What better way to celebrate Christmas than with these incredible “Chris” Kringle Cakes? They are reminiscent of the Mardi Gras King Cake, but in mini form and decorated for Christmas – thus the “Chris”. As such, each one is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll dough topped with an amazing cream cheese icing.
Susan named these “Chris” Kringle Cakes in honor of Christmas! Ultimately, she decorated two of the cakes, and I decorated the other two cakes.
Making the Dough for the “Chris” Kringle Cakes
I used the following ingredients for the dough: Water, sour cream, egg, unsalted butter, granulated sugar, salt, all-purpose flour, and instant yeast.
I added the ingredients in the order listed to the pan of my bread machine, and selected the dough cycle.
I decided to make the dough the night before making the cakes. Therefore, as soon as the kneading had finished, I removed the dough from the bread machine. I placed it in an oiled bowl, covered it in plastic wrap, and stuck it in the refrigerator. I’ve found that refrigerated dough is generally easier to work with than room temperature dough.
The next morning, the dough had risen nicely. I removed it from the refrigerator and placed it on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. I ended up with 32 ounces of dough. Because I was making four “Chris” Kringle Cakes, I cut the dough into 4 pieces that were 8 ounces each.
I knew that I needed to roll the dough into a rectangle. Therefore, to make the job easier, I formed each piece into a log about 12-inches long.
Making the “Chris” Kringle Cakes
Before actually rolling the dough into rectangles, though, I made the two fillings: Cream cheese mixed with confectioners’ sugar; and melted butter mixed with granulated sugar and ground cinnamon.
I rolled each dough log into a rectangle roughly 15-inches long and 6-inches wide. Using an offset spatula, I spread some of the cream cheese mixture onto the rectangle. I made sure to leave about 1-inch free on one of the long edges (this is the edge that I will seal). Then, I spread some of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of the cream cheese. Again, I left about 1-inch free on one of the long sides. Starting with the opposite long side, I carefully rolled the dough in jelly roll fashion, and sealed it by pinching the dough together.
I formed the log into a circle, inserted one end into the other and pinched the pieces together.
Then, I inverted the ring, seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Finally, I placed a small round greased container into the center of the ring. The reason for doing this was to ensure that the ring didn’t close up as the dough rose. I repeated this process with the other three pieces of dough, placing two rings per baking sheet.
Once the four rings were finished, I covered the pans and let the dough rise for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Into a preheated 350° F oven the “Chris” Kringle Cakes went for about 20 minutes, until they were golden brown.
Finishing the “Chris” Kringle Cakes
While the cakes were cooking, I made the cream cheese icing by beating together cream cheese, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar. I colored some of the icing red and some green using gel coloring.
When the “Chris” Kringle Cakes came out of the oven, I let two of them cool for about 10 minutes before I iced them. After I had iced the cakes, I decorated them.
Susan let the other two cakes cool for about 30 minutes before she iced and decorated them.
We ended up with four amazing “Chris” Kringle Cakes. Each one was decorated differently. However, each one was like a large cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing. Yum!
"Chris" Kringle Cakes
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon filtered water (See Note 1)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream (See Note 2)
- 3 1/2 Tablespoons (1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (See Note 3)
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (See Note 3)
- 8 Tablespoons (4 ounces, 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 5 cups (20 ounces) confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add the dough ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed. Select the dough cycle, and start the machine. Check the dough after five minutes of mixing, and add 1 to 2 more Tablespoons of water or flour if the dough is too dry or wet. If making the night before, remove dough to large oiled bowl as soon as the kneading finishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If using the same day, allow the machine to complete the dough cycle. Makes approximately 32 ounces of dough.
- Beat 8 ounces of cream cheese with 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth. Set aside. Mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 4 tablespoons melted butter until combined. Set aside.
Making "Chris" Kringle Cakes
- Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place dough on a floured surface. Divide into 4 pieces, 8 ounces each. Form each piece into a 12-inch log. Roll each piece into a 15-inch x 6-inch rectangle. Trim the edges as needed. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough to within 1-inch of the edges. Spread cinnamon/sugar mixture on the cream cheese to within 1-inch of the edges of the dough.
- Starting at one of the long edges, roll the dough tightly into a 15-inch log; pinch seam to seal log. Place the rolled dough onto the prepared baking sheet, seam side down, and form the dough into a ring. Carefully place one end into other end; pinch to seal. Moisten the ends of the dough with a little water; pinch the two ends together to seal. Place small greased round container into center of ring. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake in preheated oven until the tops are golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Mix the ingredients for the icing to make a smooth, but not thin icing.
- Remove the cakes from the oven, and cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. While the cake is still warm, spread the icing on cake, allowing drips of icing to dribble down the sides and center of the cake. If using sprinkles, decorate while cake is still warm. Otherwise, decorate as desired. Yield: 4 "Chris" Kringle Cakes
Chula's Expert Tips
- Always use filtered water when making yeast dough. The reason is that the fluorine in tap water can impede the growth of yeast, or kill it.
- I used light sour cream.
- I used Neufchatel cheese or light cream cheese, but you could use full-fat cream cheese as well.