easy king cake

While we don’t go overboard with a huge Mardi Gras party every year, we do like to at least celebrate the season and Fat Tuesday with a little bit of carnivale. One of the most identified and unique Mardi Gras dishes, besides cajun favorites like jambalaya and red beans, is the king cake. I know I remember them most about Mardi Gras as a kid; our family used to ship us one wherever we happen to be living. But you don’t have to live near a fabulous bakery in New Orleans to have one; with this recipe, you can whip a king cake up in less than 30 minutes!

Just for a little background on the king cake for those of you that are not familiar, the king cake was originally baked in New Orleans as part of little Christmas when the three kings visited the Christ child. The tradition of serving this cake continues to this day, but with much more fanfare. A danish dough is braided into a ring or oval shape and covered with sugar toppings in the Mardi Gras colors of gold, green and purple. A tiny plastic (or porcelain or gold) baby is inserted into the cake–whoever is served the baby is asked to host the next Mardi Gras party.

easy king cake-1

If you scroll to the bottom of the page, there is a printable recipe. But first, a step by step for you to see how it’s done.

You’re going to want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

easy king cake

This is the part that makes making this cake so easy. Crescent rolls in a tube. I picked up a tube in the 12 oz size, then rolled it out on my parchement-ed cookie sheet.

easy king cake

The crescents are naturally going to want to fight you and separate all apart, but if you gently pinch together the seams, you’ll get a big long piece of dough you can work with.

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We’re going to mix up a filling now! Filling, by the way, is completely optional on a king cake. You can skip the filling and move straight onto braiding and frosting if you want. The filling used here is cream cheese and pecans. Mix 4 oz softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and spread it along the center of your dough. After you do this, cut a few slits in the sides of the dough to make flaps that can be folded over the filling.

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Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar over the cream cheese and 1/2 cup chopped pecans over top of that.

easy king cake

Fold the flaps over the filling to make a “braid” and pinch together any holes along the bottom so the cream cheese doesn’t leak out while it’s baking.

easy king cake

Scoot your roll over to one long side of the pan then gently shape it into a circle/oval. Pop it into your preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.

easy king cake

While you’re waiting for your cake to cook, mix up the frosting, as you’re going to want to apply it to the cake while the cake is still warm. Mix together 3 cups powdered sugar and 1/4 cup water with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. This mixture will be rather thick, but not to worry. It’ll stay put on top of your cake and beautifully drip down the sides. When your cake is out of the oven, spread it in a ribbon around the top of the cake, a section at a time. You have to work quick to add your sprinkles before the icing hardens after you put on the icing.

easy king cake

The finishing touch is the baby. Slip it under the cake and see who gets to hit the kitchen next to bake up another cake!

Easy 30 Minute King Cake Recipe for Mardi Gras

Ingredients

  • CAKE
  • 1 12oz tube refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • FROSTING
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Purple, gold and green sugar sprinkles

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Roll out tube of crescent rolls on parchment lined cookie sheet, pressing the seams of the dough together to form one large layer of dough.

3. Mix cream cheese, 1/4 cup powdered sugar and and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and spread it along the center of your dough.

4. Cut a few slits in the sides of the dough to make flaps that can be folded over the filling.

5. Sprinkle brown sugar and pecans over the cream cheese.

6. Fold the flaps over the filling to make a “braid” and pinch together any holes along the bottom so the cream cheese doesn’t leak out while it’s baking.

7. Gently form the dough into a ring on the cookie sheet.

8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

9. While cake is baking, mix together the frosting: 3 cups powdered sugar and 1/4 cup water with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. This mixture will be rather thick.

10. When your cake is out of the oven, spread it in a ribbon around the top of the cake, a section at a time. You have to work quick to add your sprinkles before the icing hardens after you put on the icing.

11. The finishing touch is the baby. Slip it under the cake and see who gets to hit the kitchen next to bake up another cake!

http://frogprincepaperie.com/2014/02/easy-30-minute-king-cake-recipe-for-mardi-gras.html

easy king cake

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