Ever since I found this on my friend, Ashley J's, blog, I've been in love. Best homemade king cake I've found, and we had tried at least 10 different recipes since moving to Omaha, so far, far away from the "real" king cakes.
She got the recipe from Nayda E...man, Thanks Nayda for this!
I am putting it here b/c I felt guilty/worried about giving so many people links to her family blog!
1 pkg yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup butter (softened)
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender. In a separate bowl, beat eggs; add to yeast mixture. Stir liquid into flour mixture with a spoon. Let rise about 1 hour, and then stir down. Let rise again an additional hour. While dough is rising, prepare cream cheese filling by combining all the ingredients and mixing them until smooth.
CREAM CHEESE FILLING: (I maybe sometimes double this, lol)
1- 8oz. pkg. of cream cheese (softened)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Punch down dough (this dough is enough to make 2 small king cakes, or 1 big king cake). On a floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly butter the entire rectangle. Spread cream cheese filling on bottom of the long end of rectangle. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1-2 teaspoons Ground Cardamom (may substitute ground cinnamon) over entire rectangle.
Starting at end with the filling, roll rectangle as you would if you were making cinnamon rolls. Twist and place on a greased cookie sheet in a ring, connecting and tucking the ends together. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Watch carefully while baking. If it becomes golden brown before finished baking then place foil loosely over top and let it cook for the remaining time. Insert baby underneath while still warm. Allow it to completely cool after baking then frost.
* If you'd like to add a fruit pastry filling, allow the king cake to completely cool then using a knife, cut the top half completely off; apply filling in the center and place the top back on; use the frosting to hide where the cake has been cut.
1 stick butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup marshmallow cream (optional)
3 cups powdered sugar
milk to consistency
To decorate, beat frosting ingredients well and spread over cooled king cake. Sprinkle with green, gold, and purple granulated sugar. (Tip: to color sugar, add a few drops of food coloring to 1/4 cup sugar in a zip top bag, then seal and shake)