Make King Cake from scratch with this Easy King Cake With Cream Cheese Filling recipe! Soft and fluffy, filled with sweet cream cheese and topped with a classic icing & DIY colored sugars, this King Cake smells and taste like cinnamon, butter, and actual heaven.
1-8 oz package(1-226 g package)cream cheeseroom temperature
1 cup(125 g)powdered sugar
For the Icing
1 cup(125 g)powdered sugar
1 and 1/2tbspmilk
For the Colored Sugars
9tbspwhite granulated sugardivided (3+3+3)
Yellow food coloring, green food coloring, purple food coloring
For the King Cake Dough & Cream Cheese Filling
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the all-purpose flour, bread flour, and instant yeast. Mix to combine then set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, add the butter and milk and heat until the butter is melted. Mix with a whisk or fork until fully combined and smooth, remove from the heat and allow to cool down slightly before moving onto the next step. If you have a kitchen thermometer, the mixture should be between 81F - 100F (27C - 37C).
Gently pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Use a fork or your hands to give it a quick mix before adding in the egg and sugar. Give it another quick mix then add in the vegetable oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, orange blossom water, and salt. Mix until a dough starts to form.
Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (5-6 minutes is usually enough). You can also use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook for this recipe. Once the dough is ready, place it in a greased bowl turning it to coat all sides in the oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until fluffy and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or simply set aside if your kitchen isn't hot.
How to Assemble
Once the dough has risen, transfer it back to a floured surface and roll it out into a large rectangle (about 11 inches wide x 15 inches long). Using an off-set spatula or a butter knife, spread the cream cheese filling over the dough leaving a 1-inch gap between the filling and the border. Starting from one of the long ends, roll the dough into a log then bring the ends of your log together to form an oval. Pinch the edges together to seal, you can moisten your fingers with water if necessary. Cover the king cake with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.
Once the king cake has puffed up, brush it with milk and bake it in for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown on top and golden on the bottom. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack and allow to cool down to room temperature before moving onto the next step. Meanwhile make the DIY colored sugar (next step).
How to Decorate
To make the DIY colored sugar, simply divide the sugar evenly between three ziplock bags. Add a generous amount of purple food coloring in the first bag, a generous amount of green food coloring in the second bag, and a generous amount of yellow food coloring in the third bag. The amount of food coloring varies depending on the type of food coloring you're using. I used Wilton's Gel Food Coloring (I have this set) and I used 1/4 tsp of each color. Shake each bag until the sugar is evenly colored, then place each of the colored sugars onto a separate plate and spread them across the plate to dry.
Once the cake is cool,make the icing. In a small bowl, add the powdered sugar, milk, and lemon extract (optional) and mix until fully combined and smooth. Immediately transfer the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small tip and pipe thin lines of icing onto the cake. Immediately sprinkle with the colored sugars. Press a plastic baby into the bottom of the cake, if desired (I recommend these plastic babies). Slice and enjoy or wait for 1-2 hours for the icing to harden, then slice and enjoy!
Storing Instructions: you can store your King Cake covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. After that, place the cake into an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Keep in mind that King Cake is best eaten fresh as the dough tends to dry up over time!
Keyword Easy King Cake Recipe, Easy King Cake With Cream Cheese Filling, King Cake, Mardi Gras Food