Bring the Mardi Gras celebration anywhere with the ultimate sweet dessert mash-up that pretty much sums up the best parts of New Orleans. Anyone who鈥檚 visited NOLA can attest to the fact that there鈥檚 nothing quite like a freshly fried beignet with a cup of coffee at Caf茅 du Monde in the French Quarter, but when it comes to the Carnival season there鈥檚 one dessert that reigns supreme 鈥 the king cake. So naturally we thought to ourselves, how can we combine the two? And thus we present the sweetest dessert you鈥檒l want to eat on Fat Tuesday!

king cake beignets

Recipe from Nicole Iizuka, Brit + Co

(Makes ~ 36-40 beignets)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (or 1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup confectioner鈥檚 sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • green sanding sugar
  • purple sanding sugar
  • yellow sanding sugar

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes or until small bubbles start to form. Add sugar, eggs, salt, half of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and evaporated milk, and mix until combined. Then add in about half of the flour and mix until smooth.
  2. Add the shortening, lemon zest, and remaining flour and mix until smooth. Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 to 24 hours.
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour your work surface. Cut the dough into quarters and then roll the dough out to approximately 1/8 inch thick. Cut into squares. Keep going with the remaining dough.
  4. Place oil in a heavy bottomed pan and heat until the oil reaches 360 degrees Fahrenheit. You can test the oil by frying one of the beignets. If the dough does not pop up then the oil is not hot enough. Fry the beignets for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from the pot and drain off excess oil on a paper-towel-lined plate.
  5. While the beignets are cooling, in a bowl mix together confectioner鈥檚 sugar, remaining cinnamon, lemon juice, and water until a glaze is formed. Dip the tops of the beignets in the glaze and sprinkle with colored sanding sugar.
  6. Serve warm.

When you make these, be sure to tag us on Instagram so we can see your awesome creations.

(Photos via Nicole Iizuka / Brit + Co)