The Chew: Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans
The King Cake is a Mardi Gras tradition and an integral part of any New Orleans celebration. Haydel’s is a family-owned bakery that produces 60,000 King Cakes each year. The Chew correspondent Jamika Pessoa headed into the kitchen at Haydel’s to find out more about this sweet treat.
The Chew: Haydel’s Bakery King Cake Recipe
The King Cake tradition began in France, but eventually found its way to New Orleans. Each King Cake is baked with a tiny, plastic baby Jesus inside. The person that finds the baby in his or her slice is responsible for buying the King Cake next year. The finished product is a sweet, braided dough baked with cinnamon and iced in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold, and green. If you’d like to make your own King Cake, learn the Haydel’s exclusive King Cake Recipe below.
Ingredients For Dough
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 cup All-Purpose Shortening
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 small packs Active Dry Yeast
- 1 cup room temperature Milk
- 1/4 teaspoon Lemon Flavor
- 1/4 teaspoon Orange Flavor
- 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Flavor
- 1/4 teaspoon Butter Flavor
- 4 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Canola Oil
- 1/2 cup Cinnamon Sugar
Ingredients For Colored Sugar
- 3 cups Granulated Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Yellow Food Color
- 1 teaspoon Green Food Color
- 1 teaspoon Purple Food Color
The Chew King Cake Directions
- To make dough, combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar, salt, and shortening until well creamed using a mixer at first speed. Add eggs and continue to cream.
- Dissolve the yeast in the milk and add the flavors. Once dissolved, add to the creamed mixture and continue to mix. Add flour and mix until dough tightens. Remove from mixer and kneed into a ball.
- Sprinkle flour on top of dough ball and cover with a kitchen towel. Allow to rest for 1 1/2 hours.
- In the meantime, prepare the colored sugar. Begin by taking one cup of sugar and yellow food coloring. In a metal bowl, whisk by hand until the sugar turns yellow. Pour yellow sugar into a separate bowl and set aside. Repeat this process mixing green then purple.
- After dough has rested, roll out into one long piece. Brush canola oil to cover the entire piece. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar liberally over the whole piece. Then, fold it in half lengthwise. Cut into 3 strips and braid the dough. Start at one end and work your way down to the other end.
- Once shaped, place the braided dough on a baking pan covered with piece of parchment. Allow the dough to rest once more until it doubles in size.
- Using a spoon, alternate sprinkling the three colored sugars on top of your circular piece of dough.
- Bake at 370 degrees for 12 -15 minutes until dough is golden brown.