I have always wanted to make a king cake though just never found the time. The first time I had the cake I didn't like it a bit. I have found far more King Cakes that I disliked than I have liked. This one is good and although it could still use some tweaking with the filling the dough is just right.
I found a few recipes that sounded good, so I meshed them together to make this. I cut the recipe down to make a small cake that would serve 6 though it would be easy enough to double or triple this for a large crowd.
This is more like a sweet breakfast bread than it is a cake.
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm milk 110 degrees
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest of 1 medium lemon
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup raisins soaked in rum
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts)
1 cup powdered sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
milk as needed
In the bowl of your mixer combine milk and sugar, let sugar dissolve for 1 minute then add in yeast and let "bloom" for 5 minutes. If you don't have any bubbles/foam your yeast is dead and you need to start over.
In another bowl combine 2 1/4 cups flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon zest set aside.
By hand stir in egg yolk, melted butter, then put the bowl onto your mixer with your dough hook and add flour mixture slowly. When the flour is combined turn mixer onto 3 and let mix for 4 minutes. If the dough still is sticky add more flour, you want it to come together as a nice smooth ball. Knead in mixer for another 2-3 minutes. Then place in an oil bowl in a warm place. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise for at least 2 hours. This will happen very slowly.
Meanwhile let cream cheese come to room temperature. In a mixing bowl beat with powdered sugar and lemon juice. Set aside until ready to use.
When the dough has risen turn out onto lightly floured surface and roll out gently until you get a rectangle. Drain rum off of raisins. Spead on cream cheese mixture and then sprinkle on raisins and nuts then fold dough in half then half again. Form into a circle and let rise for 45 minutes covered with towel.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool then top with icing.