Bake Your Own King Cake for Mardi Gras

My first King Cake was a success, thanks to Taste Of Home!

Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” in French, and is the celebratory carnival that leads up to the beginning of Lent. The name “Fat Tuesday” refers to the practice of consuming all of the food forbidden while fasting during Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. This past week, I had fun celebrating this Louisiana holiday by baking my first King Cake at home. 

I love the ease of baking and mixing the ingredients in the same pan!

Last year this time in Savannah, I searched the city over for the festive cake, and I couldn’t find one at a single bakery. So, I made it my mission to bake my own this year, especially when I came across this easy recipe in Taste of Home, one of my favorite food magazines. It was really delicious and reminiscent of a cinnamon coffee cake.

This brown sugar and butter mixture is what makes the cake reminiscent of a cinnamon coffee cake.

What’s fun and unique about king cakes is that after baking, a plastic baby is tucked into the cake, and tradition dictates that finding the baby in your slice symbolizes luck and prosperity, and the finder becomes the ‘king’ or ‘queen’ of the day. The traditional colors of Mardi Gras — purple, green and gold were introduced in 1872 and later assigned a meaning: gold for power, green for faith and purple for justice.

The brown sugar mixture is swirled into the cake for great flavor!

With this being my first time baking the famous cake, I hadn’t considered just where I would find a small plastic baby. Funny story – we searched the toy aisle of Wal-Mart after coming up empty-handed in the baby shower section. We shared the cake with my church small group, and everyone joked that we had the biggest King Cake baby they’d ever seen. It made for some good laughs.

Our King Cake baby came from the toy aisle at Wal-Mart, lol! We couldn’t find the tiny plastic ones, so this baby was XL and ready to party!
What’s unique about the confectioners sugar frosting is it contains butter! I couldn’t stop eating it.

Today I’m sharing the recipe with you, so you can have some fun in your own kitchen. Laissez les bon temps rouler (pronounced Lay-say le bon tom roo-lay), meaning let the good times roll!

Best food magazine ever.

Easy One-Dish King Cake
Recipe Courtesy of Taste of Home magazine and Joy the Baker

Ingredients

For the Cake Batter:

  • unsalted butter to grease the pan
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons RapidRise or Instant Yeast
  • 2/3 cup very warm milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Instructions

Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with butter. Add the dry ingredients including the yeast to the cake pan and whisk to combine. Add the milk, melted butter, oil, and beaten egg. Whisk to combine and use a spatula to coax any flour from the corners of the pan. Allow to batter to rest in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. While the cake rests, make the cinnamon topping. In a small bowl stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and salt until the mixture is moistened and sandy. Top batter evenly with cinnamon mixture. Use a butter knife to swirl the cinnamon sugar into the batter. Allow to rest for 5 more minutes.

To bake the cake, place pan in a COLD oven; set temperature to 350°F; bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and firm in center. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes. Combine icing ingredients in the same bowl used to make the cinnamon mixture and drizzle over the just warm cake.

Sprinkle generously with Mardi Gras colors and tuck a little baby inside. Enjoy!


New to Some Kinda Good?

Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a ServSafe certified professionally trained private chef, culinary TV personality, author and food enthusiast. Featured on Forbes, Food Network Star, ABC’s The Taste and The VeryVera Show, she is the longtime Statesboro Herald food columnist and blogger at SomeKindaGood.com, your one stop shop for Southern coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Pull up a chair for cooking and entertaining tips, and easy-to-execute, flavorful recipes to share around the family table. To learn more, connect with Some Kinda Good on social media, or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.

Cookbook Feature Friday: Lemon Bars

Paula Deen’s Southern Baking Cookbook includes this delicious lemon bar recipe.

Happy Cookbook Feature Friday! Today’s post is all about the tart, cold and sugar-dusted lemon bar. Featuring one of Paula Deen’s latest cookbooks, Southern Baking, these bars are super easy to make and serve as the perfect treat when you want a little something sweet.

One of the coolest moments of my life was getting to gift Paula Deen my own book, while attending her book signing

I was outside in my front yard the other day, when my neighbor approached carrying a tray of several bottles of freshly squeezed lemon juice. She has a big Meyer lemon tree, and just before the fruit expired, she had to come up with a way to use up all the lemons that hadn’t been picked. She gifted several neighbors with the juice, and I put it to good use right away! What a sweet gesture.

Freshly squeezed lemon juice can be used in cocktails, desserts and even as a glaze.

