Chocolate Orange King Cake

Orange liqueur and fresh orange zest pair beautifully with the chocolaty filling in this king cake.

Chocolate Orange King Cake
Makes 10 to 12 Servings
  • 2 (16-ounce) bags deli pizza dough
  • Chocolate Filling (recipe follows)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Orange Sugar Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chocolate curls
Chocolate Filling
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons lightly packed orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon orange liqueur*
Orange Sugar Glaze
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons lightly packed orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons water

  1. Let refrigerated doughs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Punch down doughs, and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out doughs onto a lightly floured surface, and press each into a rectangle (about 9×5 inches). Stack rectangles; roll into a 20×12-inch rectangle. (If at any point dough is too elastic and hard to roll out, let stand for 5 minutes and then try again). Spoon Chocolate Filling in small dollops all over dough. Using a small offset spatula, spread filling onto dough, leaving a ½-inch border on both short sides and one long side. Starting with long side opposite border, roll up dough, jelly roll style, and pinch seam to seal. Gently lift log at each end, and stretch to 22 inches long and even thickness. Place seam side down, making sure seam is off to one side instead of in center. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut in half lengthwise. Turn halves cut side up, and carefully twist together; transfer to prepared pan. Form dough into a circle, twisting and pinching ends to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until puffed, about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush dough with egg wash.
  6. Bake until lightly golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 200°, 40 to 45 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. 7. Spread Orange Sugar Glaze on top of cooled king cake. Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.
Chocolate Filling
  1. In the top of a double boiler, place chocolate and butter. Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth and combined. Remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar, cocoa, and salt until smooth. Whisk in orange zest and liqueur. Let cool to room temperature before using.
Orange Sugar Glaze
  1. In a medium bowl, place 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Whisk in liqueur and orange zest and juice until smooth. Slowly whisk in remaining 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk in 1 to 2 teaspoons water until desired consistency is reached. (Glaze is very thick.)
NOTE: We used refrigerated pizza dough from the bakery section of the grocery store. You may substitute frozen options, like frozen white bread or sweet dough, which also come in 1-pound packages. The important thing is that 2 pounds of dough is used. Baking time will vary depending on the dough you use. If you use a sweet dough, bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°. If using a frozen dough, let thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.