Baking a King Cake for Fat Tuesday is easy with make-ahead dough. The night before, mix and chill the dough. On Fat Tuesday, roll out the dough, add the filling, let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, bake, cool, drizzle icing on top, sprinkle with green, gold, and purple sugar, hide the baby, serve, and celebrate!
King Cake is made with a brioche dough. This pastry dough is of French origin is an enriched bread with a high egg and butter content giving it a rich and tender crumb.
This dough has a thick pancake-like consistency. It's easy for beginner bakers and elaborate for experienced bakers!
- 1/4 cup warm water(80º-100º)
- 1 package yeast
- 3/4 cup whole milk, scalded and cooled
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
- 1 zest of lemon
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling: Blend together; 1 8-ounce Philadelphia cream cheese(room temperature), 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 T. whole milk, 1 T. cinnamon, 1 t. vanilla
Icing: Blend together; 8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese(room temperature), 1 bag confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup whole milk, 1 t. vanilla
Dissolve yeast and 1 t. sugar in warm water. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.
In a small saucepan, scald the milk. Set aside to cool(less than 100º).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the yeast mixture, scalded & cooled milk, sugar, melted butter, eggs, salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest. Begin mixing, gradually add the flour. Continue to mix until smooth.
Cover the bowl with a plate or saran wrap. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk(about 2 hours) at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the filling ingredients. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend the icing ingredients. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375º.
On a heavily floured Silpat®, place 1/2 of the dough. Roll out to a 1/2" thickness. Spread with 1/2 of the filling. Starting at the widest edge, roll up to dough into a cylinder. Carefully pick up the dough and place on a Silpatº lined baking sheet. Cover with a clean dish towel. Allow to rise for 30 to 45 minutes.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 200º.
If the King Cake is getting too brown, cover lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Remove from oven. Place on a wire rack. Cool completely. Place on a serving platter.
Hide the baby in the King Cake!
Drizzle with the icing onto King Cake. (You might have a little icing depending on how much you prefer.)
Sprinkle with purple, gold, and green sugars.
Happy Mardi Gras!