Loved:

  • Using fresh meyer lemon juice from my neighbor’s lemon tree to make these!
  • The tart and sweet balance of this dessert
  • You can eat them cold or warm and they’re Some Kinda Good either way
  • The recipe requires only 7 ingredients.

Didn’t Love:

  • Baking with parchment paper. If you’re impatient like me, the paper is a pain to peel off the baked goods. I’d rather use baking spray and forgo the parchment paper.
  • These take a while too cool.

“Whenever you’re craving a refreshing treat, these luscious goodies will always hit the spot.”

-Paula Deen
Yum!

Lemon Bars
From the Southern Baking Cookbook by Paula Deen

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with baking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, letting the excess extend over the sides. In the workbowl of a food processor, pulse together 2 cups flour and confectioners’ sugar until combined. Add cold butter; pulse until mixture is crumbly and just holds together when pressed with fingers. Firmly press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until edges are golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl. whisk together eggs, granulated sugar, lemon zest and juice and remaining 1/4 cup of flour until smooth. Pour onto hot crust (crust must be hot).

Bake until filling is set, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan before cutting into bars. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar if desired.


New to Some Kinda Good?

Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a ServSafe certified professionally trained private chef, culinary TV personality, author and food enthusiast. Featured on Forbes, Food Network Star, ABC’s The Taste and The VeryVera Show, she is the longtime Statesboro Herald food columnist and blogger at SomeKindaGood.com, your one stop shop for Southern coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Pull up a chair for cooking and entertaining tips, and easy-to-execute, flavorful recipes to share around the family table. To learn more, connect with Some Kinda Good on social media, or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.

Cookbook Feature Friday: Shrimp and Crawfish

Shrimp and Crawfish from The VeryVera Cookbook

Happy Friday! This week, we cooked with a new ingredient: CRAWFISH! I haven’t ever worked much with crawfish, but I really love it. This little creature, also known as a “creek lobster,” tastes like a cross between crab legs and shrimp. It’s slightly sweet and easy to break down.

VeryVera’s Shrimp and Crawfish recipe uses a half pound of the tail meat.

I am loving Cookbook Feature Friday, and it’s only week 2. So, let’s jump in! The recipe I’m featuring today is Shrimp and Crawfish from The VeryVera Cookbook. If you love Southern cooking and value the traditions of etiquette, this is a truly beautiful book filled with delicious recipes and cooking tips to add to your collection. The book includes gorgeous photography and food styling, and an inspiring path to success.

One of the best cookbooks in my collection!

In 2019, I had the best time cooking with Ms. Vera on her entertaining show. If you missed The Coastal South episode, be sure to check it out on my YouTube Channel.

Rebekah (left) was a guest on The VeryVera Show with cookbook author and television host Vera Stewart (right) in October of 2019. Watch the episode on YouTube.

I took a few shortcuts with the recipe, such as using frozen chopped onion and bell pepper, rather than chopping my own. I also substituted Old Bay for the creole seasoning and used mozzarella cheese rather than Monterey jack because it’s what I had on hand.

Naturally, I gravitated toward this coastal dish. It is the first recipe I’ve cooked from the book. I’m happy to say, it was Some Kinda Good, and well worth the wait. Make this and you won’t be sorry!

~Rebekah

LOVED:

  • Discovering the joy of crawfish! Sweet meat and very affordable.
  • Seeing the sauce come together in my dutch oven. The house smelled amazing! 
  • The short baking time of just 20 minutes gives you enough time to set the table and fix a glass of sweet tea.

DIDN’T LOVE:

  • You may have to break down the crawfish. 
  • Be sure to buy enough to yield the half pound of tail meat needed for the recipe. 
  • Prep time takes a while, so plan ahead.
  • A can of cream of shrimp can be hard to find. If you can’t find it, substitute cream of celery instead.
A thick sauce coats the fettuccini pasta.

