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Easy Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

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Easy King Cake Recipe for Mardi Gras

© 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
This method is a common one for making filled coffee cakes or Danish pastry rings. Here it is adapted to make an easy King Cake for Mardi Gras with its traditional purple (denoting justice), green (faith), and yellow (power) wide stripes of color. However, you will want to keep this simple method on file for a fast and easy filled coffee cake at any time of the year. Simply omit the colored sugar (perhaps use different colors). You may also substitute canned pie filling for the cream cheese filling used here. If you cannot picture the procedure, take a look at the step-by-step photos. It really is easy.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Filling:
  • 4 ounces (half of a large block) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drained, and patted dry on paper towels
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • .
  • Cake:
  • 2 rolls (total of 12 individual crescent rolls) refrigerated crescent rolls in the can
  • .
  • Icing:
  • 1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoon (about) milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Purple, green, and yellow colored sugar crystals or food coloring

Preparation:

Place cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process until combined. Add pecan halves and pulse until pecans are chopped to about 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a pizza pan or baking sheet with butter-flavored vegetable oil.

Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into triangles. Position triangles next to each other with the points toward the center, overlapping the long sides about 1/4-inch, forming a large round. Where the pieces overlap, press the seams together only in the center of each seam, leaving either ends of the seams unsealed so you can fold them up over the filling.

Spread the filling around in a ring covering the center sealed seam of each triangle.

Place a small plastic baby or dried bean somewhere in the filling. (The person who gets this piece will have good luck for the year.)

Fold the short side of each triangle toward the center just to the edge of the filling to cover. Then pull the point end of the triangles toward the outer rim of the pan to fully enclose the filling, tucking under the points. Lightly press the seams.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Whisk together the confectioners' sugar, milk or cream, and vanilla until smooth. The consistency should be fairly thick, but still thin enough to slowly drip down the sides. Add more milk as necessary. Spoon the icing in a ring over the top of the King Cake and allow it to slowly drip down the sides.

To decorate for Mardi Gras, sprinkle wide stripes of purple, green, and yellow colored sugar crystals.

If using food coloring, whisk together icing as above. Divide icing evenly amongst 3 bowls. Add 2 drops each of red and blue food coloring to the first bowl to make purple. Use 2 drops each of yellow and green in the remaining 2 bowls. Scrape each individual bowl into its own ziptop bag. Squeeze out all the air and seal. Snip off one corner of the bag and use as a pastry bag to pipe wide stripes of icing on the King Cake. The bags will give you more control than using a spoon or spatula. The icing should firm up a bit in about an hour.

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Note: Canned pie fillings are easily substituted for the cream cheese filling for a traditional filled coffee cake. You may use the standard or over-sized crescent rolls.

Step-by-Step Photo Instructions for Easy King Cake Recipe

Easy King Cake Recipe Photo © 2009 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
EASIER than Easy King Cake, Member Gigijax

This was not only easy, but I received rave reviews from coworkers and family. Made it twice this week and will make it again! I DO NOT color the icing though -- go to a bakery store or craft store (Michaels) and purchase the colored sugar -- much prettier cake!

6 out of 6 people found this helpful.

See all 9 reviews

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