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+ servings
King Cake

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.