King Cake With Praline Glaze and Cream Cheese + Happy Mardi Gras

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It's that time of year, Mardi Gras y'all!

Now is the time you see endless King Cakes taking over the grocery stores. Purple, green and gold everywhere around the city and surrounding cities. This Mardi Gras King Cake has a delicious praline glaze and is stuffed with cream cheese. Did y'all even know that King Cake is not actually a cake? Its really a bread-like-cinnamon-rolly-delciousness going on.

I remember Mardi Gras being a time of joy and absolute FUN. Even though it has been years since I've been back home during the festival season--yeah I know, long overdue--but I will never forget the energy of the city. If you have never been, you need to experience Mardi Gras at least once!

The inspiration of this King Cake came from pastry chef Lisa Marie White from her famed Domenica King Cake. The brioche dough is rolled with a cinnamon sugar sprinkled with orange zest and then a mascarpone cheese filling that is sweetened with just a little powdered sugar. Once baked, a praline glaze is poured over it and also your regular icing glaze.

I decided to not cut the cake in half and stuff it but just roll the cream cheese filling into the dough. It still came out delicious! Never would I have thought I would be making King Cake, but soooo glad I did!

Happy Carnival Season!

King Cake With Praline Glaze & Cream Cheese

  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown
 sugar
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon (divided)
  • 1½ teaspoons orange zest (divided)
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (about 95°)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dry yeast
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour (divided, plus more for kneading)
  • 1 cup butter (melted)
  • 5 large egg yolks (beaten)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • purple green and gold decorative sugars

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 8oz container of mascarpone cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • a pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar

Praline Glaze

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup

Icing Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add cream cheese add mascarpone and beat until smooth. Scrape down sides once again. Add salt and sugar, and mix until combined. Place in a piping bag and refrigerate until chilled. 

Praline Glaze

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar and butter. Cook until the sugar is melted and mixture is bubbly, making sure to not stir too much. Slowly add cream, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Be careful, mixture may splatter. Whisk in corn syrup and molasses. When mixture is ready, it will have a velvet sheen. Keep warm until using.

Icing Glaze

  1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth. 

King Cake

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add brown sugar, butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon orange zest. Beat until combined, and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, place warm milk; 
add sugar, yeast, and a heaping tablespoon of flour, and whisk until sugar and yeast are dissolved. Let stand until foamy. Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and remaining 1 teaspoon orange zest.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine nutmeg, remaining flour, and remaining 3 teaspoons cinnamon; fold flour mixture into the milk mixture with a large rubber spatula. After the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, shape it into a large ball. Knead dough on a well-floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes.
  4. Return dough to bowl, and cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a draft-free place until dough doubles in size, about 1 ½ hours. Punch dough down, and roll dough out to a ¼-inch thick rectangle (about 20x12-inches). Lightly spread with reserved brown sugar mixture. On one end, pipe the cream cheese mixture starting 1/3 from the top of one end all the way down stopping 1/3 from the end. 

  5. Roll up long side of dough as tightly as possible, like a cinnamon roll, and pinch ends closed. Shape it into an oval shape, and tuck the ends under each other. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place dough on prepared baking sheet, and let rise until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake 
until cake is golden brown, about 
30 minutes. Let cool for about 
30 minutes. While cake is baking, prepare the Praline Glaze

  7. Let cake cool and drizzle some parts with the praline glaze and others with the icing glaze. Sprinkle with decorative sugars and enjoy with a cup of coffee!

This recipe is adapted from Louisiana Cookin Magazine.