- 1 cup fine granulated sugar, divided into thirds
- yellow, green and purple vegan gel food coloring
For the King Cake ring:
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance or coconut oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 pkg. or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups all purpose flour
- zest from 1 lemon
For the glaze:
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbs coconut or almond milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 powdered sugar
For the sugars: Divide the sugar into thirds. Using a toothpick, dip half the toothpick in the gel coloring and swish around into the sugar until it clumps off the pick. Mix vigorously until the sugar is a relatively uniform color (you will sift over the King Cake at the end). Repeat with the other two colors.
For the King Cake: In a medium saucepan on medium heat, combine almond milk, sugar, Earth Balance or coconut oil, and kosher salt. Heat just until the Earth Balance is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. I usually set the pot in a bowl of ice to cool rapidly.
About 10 minutes before you're ready to start mixing the bread, combine the 1 Tbs sugar, yeast and warm (body temperature) water in a bowl. Whisk and allow to sit. This mixture should double in size in 10 minutes. If it doesn't foam and grow, do not proceed!! You either had your water too hot, too cold, or your yeast is inactive. Trouble shoot by trying again, or go buy more yeast.
In a large bowl with hand mixer or in stand mixer bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and your milk mixture on low speed for 30 seconds. Add in yeast mixture and combine on medium speed for 3 minutes. At this point, start adding flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is still sticky but forms a ball in the center of your bowl. Knead lightly in bowl or use dough hook. See the picture above for the consistency you're looking for.
Cover the bowl then set in the warmest area of your home for about an hour.
After an hour, punch down dough.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Roll the dough out into a 2" diameter snake. Shape into an oval ring, preferably around a metal bowl or a small oven safe pan to help it keep its shape. Allow to rise for a total of 30 minutes, then place in your oven that has been preheated to 375. Bake for 25 minutes or so.
For the glaze: Whisk all the ingredients listed together until smooth.
After the King Cake has cooled:
Pour the glaze over the entire King Cake. Sift the colored sugars over the top of the King Cake in sections, alternating colors until the top is covered. Allow the glaze to firm up a little, then bon appetit!