Having lived in New Orleans, I was looking for a recipe for a true king cake, and this did the trick. My boyfriend even declared it the best king cake he has ever had. However, I made some important modifications to make this taste like a true Nola king cake. Even a cream cheese king cake needs the cinnamon-sugar layer, so I took the directions from the "traditional" king cake and covered my flattened rectangle with softened butter and sprinkled on an even layer of cinnamon (2 teaspoons) and sugar (1/2 cup). Then, rather than spread the cream cheese all over the rectangle, I placed it all in a large line a little ways in from the edge along the long side. This way, when you roll it, you end up with a cream cheese center but cinnamon-sugar throughout the cake, just the way a real king cake is made. I'll also note two other important things. I took the advice of a commenter on the traditional recipe and used a heated oven to help with the rising, and I used my own frosting recipe.
Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake
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Stand: 5 Minutes
Rise: 1 Hour, 30 Minutes
Bake: 16 Minutes
- 1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour*
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Creamy Glaze
- Purple-, green-, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles
- Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.
- Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
- Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Beat 3/4 cup sugar, cream cheese, 1 egg, and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders.
- Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
- Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes). Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.
- *6 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour may be substituted.
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