I’ve been tinkering around with different versions of king cakes for a few years now and I’ve finally got it. It is a mix of several different recipes.
It is slightly labor intensive since it involves letting the dough rise a couple of times but trust me, it is well worth it. I’ve actually had several people order them from me but now that I work full-time I just don’t always have time.
So here it is, get your aprons on!
This makes two king cakes.
Praline Pecan Cream Cheese King Cake
For the Cake
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
1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour
For the Cream Cheese Filling
2 (8 oz) blocks Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Praline Pecan Filling
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups of chopped pecans
1 cup of light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
For the Glaze
4 cups powdered sugar, get the sifted 10x one
small splash of almond extract
small splash of butter extract
5 tbsp water
Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until thoroughly mixed. Set aside, and cool mixture.
Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a glass bowl, let stand 5 minutes.
Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty 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.
Attach the dough hook and let it knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk (I put it in my slightly warmed oven).
While that is rising, beat together the cream cheese mixture ingredients until smooth and well blended. In another bowl, mix together the praline pecan ingredients.
Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread half of the cream cheese mixture over each rectangle then sprinkle half of the pecan mixture on each half. Spread it evenly over the cream cheese.
Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat Bring ends of roll together to form a ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.
Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Prepare the glaze by mixing the ingredients until smooth but still a little thick. You may add more water but be careful not to make it too thin.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 16 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Allow to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before spooning the glaze over and topping with purple, yellow and green sprinkles or colored sugar.