Cream Cheese Filled King Cake - Mardi Gras classic cake with a sweetened cream cheese filling.
Breakfast, Desserts, Holidays

Rich and Decadent Cream Cheese Filled King Cake for Mardi Gras

King Cake is the quintessential Mardi Gras dessert. So, when I wanted to make one a few years ago I asked my brother, the former New Orleans chef, for a recipe. His response was “Go to Antoine’s“.

Well, as good as their cakes look, I didn’t want to spend $30 plus shipping. So, I kept searching for a recipe and found this Cream Cheese Filled King Cake on Southern Living.

Cream Cheese Filled King Cake - Mardi Gras classic cake with a sweetened cream cheese filling.

If you’ve never had a King Cake it is basically a cinnamon roll ring, but in this case we are filling it with sweetened cream cheese instead of brown sugar and cinnamon.

The original recipe made two cakes, which is way too much unless you are having a big Mardi Gras party. I used reduced fat cream cheese and non fat Greek yoghurt instead of sour cream to lighten it up. Okay, that’s what was in my fridge. This isn’t a “healthy” recipe, it is a celebration cake before Lent begins.

The ingredient list and number of steps may look long at first glance, but don’t be intimidated. It is really simple and the bulk of the time is the two rising periods.

I found the bag of babies when I was looking for the supplies to make the Valentine’s Day wreath over on Munofore. You don’t have to go out and buy them, just use an uncooked bean. But, be sure to warn everyone to eat carefully as it is a choking hazard.

You’ll never guess who found the baby this year.

K-Rex with the baby from the King Cake

His uncle doesn’t call him King Rex for nothing. Okay, I admit it, the fix was in. He liked the cake so much that I got yelled at as I was taking the pictures “Can’t I just eat now?!”

Check out our Pinterest Board if you want more recipes for Mardi Gras, Fastnacht and Shrove Tuesday.

Follow That Recipe’s board Mardi Gras/Pancake Tuesday/Fastnacht on Pinterest.

Cream Cheese Filled King Cake

Prep time1 hour, 40 minutes
Cook time20 minutes
Total time2 hours
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Occasion Winter
From magazine Southern Living
Cream Cheese Filled King Cake - classic Mardi Gras cake with a sweetened cream cheese filling.


  • green, yellow and purple sprinkles
  • small toy baby or uncooked bean


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 8oz plain nonfat Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3+ cups bread flour (or all purpose)


  • 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoon milk


Dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm water and set aside to proof for 5-10 minutes. If the mixture does not foam, the yeast is bad and should be discarded.
Combine yoghurt, sugar, melted butter, egg and salt in a mixer bowl. Add yeast mixture and 1 cup flour and mix with electric mixer.
Add 2 or more cups of flour to make a soft dough. Knead about 10 minutes on a lightly floured board until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl covered with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
Combine filling ingredients while dough is rising.
Punch down dough and roll into a 12 x 22 inch rectangle. Spread filling on rectangle leaving 1 inch on all sides. Roll into a 22 inch cylinder pinching all seams closed.
Shape the cylinder into a circle on a parchment covered baking sheet. Let rise for 20-30 minutes until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden.
Stir together the glaze ingredients and spread on warm cake. Sprinkle on colored sugar.
Before serving slip baby (or bean) underneath the cake. Be careful serving to small children since it can be a choking hazard.


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9 thoughts on “Rich and Decadent Cream Cheese Filled King Cake for Mardi Gras”

  1. Hello cute lady! Thank you for hosting such an amazing party! We would love to see you at our party that goes until Friday @7. We pin and tweet every post! Happy Day! Lou Lou Girls

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