King Cake

Mardi gras king cakes come in myriad fillings, from fruit to chocolate to cream cheese.  Last year, I made a semi-traditional Pecan Praline Cream Cheese king cake. The year, on the advice of my 5-year-old son, I went a little out of the box with a Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese king cake.

We had a plethora of Meyer lemons from the plea I put out on Facebook a few weeks earlier. (Our former home had a citrus orchard that I desperately miss, and some kind-hearted neighbors filled the void with their own bounty.) Meyer lemons are a sweeter, less tart cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, and they make a fantastic curd, which is what I used in the filling of this king cake.

King Cake with Cream Cheese Filling

King cakes all start out the same: with a yeasted, slightly sweet dough. Yeast is alive–it needs the right temperature and a little sugar to be able to work its magic. The milk should be lukewarm to the touch and definitely nowhere near hot. One of the key components of any bread dough is the yeast. It must be fresh, so opt for the individual packets and check the expiration date.

When you combine the dry and wet ingredients, mix just until the dough gets sticky and uniform; the real magic happens in the five to seven minute knead time. After turning out the dough onto the counter, dust liberally with flour to prevent sticking. To knead, place thumbs together, and press dough away from you with the balls of your hands. Curl fingers over top the dough and fold it over, turn the dough and repeat. Add a little more flour if the dough becomes too sticky.

Kid cooking in kitchen

Once the dough is ready, roll it out to a 9×13 rectangle and spread on the filling. I whipped together one package of softened cream cheese, a cup of powdered sugar, and a few tablespoons of lemon curd that I made in the microwave earlier that day. Because of the thick filling, I found it easier not to braid this cake, as I usually do with a simple cinnamon-sugar filling. I made my lemon curd in the microwave, which is the easiest thing ever, but you can always use store-bought. If you’re anti-microwave, but you want to still make it yourself, use this recipe for lemon curd.

After you roll the cake back up, jelly-roll style, seal the seams, and arrange it in an oval, pinching the ends closed, it needs to rise again for about a half an hour. It’ll get nice and puffy. After that, you brush it with an egg wash and bake it until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

King Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling

Then, the fun begins! After a liberal slathering of glaze (cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and lemon extract beaten together to a pourable consistency), I sprinkle on some purple, green, and gold sanding sugars, but the sky is the limit.

King Cake
3 from 17 votes

Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese King Cake

A delightfully lemony, unique take on the classic king cake.

Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword king cake, lemon cream cheese king cake, lemon king cake
Prep Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 263 kcal
Author Amanda




  • 3/4 cup milk warm
  • 1 active dry yeast packet
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter melted and cooled
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • lemon zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour all-purpose plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon curd purchased or homemade*


  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • colored sugars in purple green and gold and a plastic baby or coin



  1. Combine the warm milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl and and set aside for five minutes.
  2. While yeast is proofing, whisk together the butter, egg yolks, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a separate bowl.
  3. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1/4 cup of sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. When the yeast mixture is foamy, add that and the butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed just until a soft, sticky dough forms.
  5. Dust countertop with flour and knead by hand (adding flour as needed) for 5 to 7 minutes until you have a smooth dough.
  6. Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel or saran wrap, and let rise for two hours, in a warm place until doubled in size.
  7. While the dough rises, make the filling.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and powdered sugar until fluffy.
  9. Add lemon curd and mix until incorporated.
  10. After dough has doubled, punch it down and shape it into a rectangle. With a rolling pin, roll it out to a 9- x 13-inch rectangle.
  11. Spread the filling on evenly, leaving two inches along each side so that the filling doesn’t ooze out. Starting opposite of that end, roll up the dough like a jelly roll. Pinch seams shut.
  12. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and shape it in to an oval, joining the ends and pinching them together. Let rise for another half an hour.
  13. Preheat oven to 375° F. Whisk one egg together with the tablespoon of water in a small bowl and brush egg wash all over the top of the cake with a pastry brush.
  14. Bake the cake for 40 minutes until the cake is golden brown. Let the cake cool completely before decorating.
  15. To make the glaze, beat the cream cheese with the milk until smooth. Add lemon juice and extract. Continue adding powdered sugar until glaze is thick but still pourable. Place the cake on a wire rack over parchment and pour glaze over cake. Decorate with sanding sugar, alternating purple, green, and gold. Working from the bottom of the cake, press the baby fully into the cake.

Recipe Notes

*See recipe for Microwave Lemon Curd

Nutrition Facts
Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese King Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 263 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 225mg10%
Potassium 53mg2%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 474IU9%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

97 thoughts on “Lemon Cream Cheese King Cake”

  1. Good blog post. I find out something a lot more challenging on various blogs day-to-day. It will certainly constantly be stimulating to read web content from other authors as well as practice a something from their shop. I?d favor to make use of some with the material on my blog site whether you don?t mind. Natually I?ll provide you a link on your web blog. Many thanks for sharing.

  2. This website is actually a walk-through for every one of the information you wanted regarding this as well as didn?t recognize that to ask. Peek here, and also you?ll certainly discover it.

  3. Hi this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you
    have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get
    advice from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  4. I’m not sure why but this web site is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a problem on my end?

    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  5. Howdy, There’s no doubt that your blog could possibly be
    having internet browser compatibility issues.
    Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine
    but when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues.

    I simply wanted to provide you with a quick
    heads up! Other than that, wonderful website!

