Cream Cheese Filled King Cake is a decadent treat 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 $75 plus shipping.
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.
I used reduced fat cream cheese and non fat Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream in the original 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.
How to Serve King Cake
Traditionally a small baby is hidden in one of the servings, and the person that finds it is the King or Queen of the evening and will have prosperity and luck in the coming year.
Instead of buying them you can use an uncooked bean such as kidney bean, pinto bean, etc.
But, be sure to warn everyone to eat carefully as a bean or baby can be a choking hazard.
You'll never guess who found the baby this year.
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?!"
Cream Cheese Filled King Cake
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup warm water
- 8 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 1 Large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3+ cups bread flour (or all purpose)
- 8 ounce package cream cheese
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 Large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoon milk
- green, yellow and purple colored sugar or sprinkles
- small toy baby or uncooked bean
- 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 yogurt, 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°F until golden, about 15-20 minutes.
- Stir together the glaze ingredients and spread on warm cake. Sprinkle on colored sugar/ sprinkles.
- Before serving slip baby (or bean) underneath the cake. Be careful serving to small children since it can be a choking hazard.
Until next time, happy eating!