Vegan king cake [V, GF option]

Vegan king cake from The Spoon + Shovel

I didn’t grow up in the South, so my first exposure to King Cake wasn’t until college. This yeast cake was a blast to make with from-scratch cashew cream cheese, though I didn’t add the traditional baby to our version...

1 C. raw cashew pieces
2 C. water
1 ½ T. nutritional yeast
1 t. salt
Juice from one large lemon
3 ½ T. sugar
3 T. coconut oil or non-dairy butter
1 envelope active dry yeast (¼ oz.)
1 flax gel egg (3 ½ T.)
3 C. flour (GF option here)

2 T. non-dairy butter
4 T. sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon

1 ½ C. powdered sugar
1 ½ C. coconut oil, melted
1 T. lemon juice
¼ t. vanilla extract
1-2 T. nutmilk

Optional: purple, green and gold sugar sprinkles or turbinado sugar + green and purple food coloring

Prep time: 2 hr
Cook time: 15-20 min
Yield: one cake, ~12 servings

-Pour cashew pieces and 1 C. water into a bowl and microwave for ~5 min or until boiling. Remove from microwave and let cool before straining off water.
-Transfer cashews to a food processor or immersion blender and combine with ½ C. water, the nutritional yeast, ½ t. salt and lemon juice until very smooth and creamy. This will function as your “sour cream.”
-Measure out 1 C. of the sour cream (you may have a bit left over) into a saucepan and combine with 3 T. sugar, 2 T. coconut oil or non-dairy butter, and ½ t. salt. 
-Cook over medium heat until combined, stirring continuously with a spatula or small whisk to keep the sour cream from clotting. Remove from heat and set aside.
-Combine the yeast with ½ T. sugar and ½ C. warm water and set aside to proof, ~5 min.
-Beat the flax gel egg with a hand mixer or stand mixer on high for a minute to aerate, then add the sour cream mixture and yeast, and combine.
-Add 1 C. flour and mix until smooth. If using a hand mixer, switch to a wooden spoon after this step; if using a stand mixer, continue with that.
-Add the remaining flour, 1 C. at a time, until a soft dough has formed.
-Transfer dough to a well-floured surface and knead for 5-8 min. I used ~⅓ C. of additional flour while kneading, adding more whenever the dough starting sticking to my hands.
-When finished kneading, place in a bowl that has been oiled with 1 T. melted coconut oil or non-dairy butter. Roll the dough in the oil before covering the bowl with a towel and setting in a warm, draft-free area to rise for 1 hr. 
-When finished rising, punch down dough and roll out into a 12”x24” rectangle. 
-Spread the 2 T. of room temperature non-dairy butter evenly over the top of the dough, leaving a 1” border. 
-Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the buttered area.
-Roll the dough up from the long edge, so you end up with a 24” long roll. Place on a lightly-greased baking sheet and bring the ends of the roll together, making a circle.
-Cover and let rise for another 30 min.
-Preheat your oven to 375 F.
-When the dough has risen a second time, place in oven and bake for 15-20 min or until golden brown.
-Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for ~10 min.
-Combine the powdered sugar, melted coconut oil, lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl. Add 1 T. nutmilk and combine; if still too thick to stir, add ½ T. at a time until it is. It should be relatively thick at this point still, as the warm cake will melt it further when applied.
-Transfer the cake to a large serving dish and spoon the glaze evenly along the top of it. The glaze should run down the cake and onto the tray, so just make sure your plate is large enough to accommodate.
-Add the colored sprinkles or turbinado in alternating stripes (optional) and serve.

Happy Fat Tuesday - just think, spring is almost here!

Vegan king cake from The Spoon + Shovel