February 1, 2016

Pecan Praline King Cake Bread Pudding

It's Mardi Gras King Cake week on the blog and I am super excited to share some of my favorite new recipes featuring a Louisiana delicacy: the King Cake

Mardi Gras {aka Carnival} officially starts on January 6th, which is the day Jesus first showed himself to the three wisemen. A King Cake, which is traditionally served during Mardi Gras, is a baked pastry that is decorated in the royal colors of purple which signifies "Justice," green for "Faith," and gold for "Power".  A tiny plastic baby, which represents baby Jesus, is hidden in or underneath the cake. When the King Cake is sliced and served each person looks to see if their piece contains the baby. That lucky person is named "King" for a day and they host the next party and provide the King CakeThe end of Mardi Gras is Mardi Gras Day, also known as Fat Tuesday. The date changes every year but is always the day before Ash Wednesday. 
My girls love King Cake just like their Mama!
Photos by Lisa Anne Photography
A traditional King Cake tastes like a cinnamon coffee cake to me. It has flaky pastry crust, cinnamon and brown sugar filling, and then topped with a sweet glaze and colored sugar. These days, King Cakes come in a variety of fun flavors like Strawberry Champagne and Bananas Foster. There are even savory King Cakes stuffed with boudin sausage available all over my state. 

I have sampled many varieties of King Cakes over the last month and every single one has been different. Honestly, I have liked them all but when I tasted this Pecan Praline King Cake from Harlow's Donut and Bakery in Pineville, LA, I could have eaten all of it in one sitting. Yep, you heard me, every last bite of that sticky sweet cake would have gone in my belly, but I somehow managed to pull myself away. It was then that I had a light bulb go off: King Cake Bread Pudding. And that friends, is how this delicious foodie creation was born. 

I cubed up the cake, filling and all, and tossed it was a few flaky crossiants. Then I made a brown sugar batter and mixed it together. Add chopped, glazed pecans and butter and pop it in the oven to bake to a bubbly golden bread pudding masterpiece. Then it was time to decorate because this is still a King Cake, right? It has to be colorful and over the top! I made a cream cheese glaze, dyed it three different shades of green, yellow, and purple and drizzled it on top. This dessert was a winner!

 I decided to take the King Cake Bread Pudding to a Paint Party I was attending that night at Jillybeans Studio and share with the lucky ladies who joined me.
My poor husband sure did miss out. The whole bread pudding was devoured at the party and he didn't get to try it. Guess that means we have to make another one for Fat Tuesday!
King Cake Bread Pudding and Bacon Wrapped Dates for noshing
on at the Ladies Night Out Paint Party.

Ingredients:

Makes one 9X13 bread pudding
  • 1 large Pecan Praline King Cake, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 large croissants, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 quart milk
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For the topping:
  • 8oz bag Glazed Pecans {or 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans with 1/3 cup brown sugar)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp butter, diced
For the glaze:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cubed and softened 
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2-3 drops each of purple, green, and yellow food coloring

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter a 9X13 or 2 8X8 baking dishes.
  3. Add cubed king cake and croissants to the buttered dish/es.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
  5. Pour over the cubed bread, pressing down. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the bag of glazed pecans with flour and butter. Mix together, crumbling by hand. 
  7. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the bread pudding.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes until cooked through and the topping is lightly browned and toasted. 
  9. Let cool slightly before adding the glaze.
  10. For the glaze: beat cream cheese on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  11. Add sugar and beat until combined.
  12.  Add salt, lemon juice, and milk; mix on low speed until smooth.
  13. Divide into three bowls and add 2-3 drops of food coloring into each bowl. You should have one purple, one green, and one yellow. 
  14. Using a spoon, drizzle generous lines of all three colored glazes across the top of the bread pudding.
  15. Slice into squares and serve warm or at room temp. 
Start by cutting up your King Cake, filling, icing, sugar, everything.
Cut into 1 inch cubes.
The King Cake alone didn't quite fill my dish so I decided to cube up 
three large crossiants and mix those in as well. 
I just love flaky croissants and they are the perfect
 buttery addition to the bread pudding.
Butter your baking dish, either one 9X13 or two 8X8's. 
Add your cubed cake and croissants.
Be sure to toss them together and spread evenly in the dish.
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, milk, brown sugar, 
salt, and cinnamon.
Pour over the cubed bread, pressing down. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Now time for the topping! 
I skipped a step and bought glazed chopped pecans.
You could use plain chopped pecans instead and add 1/3 cup brown 
sugar and a pinch of salt.
In a small bowl combine the bag of glazed pecans with flour and butter. 
Mix together, crumbling by hand. 
Sprinkle evenly over the top of the bread pudding.
Bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees. 
It should be cooked through and lightly browned and toasted.
Set aside to cool slightly.
For the glaze: start with cubed softened cream cheese.
Beat cream cheese on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy.
Add sugar and beat until combined.
 Add salt, lemon juice, and milk; mix on low speed until smooth.
Divide into three bowls and add 2-3 drops of food coloring into each bowl. 
You should have one purple, one green, and one yellow. 
Using a spoon, drizzle generous lines of all three colored glazes across 
the top of the bread pudding.
Slice into squares and serve warm or at room temp. 
Whether you like King Cake or not, you need to give this 
Pecan Praline King Cake Bread Pudding a try. 
Even the pickiest of eaters love it!
Happy Mardi Gras friends!
Check back tomorrow for another King Cake review and recipe.
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10 comments:

  1. There are so many versions out there!

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  2. Holy cow. This looks amazing! I'm jealous you live in Louisiana. :) Next year you have to do a bread pudding with leftover beignets! :D

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  3. I have always wanted to try a king cake!! I love this twist on it.

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  4. I didn't think you could get more indulgent and delicious than a traditional king cake, but I think I've just been proven wrong. This bread pudding looks amazing! Love the tri-coloured cream cheese frosting.

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  5. This is totally making my tummy rumble this morning - decadence at its finest! ;)

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  6. What a fun and delicious take on Kind Cake!

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  7. What a fabulous king cake, I love pecans and praline so I'm totally up for this. It looks utterly delicious.

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  8. So I totally love the King Cake photos with your little ones! I loved seeing their cute photos on Facebook! I love bread pudding and I'd be so in love with this King Cake Bread Pudding!

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  9. Yum, that looks amazing! I was in charge of making the King came for the party we are having tomorrow, before the superbowl. I've wanted to do a paint class, I think it would be a lot of fun. I hope you guys have a great time.

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