Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Cream Cheese King Cake

Did you have good Mardi Gras?  We did!  We celebrated with crawfish étouffée, King Cake, and Hurricanes!  Today I'm going to share the recipe we used to make the King Cake - I'll be putting up the étouffée and Hurricane recipes later this week.

To make the King Cake, we used the Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake recipe from Southern Living with a few changes.

  • Dough
    • 8 oz sour cream
    • 8 tsp. sugar
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 (1/4 oz) envelope active dry yeast
    • 1/4 cup warm water
    • 1/2 tbsp. sugar
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 3 to 3 1/4 cup flour
  • Filling
    • 3/8 cup sugar
    • 1 8-oz package cream cheese
    • 1/2 egg
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp. lemon zest
  • Creamy Glaze
    • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 1/2 tbsp. melted butter
    • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp. lemon zest
    • 1 tbsp. milk
  • Purple, green, and gold sparkling sugar sprinkles

Makes 1 King Cake (approximately 8 servings).

Cook the sour cream, 8 tsp. sugar, 2 tbsp. butter, and 1/2 tsp. salt in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often until the butter melts. 

Set aside and cool the mixture to 100ºF.

Stir together the yeast, 1/4 cup warm water and 1/2 tbsp. sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  The mixture should bubble like in the picture above.

Beat the sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, egg, and 1 cup flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixture until smooth.  Reduce the speed to low and gradually add enough remaining flour (about 2 cups) until a soft dough forms.

Place the dough in a well-buttered bowl, turning to grease the top.  

Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough in doubled in bulk.

To make the cream cheese filling, beat 3/8 cup sugar, cream cheese, 1/2 egg, vanilla, and 1 tbsp. lemon zest at medium speed with an electric mixture until smooth.

Punch down the dough and roll it into a 22 by 12 inch rectangle.  Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly on the dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders.  Instead of putting a plastic baby in the cake, we like to put a pecan in the filling - it definitely tastes better!

Roll up the dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion.  Place the dough roll, seam-side down, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bring the ends of the roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching the edges together to seal.

Cover and let rise in a warm place about 20-30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.   Then bake at 375º for 15 minutes or until golden.  Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

To make the creamy glaze, stir together 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tbsp. melted butter, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. lemon zest.  Gradually stir in the 1 tbsp. milk until you reach a spreading consistency.  The glaze should be fairly thick.  Drizzle the creamy glaze over the warm cake.

Sprinkle with the colored sugars, creating bands of purple, green, and gold.


Did you make anything special for Mardi Gras?  Are you giving anything up for Lent?  Let me know!


  1. I have never celebrated Mardi Gras. We had pancakes as a kid for dinner because that was fun. As I am not at all religious, I don't give up anything for lent. Besides being gluten free, soy free, low dairy, sugar, and nightshades, I basically gave up drinking in September, what is there left???

  2. Oh my goodness! That looks fantastic!

  3. That looks soooo good. I Did you put a plastic baby in it? I gave up chocolate and Doritos for Lent.

    1. We did a pecan instead of a plastic baby - it tastes better, LOL. My dad got the pecan, but somehow I doubt he'll be making the cake next year.