  6. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back in the future. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great work, have a nice evening!

  7. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

  8. There are definitely a lot of details like that to think about. That is a great indicate raise. I use the thoughts above as general motivation but plainly there are concerns like the one you bring up where the most crucial point will be working in honest good faith. I don?t recognize if ideal methods have actually emerged around points like that, yet I make certain that your work is clearly determined as a fair game. Both kids and girls feel the influence of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

  9. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  10. Hello! I simply wish to provide a big thumbs up for the fantastic info you have below on this article. I will certainly be coming back to your blog for more quickly.

  11. I need to to thank you for this fantastic read!!

    I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new things you post…

  12. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who in fact knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You most definitely recognize how to bring an issue to light as well as make it vital. More people need to read this and also understand this side of the tale. I angle think youre not a lot more prominent because you most definitely have the present.

  13. I?d have to consult you below. Which is not something I typically do! I take pleasure in reading a post that will make people assume. Likewise, thanks for enabling me to comment!

  14. you’re in point of fact a good webmaster. The web site loading pace
    is amazing. It seems that you’re doing any unique trick.

    In addition, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a magnificent job in this subject!

  15. Hi! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance
    from an established blog. Is it very hard to set
    up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but
    I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my
    own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions?
    Thank you

  16. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like
    you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with
    some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that,
    this is excellent blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

  17. There are some intriguing points in this post but I don?t understand if I see all of them facility to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion till I look into it even more. Good write-up, many thanks as well as we desire a lot more! Contributed to FeedBurner also

  18. I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading extremely slow for me.

    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  19. You made some really good points there. I checked
    on the internet for additional information about the issue
    and found most people will go along with your views on this web

  20. I have been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort
    of space . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this site.
    Studying this information So i am happy to convey that I have an incredibly good uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed.
    I so much no doubt will make sure to do not overlook this web
    site and provides it a look on a relentless basis.

  21. What’s up to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this weblog; this webpage includes amazing
    and genuinely fine data in support of visitors.

  22. whoah this weblog is wonderful i love studying your posts. Keep up the great work!

    You already know, many individuals are looking around for this info,
    you could aid them greatly.

  23. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post
    was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you are
    going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  24. It’s awesome to pay a visit this website and reading the views of all friends
    regarding this piece of writing, while I am also eager of getting knowledge.

  25. We absolutely love your blog and find most of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking for.

    Do you offer guest writers to write content for you?
    I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write with regards to
    here. Again, awesome site!

  26. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not
    mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself
    and clear your head prior to writing. I’ve had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted simply just trying to figure out how
    to begin. Any ideas or hints? Many thanks!

  27. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I
    will be waiting for your further post thank you once again.

  28. I like reading through an article that will make people think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!

  29. As the admin of this web site is working, no question very soon it will be well-known, due to its quality contents.

  30. Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this
    information together. I once again find myself spending a lot of
    time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  31. Right here is the right blog for anyone who wishes to
    find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I
    actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that has been discussed for ages.
    Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  32. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent,
    let alone the content!

  33. Genuinely no matter if someone doesn’t understand after that its up to other visitors that they
    will help, so here it takes place.

  34. My relatives always say that I am wasting my time
    here at web, however I know I am getting knowledge daily by reading such good posts.

  35. I am curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be using?

    I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest blog and I’d like to find
    something more safe. Do you have any solutions?

  36. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and
    was hoping maybe you would have some experience with
    something like this. Please let me know if you run into
    anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  37. Quality articles is the crucial to invite the users to
    pay a visit the web page, that’s what this website
    is providing.

  38. What i do not realize is if truth be told how you’re no longer actually
    a lot more neatly-liked than you may be now. You’re very
    intelligent. You understand thus considerably in relation to this subject,
    made me in my opinion imagine it from so many various angles.
    Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated unless it’s
    one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent.

    Always maintain it up!

  39. Excellent blog here! Also your website loads up fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate
    link to your host? I wish my site loaded up as
    fast as yours lol

  40. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now
    whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails
    with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a means
    you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

  41. My family members all the time say that I am wasting my time
    here at net, except I know I am getting familiarity everyday by
    reading thes nice content.

  42. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really
    make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you
    got your design. Cheers

  43. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite certain I will learn a lot of new stuff
    right here! Good luck for the next!

  44. Hi there, You’ve done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends.
    I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

  45. I was suggested this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure
    whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed
    about my trouble. You are amazing! Thanks!

  46. I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road.

  47. I just couldn’t depart your site before suggesting that I really loved the usual information a person supply to your guests?
    Is gonna be again regularly to inspect new posts

  48. Magnificent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a blog site?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright
    clear idea

  49. Thank you for some other wonderful post. The place else may anybody get that type
    of information in such a perfect means of writing?
    I have a presentation subsequent week, and
    I am on the look for such info.

  50. I am planning to make this soon…I see that at the bottom of the list of cake ingredients it has another 1/2 Cup of butter, separate from the 1/2 cup of melted butter higher up the list. Is this a mistake on the ingredient list? I couldn’t find anywhere that more butter was added after the kneading….
    BTW – made the lemon curd today and it’s amazing!

  51. Is there a recipe for the lemon curd which you mixed with the powdered sugar and cream cheese? I’m not sure how to make…or where to buy…it. A friend made this recipe with a regular cream cheese filling, and it was excellent, but I’d like to try your recipe…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.