Pralines and Cream King Cake

The sweet, nutty flavor of pralines shines in this king cake.

Pralines and Cream King Cake
Makes 10 to 12 Servings
  • 2 (16-ounce) bags deli pizza dough
  • Praline Cream Cheese Filling (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Praline Caramel Icing (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: toasted chopped pecans, edible gold glitter
Praline Cream Cheese Filling
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Praline Caramel Icing
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  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 1 dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 24×8-inch rectangle. (If at any point dough is too elastic and hard to roll out, let stand for 5 minutes and then try again.) Using a small offset spatula, spread half of Praline Cream Cheese Filling (about ¾ cup) onto dough, leaving a 1-inch border on both short sides and a ½-inch border on one long side. Sprinkle with half of pecans. 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 25 inches long and even thickness. Set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining dough, remaining Praline Cream Cheese Filling, and remaining pecans. Place logs, seam side down, side by side. Twist logs together, and transfer to prepared pan. Form 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 Praline Caramel Icing on top of cooled king cake. Garnish with toasted pecans and edible gold glitter, if desired.
Praline Cream Cheese Filling
  1. 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, and beat at low speed until smooth and combined. Use immediately, or refrigerate until ready to use.
Praline Caramel Icing
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in 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 frosting gets too thick to work with, microwave in 10-second intervals until fluid.
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.