No Mardi Gras celebration is complete without King Cake – a sweet dough circle stuffed with cream cheese, cinnamon, brown sugar and pecans.
- 1 (1/4 oz) package of dry active yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 3/4 – 3 cups of flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick of butter, at room temperature
- 1 pound of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 2 cups of confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup of milk
Measure out ingredients.
Place the yeast, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
Add the remaining sugar, milk, brown sugar, egg and egg yolk. Mix on low speed for one minute until combined.
Add 2 3/4 cup of flour and salt. Mix on medium speed until incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and mix for 4 minutes. Add the butter a few cubes at a time with the mixer at medium speed. After all the butter is incorporated, continue kneading the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough seems too sticky, sprinkle in a little additional flour until the dough comes together.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
While the dough rises, mix together all the filling ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
Once the dough has doubled in size, remove plastic and punch it down. Transfer the dough to a generously floured surface and roll it out into an oval that is 1/4 inch in thickness. Use a sharp knife to cut a hole in the center of the dough and use your fingers to stretch it out.
Place dollops of filling around the dough, halfway between the outer edge and inner circle. Fold the outer edge over the dough, working your way around the circle, until all the filling is covered and the seam is sealed.
Transfer to a baking sheet and cover with plastic. Allow the dough to rise for another hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and puffed. Let cool completely.
While the cake cools, make the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar until no lumps remain. Spoon or pour the glaze over the cooled cake.
Decorate the cake with colored sanding sugar and serve immediately.