King Cake Doughnuts

King Cake Doughnuts

Meche’s fried king cakes are a hallmark of Acadian Carnival season.

King Cake Doughnuts
Makes 14
  • ½ cup warm water (105° to 110°)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 4½ to 4¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¾ cup whole milk, room temperature
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 10 minutes
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Mardi Gras Icing (recipe follows)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ½ cup warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add 2½ cups flour, milk, melted butter, eggs, salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar to yeast mixture; using the paddle attachment, beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium; beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups flour; beat at low speed justuntil combined. Increase mixer speed to medium; beat until well combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment; beat at medium speed just until dough starts to pull away from sides of bowl, 3 to 4 minutes; add up to remaining ¼ cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed. (Dough will still be quite soft and slightly sticky but should not seem excessively wet.)
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour. (Alternatively, cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to use, proceed as directed.)
  5. Spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. Cut 14 (4-inch) squares of parchment paper, and place on prepared pans. Spray parchment and 2 large sheets of plastic wrap with cooking spray.
  6. Punch down dough; turn out onto a very lightly floured surface, and divide into 14 rounds (about 80 grams each). Roll each round into a 16-inch rope; tie into a loose knot with a 2-inch circle in center. (One end will be 2 inches long and the other, 8 inches long.)
  7. Take the 8-inch portion and loop it around the 2-inch circle 3 times. Wrap the 2-inch end around the loop, and pinch together both ends of dough under knot, keeping a hole in middle. Place on prepared parchment squares. Cover doughnuts with prepared plastic wrap, spray side down, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until puffed, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches, and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with paper towels.
  9. Working in batches, use parchment squares to gently pick up doughnuts and add to oil. (Do not place parchment paper in oil.) Fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Using a spider strainer, transfer doughnuts to prepared pans. Let cool completely.
  10. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; place wire racks on prepared pans. Arrange doughnuts on wire racks.
  11. Holding 1 doughnut horizontally, dip doughnut halfway into white Mardi Gras Icing; lift straight out, and swirl in a circular motion, letting excess drip off. Quickly turn doughnut icing side up, and place on prepared rack. Drizzle each doughnut with desired colorful Mardi Gras Icing. Serve immediately, or let stand until icing is set, 20 to 30 minutes.
Note: Don’t use too much flour when rolling out or the knots will be difficult to form and the resulting doughnut will feel overworked.

Mardi Gras Icing
Makes 2 Cups
  • 6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Gold, green, and purple food coloring
  1. In a large deep bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, milk, and salt until well combined and smooth. Place ½ cup icing into 3 separate bowls, and tint as desired with gold, green, or purple food coloring. Leave remaining icing as is. Use immediately.



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