I am always searching for the ultimate Kings Cake. There aren’t as many recipes out there as you may think. John Besh has his, then there is Emeril, Lottie and Doff and other well known chefs and blogs. Sandra Lee even has a semi-homemade version. But seriously Sandra- nothing beats the real thing!
Well, my philosophy on recipes is this- the older the better and if it comes from a grandmother or church cookbook then it probably reigns over the others. I found a recipe after searching literally through every cookbook I have and lo and behold the second to last one from a small church in Louisiana had a recipe called Praline Baby Cake. At second glance I saw a small note at the bottom that read also known as Kings Cake. The page was beaming with a white light and the recipe was calling out to me! Kings Cake + Praline Filling= BEST KINGS CAKE EVER!
An older woman named Betty came up with this recipe and although I am pretty sure she is no longer with us as the cookbook was written forever and ever ago I know she would be proud! The cake is light, the texture is slightly firm on the outside and gooey and chewy on the inside. The dough couldn’t be easier to make and the icing is near perfection. All bets off, I think this is the ONE. I am not going to jinx myself, I will try again next year but I have a feeling this is the one I will keep coming back to time and time again.
If you are not a nut fan (GASP!) then by all means substitute the praline filling for something like brown sugar and cinnamon or cream cheese or just leave it out all together! Note: I left out the nuts in the filling because of my 2 yr old son but it still tastes like praline and by all means include the nuts for your family if everyone likes them!