get a traditional king cake. Serve warm!
- *Variation: If you want to make this into individual rolls, you can slice the loaf after you add the filling and then let the rolls rise for 30 minutes before baking.
What is your favorite Mardi Gras treat?