I was recently looking through my Top 100 and realized that I had a King Cake listed. Considering that Mardi Gras is the time to make a King Cake I figured I better jump on that train before it’s too late and I have to wait a whole year. It is traditional to make king cakes between January 6th (Twelfth Night) and Fat Tuesday. When making the cake, a small plastic baby, a coin or dried bean are hidden and whoever gets the slice with the trinket will have good luck. Make sure to warn those eating the cake to be on the lookout!
I have never made or eaten a King Cake so I had a bit of a difficult time choosing a recipe since many of them vary quite a bit. Should I go with a cinnamon filling, one with citron or a cream cheese? My final decision factored on the ease of the recipe. For Valentine’s Day I made cinnamon rolls and I didn’t really feel like dealing with a yeast dough twice in a week. Therefore, I went with a recipe that starts with crescent roll dough and has cinnamon and cream cheese fillings.
The recipe calls for coloring the glaze the traditional green, purple and yellow of Mardi Gras but I wanted to stick with the colored sugar to really make the colors stand out. So after drizzling the glaze on the cake I simply sprinkled the cake with sugar that I colored myself. To make colored sugar, place 1/4 cup sugar in a plastic bag then place a very small amount of gel coloring in with it. Seal the bag then mash and mix until it is thouroughly distributed.
This “cake” is more of a sweet bread or pastry. The crescent dough gave a light, flaky texture which was really yummy with the silky cream cheese and sugary cinnamon fillings. Plus, it only took about 5-10 minutes to put together so from start to finish it was about 30 minutes for a yummy little treat.
King Cake with Cream Cheese Filling
recipe from Taste of Home
2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated reduced-fat crescent rolls
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red, blue, yellow and green food coloring or purple, green and yellow sugars
1. Unroll both tubes of crescent dough and separate into triangles. Place triangles on a greased 12-in. pizza pan, forming a ring with pointed ends facing toward the center and wide ends overlapping. Lightly press wide ends together.
2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon over wide ends of ring. In another bowl, stir the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese mixture.
3. Fold points over filling and fold wide ends over points. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Divide icing among three bowls. Using red and blue food coloring, tint one portion purple. Tint another portion yellow and the remaining portion green. Drizzle over cake. Or drizzle the white frosting over the cake then sprinkle with colored sugars. Serve warm. Yield: 16 servings.