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Easy King Cake for Mardi Gras – Kate’s Recipe of the Week

It’s party time! Mardi Gras is coming up next week, Tuesday, Feb. 21, and per Liz’s special request I’ve been assigned the task of figuring out an EASY way to make a King Cake. Thanks Liz, I don’t have enough to keep me busy. But never fear, I’ve done it, and I think you’re going to like it. It’s easy. It looks impressive, and it tastes even better.

So, what IS a King Cake? And why bake a baby into it?

A king cake… is a type of cake associated…with Mardi Gras and Carnival.  In the United States, which celebrates Carnival in the Southeastern region, it is associated…with Mardi Gras traditions.

The cake has a small trinket (often a small plastic baby, sometimes said to represent Baby Jesus) inside, and the person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations (such as buying the cake for the next celebration). ~ Wikipedia

Tradition says that if you are the one to eat the piece of cake with the baby in it, you will have good luck throughout the year…AND you will have to provide the cake for the next Mardi Gras. Double edged sword, I’d say. This recipe is so easy, though, that it’s well worth a year of good luck in exchange for making next year’s cake.

Mardi Gras King Cake



  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


  • 2 tubes (total of 12 crescent rolls) LARGE refrigerated crescent rolls


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • food coloring
  • colored sprinkles



Place cream cheese, brown sugar and cinnamon in bowl and combine. Stir in pecans and set aside.


Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a pizza pan or baking sheet with cooking spray.

Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into triangles. Position triangles next to each other with the points toward the center.


Overlap the wide 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 the ends 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 if you can't find a plastic baby) in the filling. (The person who gets this piece will have good luck for the year.)


Fold the wide outside side of each triangle toward the center just to the edge of the filling to cover.


Next, fold the point end of the triangles toward the outer rim of the pan to 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 powdered sugar, milk , 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. Add food coloring, as desired.


Spoon the icing in a ring over the top of the King Cake and allow it to slowly drip down the sides. Decorate with wide stripes of purple, green, and yellow colored sugar crystals.


Easy King Cake for Mardi Gras

So there it is, your easy peasy Mardi Gras King Cake. I told Liz while I was coming up with this recipe. “If it aint easy, I aint gonna make it.” Maybe this should be my new cooking motto. I kinda like it!



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