You can go on the internet and find all kinds of lore on the history and tradition of the King Cake. Here’s a good summary that I found. This was a really fun cake to make, and it’s a great one for kids to get in on the action too!
1 16-oz container sour cream (I used reduced fat)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 packets active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Spread butter evenly on rolled-out dough. Combine cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle on dough.
Cream Cheese Filling
3/4 cup sugar
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients together and spread evenly on rolled-out dough.
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons milk
Mix all ingredients together until desired consistency. Put glaze in a ziploc bag. Snip off corner of bag and glaze your cake!
For the cake
Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100 to 110 degrees.
Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour until a soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
Punch down dough and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at the long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes).
WOW. This was quite an undertaking for an ordinary Saturday, in my opinion. It was fun, but it was also one of those days where I felt like I never left the kitchen! So, prepare yourself for that. Since the dough has two rises, you do have to allow adequate time. Miracle of all miracles, my dough actually rose A LOT. It was beautifully soft and smooth! And my kids had a blast with the sprinkles.
The cake itself was delicious. I did one cake with the sugar and cinnamon filling and the other with cream cheese filling. According to my son, the cake tasted like “one big cinnamon roll!” How can you go wrong with that?