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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Try Praline King Cake

Every year, I look forward to the Carnival season. From January 6th through Mardi Gras, New Orleans bakeries are filled with orders for King Cakes. This cinnamon pastry has many different variations. Every year, I have been changing the fillings in my King Cakes due to the availability of ingredients. That is until last year.

I stumbled upon an idea for a Praline King Cake. With a filling that is made by scratch, I would not be depending on a pre-made product to mix with cream cheese. First, I had to adapt it to my traditional recipe using crescent dough sheets. Next was adjusting to the looks of this new flavor. Traditionally, the icing for a King Cake is white in color. The icing for my Praline King Cake is brown, or praline color. There’s no escaping the fact that it is a Carnival King Cake with the addition of the traditional Mardi Gras colored sugars that are on top, purple, green, and gold. Ready to take a bite of my newest tradition? Let’s head to the kitchen!

For the Filling

8 ounces cream cheese

1 large egg, room temperature

1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Cake

1 can crescent roll dough sheet

Cinnamon sugar

For the Glaze

1/2 cup butter

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

Purple, green and yellow sanding sugar

To make the Filling

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in egg. Add brown sugar, flour, vanilla, and salt; beat at low speed until smooth and combined. Refrigerate for a few hours.

To make the Cake

Preheat oven to 375℉.

Roll out dough sheet. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar on dough. Cut dough in half lengthwise. Put filling on center of the two separate pieces. Roll each half sheet by the widest part, sprinkling cinnamon sugar as you go. Place the crease where the dough ends on the bottom of a foil lined sheet pan, sprayed with butter non-stick spray. Connect the two rolled sections together to make a continuous cake. Bake the cake for 18-20 minutes. While the cake is cooking, make the glaze.

To make the Glaze

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, milk and salt until smooth. Bring to a boil, and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla. Gradually whisk in confectioners sugar until smooth. Use immediately. If icing get too thick to work with, microwave in 10-second intervals until fluid.

Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Spoon glaze over cake and top immediately with colored sugars. If you allow the cake to cool too long, the glaze will instantly set and sugars will not hold.

Usually by now, I would have made numerous King Cakes. There is a supply issue with the crescent dough sheets. Hopefully by the time you read this, this problem will be solved. I know that’s what I’m hoping for. My wife and I have been having King Cake withdrawals. I have made a traditional made from scratch King Cake in the past. However, since I have developed this recipe, I don’t have the will to put a couple of hours into making one. I don’t have the patience that baking requires.

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