Mardi Gras Cream Cheese King Cake Recipe

Mardi Gras Cream Cheese King Cake Recipe
Mardi Gras is a much anticipated celebration with special food, parades, and parties, especially in New Orleans in the US. One of the most iconic traditions is serving a King Cake. While most New Orleans bakeries feature them at Mardi Gras time, homemade ones are much better, especially because King cakes are made with yeast dough that is better when freshly baked. The cakes are generally braided, baked, and covered with frosting with a sprinkling of purple, gold, and green sanding sugar. The colors are symbolic for the principles of Mardi Gras: Green for faith. Purple for justice, and Gold for power. There is also a small plastic baby or king figurine hidden inside the cake (in the early years, it was a large lima bean). Most bakeries have quit putting the baby or king in the cake to prevent a lawsuit in case an unsuspecting person accidentally bites down on it and breaks a tooth, so it is often included separately for the purchaser to push up into the cake if they want to.

There are dozens of variations of King Cakes found in bakeries – some plain, some with fillings such as cream cheese or pie fillings, and some with cinnamon sugar. The following Cream Cheese King Cake is a favorite variation, and is easily made using an automatic bread machine for the dough.
If you plan on serving a King Cake at your Mardi Gras party this year, you should inform your guests that the lucky person who gets the baby or king in their piece of cake must host the Mardi Gras party the next year; it’s tradition.

18 Servings

1 orange

1 cup water
3 eggs
1/4 cup dry milk
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 - 4 cups flour
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast

1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg

1/4 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
Whipping cream (1/4 to 1/2 cup)

Purple sanding sugar
Green sanding sugar
Gold sanding sugar

  1. Wash and dry the orange. Using a Microplane or fine grater, grate the zest from the orange. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into the pan of an automatic bread machine; add the zest.
  2. Place the remaining dough ingredients in the order given into the pan of the automatic bread machine.
  3. Turn the machine to the dough setting and start. After 5 minutes of mixing, check to see that the dough forms a soft ball. If the ball is too soft, add a little more flour; if it's too stiff, add a little more water and start the cycle over.
  4. Meanwhile, Mix the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl; set aside.
  5. Mix the filling ingredients until smooth; set aside.
  6. When the dough cycle has finished, transfer the dough to a floured pastry cloth.
  7. Roll the dough into a rectangle 10" x 12".
  8. Spread the softened butter over the surface, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture, then spread the filling over the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  9. ””
  10. Roll up like a jelly roll, starting at the long end; pinch the seam.
  11. ””
  12. Cut the roll in half lengthwise, cross the pieces, and twist them together to form a braid; pinch the ends together to form a circle; place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a non-terry towel and let rise until doubled in bulk.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  14. When the dough has risen, bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool thoroughly.
  15. Frosting: Mix the frosting ingredients until smooth and spread over the cooled cake; sprinkle with the colored sanding sugar.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 311 Calories from Fat 98
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 32% Protein 7% Carb. 61%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 75 mg
Sodium 243 mg
Total Carbohydrate 47 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 12 g
Protein 6 g

Vitamin A 10% Vitamin C 7% Calcium 0% Iron 4%

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