Happy Fat Tuesday!! I hope all of you stuff your faces and enjoy some great food!
Mardi Gras season always brings back flickering memories of when I lived in Louisiana. I lived there for two years when I was in preschool. Most of my memories of Louisiana consist of my brother sitting in piles of fire ants and then breaking out in hives because he was highly allergic, my dad walking down the street to work in waist-high waders during a flood, me rubbing my eyes after eating spicy crawfish and then crying for a few hours, and my brother and I being really curious as to why everyone tried to scare us by calling us ‘boo’. My parents had to explain to us that the adults weren’t trying to scare us and that ‘boo’ is just a word like ‘honey’ or ‘sweetie’ in other places.
While we were in Lousiana we celebrated Mardi Gras. At school we got to decorate huge cardboard boxes with beads, sequins, confetti, and streamers and hook them over our shoulders. We all walked around the classroom as if we were our own Mardi Gras floats and the teachers gave us beads. We made fun masks and all came to school wearing purple, yellow and green. Best of all was the vast quantity of King Cake we got every year. We got King Cake at home, at school, at friends’ houses, and at parades. King Cake is one of those foods that just brings me back Louisiana and gets me thinking about learning to bike, the sunflower patterned dress I loved wearing to school, and Jambalaya.
One of my favorite parts of King Cake used to be hoping I’d get the piece with baby Jesus inside. See, each King Cake has a baby Jesus figurine hidden somewhere inside of it and we used to say that whoever found the figurine had to bring the King Cake to the party next year. For some reason I always remember my brother finding the figurine. Since I didn’t have a baby Jesus figurine handy here, I used a tiny silver turtle figurine and hid it somewhere in my creation.
So today, to honor my Louisiana roots, I decided to make some donuts (of course) and I tried to channel a sort of King Cake flavor when I created them. Have a happy Fat Tuesday! Make your own cardboard box float today and enjoy Mardi Gras – and make these donuts while you’re at it. They’re delicious!!!
Vegan King Cake Donuts
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Sprinkle of salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons earth balance
1 “egg”: combine 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon oil, and 2 tablespoons baking powder in a separate bowl and stir
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons earth balance
1 tablespoon almond milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Almond milk until desired consistency
1. Combine all ‘donut batter’ ingredients in a big bowl, ensuring that you mix the ‘egg’ ingredients in a separate bowl before adding them to the other ingredients. Set the batter bowl to the side when finished.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3. Over medium-low heat on the stove top, mix all of the ‘filling’ ingredients until sugar is melty, your house smells heavenly, and you want to just eat the delicious, sugary mixture right out of the pan. Once it has reached the desired consistency, turn the heat to low.
4. Spray the donut pan with cooking spray and then fill each compartment with batter only 1/3-1/2 full. Then, gently spoon the brown sugar filling mixture on top of each batter layer. At this point, if you’re going to add a figurine to one of the donuts, go ahead and do it.
5. Spoon another thin layer of batter on top of each filling layer until the donut pan has been filled. Then, pop the pan into the oven and let the donuts bake for 13-15 minutes.
6. While the donuts are baking, make the icing by combining the powdered sugar and milk.
7. Let the donuts cool and then glaze them.
Optional: I sprinkled crushed pistachios on top to add a little bit of Mardi Gras color. Enjoy making and eating these donuts – they’re addictive!