Not long after the decadence of Christmas, Carnival season gets underway, treating us to a calorie-laden stretch of parades and celebrations (it’s not called Fat Tuesday for nothing). Although you won’t see us restricting ourselves completely, we plan to at least put in the effort of baking our own vegan king cake this year.
This version from Dairy Free Cooking relies on rich – yet vegan – ingredients like maple syrup, coconut milk, and pecans to create king cake luxuriousness without the extra fat and calories of dairy products. It yields 10-12 servings, and you can make the icing and filling in advance if you’re short on time. Check out some other healthy, vegetarian recipes here!
For the cake:
- 1 package dry active yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 tablespoon organic white granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons soy margarine, cut into pieces
- 3 tablespoons Egg Replacer Powder mixed with ¼ tablespoon hot water
- ¼ cup coconut milk (not “lite” variety), plus more for brushing
For the filling:
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup dairy-free soy margarine, softened
- ½ cup finely chopped pecans
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
For the sprinkles:
- Unrefined cane sugar (about 1 ½ cups)
- Yellow, green, and purple Food Coloring
For the icing:
- 1 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons warm water
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and maple syrup, mixing gently until the yeast dissolves and bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine flour, salt, nutmeg and sugar into a food processor. Add the soy margarine and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add this mixture to the yeast, along with the Egg Replacer and coconut milk. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until a soft dough forms. Place in an oiled bowl, covered, for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. In a small mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy margarine, chopped pecans and cinnamon until combined.
- Make the Sprinkles. In three small bowls, mix about ½ cup of sugar in each with just a few drops of desired food coloring. Mix well until desired color is achieved. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a large baking sheet or round pizza pan.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle about 1/8” thick. Using a floured sharp knife, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Cut each of the strips into triangles, each about 3 inches at their base. (Think of a zipper or zigzag pattern when you cut, alternating the tops of triangles with the bases.) With the tips of the triangles pointed inward, place the triangles in a circle on the prepared sheet, overlapping one over the other and pressing the edges to seal. Place an even amount of the filling on the centers of the triangles, and place the baby or dried bean somewhere on the filling. Fold the outsides of the triangles over the filling, so that the reach just over the filling. Fold the tips over, pressing slightly to adhere the tips to the outside of the ring. Cover the ring lightly with a paper towel or clean dish towel, and let rise for 20 minutes more.
- Brush the cake lightly with coconut milk or soy milk. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow cake to cool completely on a wire cooling rack, and then transfer the cake to a serving platter large enough to catch excess icing.
- Prepare the icing. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Add the warm water and, stirring vigorously, stir until the mixture is a very thick glaze. Ladle the mixture over the cake in several additions, letting the icing run down the sides. While the icing is still slightly warm, sprinkle the prepared sprinkles over the cake, alternating sections of purple, green, and yellow. Allow the icing to harden completely before serving.