Shrimp and Crawfish
Recipe from The VeryVera Cookbook by Vera Stewart

  • 1 lb peeled and deveined 51/60 shrimp
  • 1/2 lb dry fettuccine noodles, broken in half
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 c white onion, diced
  • 1/4 c green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 c celery, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1/2 c Rotel original diced tomatoes & green chilies, with juice
  • 1/4 c dried parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 10 1/2 oz can cream of shrimp soup
  • 1 c sharp cheddar cheese, hand-shredded
  • 1 c Monterey jack cheese, hand-shredded
  • 3/4 tsp. Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning
  • 1/2 lb cooked crawfish tail meat
  • Parmesan cheese, hand-grated for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray. Bake the shrimp on a parchment-lined sheet pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Cook the noodles in boiling water with 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Once the noodles are fully cooked, drain, and toss them with the remaining olive oil. Set aside. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes and parsley to the sautéed vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the soup, both cheeses, and seasonings. Let the mixture simmer until the cheese is melted. Add the noodles, shrimp, and crawfish to the sauce. Mix until well incorporated. Place in the greased 9 x 13 pan, cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes or until hot. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

 

Highly recommend making this Some Kinda Good Shrimp and Crawfish!

New to Some Kinda Good?

Georgia native Rebekah Faulk Lingenfelser is a ServSafe certified professionally trained private chef, culinary TV personality, author and food enthusiast. Featured on Forbes, Food Network Star, ABC’s The Taste and The VeryVera Show, she is the longtime Statesboro Herald food columnist and blogger at SomeKindaGood.com, your one stop shop for Southern coastal cuisine, locally sourced and in-season. Pull up a chair for cooking and entertaining tips, and easy-to-execute, flavorful recipes to share around the family table. To learn more, connect with Some Kinda Good on social media, or visit RebekahLingenfelser.com.

Aunt Adela’s Cold Georgia Blue Crab Dip

From left: Levi, Angela, Kurt, Rebekah and Max go crabbing on the St. Simons Island Pier.

In early April, I went on vacation with two of my best friends of 25 years, including our families – kids, pets and all. We rented a beach house on St. Simons Island and spent the week eating to our hearts’ content, lounging on the beach and having jam sessions by the pool. It was the ideal vacation, complete with dolphin watching, strolling on the pier and working on our tans, but the most fun I had all week was when we rode our bikes to the pier for a little crabbing adventure. Continue reading “Aunt Adela’s Cold Georgia Blue Crab Dip”

Old Fashioned Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint cookies originated in Sweden. Known as Hallongrotta/hallongrottor in Swedish, the meaning literally translates, “raspberry cave.” I love these shortbread-style, buttery cookies because they’re so easy to make and can be customized to fit any occasion. They melt in your mouth! Continue reading “Old Fashioned Thumbprint Cookies”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Mini Shepherd’s Pies Perfect for Picnics

Today’s post continues our countdown to St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah with my recipe for mini shepherd’s pies! Creamy, cheesy delights, the pie crust makes a delicious vehicle for these hearty handhelds. Meat and potatoes, what’s not to love? Continue reading “Mini Shepherd’s Pies Perfect for Picnics”

Chicken Salad Cabbage Cups with Green Grapes

St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is one of the most anticipated events of the year and I LOVE making festive food to celebrate. I recently had the opportunity to cook an Irish-inspired picnic for my co-workers, and this week, leading up to the biggest party of the year, I’ll be unpacking the recipes from our feast here on the blog. First up is my Chicken Salad Cabbage Cups!

Continue reading “Chicken Salad Cabbage Cups with Green Grapes”

Rainy Day Venison Stew

Cooking with ground venison is much like cooking with ground beef. It can be
substituted for most any ground beef recipe. I make tons of Italian dishes with it,
like spaghetti, lasagna and venison rigatoni and love cooking up big batches of
venison chili and stew, like the recipe I’ll share today. Continue reading “Rainy Day Venison Stew”

Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken Chili

Busy weekends or weekdays call for slow-cooker recipes! This Mexican Chicken Chili is so easy to put together and as flavorful as it gets. You don’t even have to brown the chicken first! Warm and comforting, the tender chicken, after cooking all day, literally falls apart with the touch of a fork. Topped with sour cream, sharp cheddar, crunchy tortilla chips and fresh parsley, this chili is light and satisfying. For a complete meal, serve with warm dinner rolls. Continue reading “Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken Chili”

Peppermint Cheesecake to Seal the Deal

I met my husband Kurt in early November of 2012, just two months before Christmas. As we got to know each other, our shared love for good food became evident. Naturally, one of the first topics of conversation we ever discussed were our favorite foods. He told me of his love for cheesecake, and I noticed that he also really enjoyed desserts and drinks with mint flavor. So, for our first Christmas together, I combined two of his favorites into one and gifted him this festive and Some Kinda Good Peppermint Cheesecake. Continue reading “Peppermint Cheesecake to Seal the Deal”