John Sherman/King Arthur Flour
Claire Stern
Feb 16, 2015 @ 10:16 am

Usher in Mardi Gras with this glittering confection, straight from our baking whiz friends at the venerable King Arthur Flour test kitchens in Vermont. The traditional sweet, made with a brioche-like dough and filled with cream cheese, is strewn with icing and vibrant sugars that mirror the colors of a super spangled Mardi Gras parade float. “Basically, a Mardi Gras celebration needs three things: color, music, and a King Cake, a custom brought to New Orleans from Europe in the late 1800s,” explains Kate Walker of King Arthur Flour. “Sometimes a tiny plastic toy baby or coin are baked inside or placed underneath, and whoever receives it is called ‘King for a day’ and is supposed to make next year’s King Cake.” We have a feeling that if you make one, your guests will feel like royalty, too.

Buy all the ingredients, including the colored sparkling sugars, online at kingarthurflour.com.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick, 8 tablespoons) butter, melted

3/4 cup lukewarm milk

2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, white reserved

3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dried milk

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon lemon oil, or 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Filling:

8-ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil

Icing:

2 cups confectioners' sugar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons + 1 to 2 teaspoons milk, enough to make a thick but pourable glaze

Garnish:

Yellow, purple, and green fine sparkling sugars

Candied red cherries (optional)

For more yummy details on baking this sweet sparkler, including variations on the filling, head to kingarthurflour.com.

RELATED: Just in Time for Mardi Gras! Try Out this Recipe for Beignets

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