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With Mardi Gras right around the corner, I figured I ought to make something Mardi Gras-ey. Normally I would make a real King Cake, but I didn’t feel like doing it this year. It can be a bit of a hassle working with yeast and letting it rise, and what-not.
So, as a happy substitute, I give you… King Cake Bread Pudding. It has all the flavors of a traditional king cake but in a less time-intensive format. This recipe uses flax meal instead of eggs and achieves the same texture as the non-vegan version.
Good bread pudding needs stale bread. I used Ciabatta from the “We made too much” section of my grocery store. Start with a thick, dry bread and bake it for a few minutes to help dry it out. You can also let the bread sit out overnight uncovered to let it get stale naturally. Just make sure your bread is vegan.
If you choose to go the baking method, cut the bread into 1-inch cubes, place them in a single layer on a baking tray, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. You just want the bread to dry, not get brown.
I baked my King Cake Bread Pudding in a 13 x 9-inch pan, but you are welcome to use a 9 x 9-inch pan for a thicker pudding.
As you can see, I doused my bread pudding in icing to make the three colors. It ended up looking like a flag instead of simply representing Mardi Gras, but I’m rolling with it. You could try using sprinkles instead of icing only drizzling icing instead of spreading it on.
If I were currently living in Louisiana, I would have hidden a plastic baby like these in the pudding. But it’s insanely hard to find Mardi Gras paraphernalia outside of the deep south. For those of you non-southerners, a plastic baby is hidden in the King Cake. Whoever gets the piece with the baby is responsible for bringing the next cake.
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