Everyone in Louisiana has their own version of a King Cake. If they don’t have their own version, they have their favorite version! Yeasty and fluffy or flaky and dense, either which way, after a feast of Gumbo or Jambalaya you’re definitely going to need a King Cake! It's the perfect finale during your Mardi Gras feast!
A cross between a French pastry and coffee cake, King Cake is associated with Mardi Gras. It indicates the end of the holiday season. Traditionally eaten on King’s Day, January 6, it is served in honor of Epiphany, marking the arrival of the three wise men in Bethlehem, who brought gifts to Baby Jesus. This is the reason behind hiding the plastic little baby in the cake. Although this is optional (See Gr8 Tips below), the lucky person who finds the baby in their slice is said to find luck all year long! Another tradition is for the lucky person to bring the King Cake to next year’s Mardi Gras party!
Attending college at LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, our youngest daughter, Miranda had her fair share of King Cakes during her 4 years in the Bayou! Although I didn’t want to know all of the details of her Mardi Gras experiences, I did want to know all about the food! Desserts for sure! Especially the King Cake!
Born and raised in Minden, Louisiana, Miranda’s boyfriend, Cole, knows all about the cuisine of the south! Probably eating more than cooking! His parents, Nancy and Mike, also born and raised in Louisiana, have raised 3 sons and a daughter...I can only imagine the meals coming out of that southern kitchen!
Fingers crossed, I asked Miranda if she could maybe get the recipe! Within a few minutes, Cole’s mom sent him the recipe for me! She shared the recipe she has used all these years. The one that her kids remember best and love the most! Wait until you see how easy it is! Need a quick and simple recipe? This is it!
Thank you so much Nancy! Since Cole only had a photo this time, and not the real thing, I hope to give him the flavors from home, right here in California!
"Laissez les bon temps rouler!" Let the good times roll!
- 2 large cans refrigerated crescent rolls
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
- 4 teaspoons butter, melted
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 small plastic baby (or large dried bean), optional, (see Gr8 Tip Below)
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a pizza pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, or a stand up mixer, blend together cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla.
- Open the packaged rolls and unroll dough.
- Separate triangles at the perforations. Place crescent rolls in a circle, with points facing the center and sides touching. Press together the center of the seams, leaving the top and bottom not pressed together.
- Add the orange slice at this time if using this option (see Gr8 Tip below).
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough, leaving 2 inches at the top, and 2 inches at the bottom of each triangle without filling.
- Starting at the point, fold down to the center. From the wide end, fold up, fully enclosing the filling. Continue all around the circle.
- Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool.
- If inserting the small plastic baby or bean (see Gr8 Tip below), lift cake and press into the bottom of the cake. Make Creamy Glaze.
- Combine all of the glaze ingredients until sugar has dissolved and mixture is creamy.
- Spread or drizzle to your liking and sprinkle with colored sugars in alternate colors.