This is a little late, but still plenty yummy. King cake is a sweet made and consumed during the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras. Since I’m not one for timing or rules, I made it after lent. Enjoy!
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup white sugar
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
3 tablespoons dark rum
8 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Heat milk and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and spices. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
Melt butter in a small saucepan, add pecans and stir for 2 minutes. Add rum and brown sugar, stir until melted. Pour into a bowl let cool for 5 minutes then fold in cream cheese and vanilla.
Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Roll out dough into long 4″ wide strips, transfer to the cookie sheet, spread the filling and roll into a tube. Join the ends to make a ring and cut slits 1″ apart. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Mix powdered sugar and milk, frost while warm and sprinkle with colored sugar.