McKenzie’s-Style King Cake


McKenzie’s Pastry Shoppe’s longtime operator Donald Entringer Sr. is said to have been the first to put plastic babies in king cakes, and McKenzie’s light, sugary style is a nostalgic bite for many old-school New Orleanians.

McKenzie's-Style King Cake
Makes 1 Cake
  • ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk, room temperature, divided
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • Milk Roux (recipe follows), room temperature
  • 3 to 3¼ cups bread flour
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Garnish: gold, green, and purple sanding sugar
  1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat ⅔ cup milk on high in 10-second intervals until an instant-read thermometer registers 110° to 115°.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine warm milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add Milk Roux, 3 cups flour, ¼ cup melted butter, 1 egg, salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar to yeast mixture; using the paddle attachment, beat at low speed just until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  4. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed for 3 minutes. Increase mixer speed to medium-low, and beat until a soft, smooth dough forms, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl; add up to remaining ¼ cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if dough is too sticky. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Punch down dough; let stand for 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18x10-inch rectangle. Starting at one long side, tightly roll up dough, jelly roll style, and press edge to seal. Place on prepared pan, and form into an oval; pinch ends to seal.
  7. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size and dough holds an indentation when poked, 1 to 2 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg and remaining 1 tablespoon milk. Brush egg wash on top of dough.
  10. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers at least 190°, 25 to 30 minutes. Brush top of warm cake with remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter. Garnish with sanding sugars. Let cool completely before serving.

Milk Roux
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons bread flour
  1. In a small saucepan, whisk together milk and flour. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until thickened, an instant-read thermometer registers 150°, and whisk leaves lines on bottom of pan. Transfer to a small bowl, and let cool completely before using.



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