Easy King Cake

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 16 servings
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 20 mins

You'll love this streamlined version of the Mardi Gras favorite—and your kids will too.

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. A plastic baby, representing the Christ child, is hidden inside (to be safe, clean it well and insert after baking the cake). According to tradition, whoever gets the baby has to provide the King Cake for the following year. This simplified version of a starts with packaged refrigerated crescent rolls.


-- Cooking spray
2 cans (8-ounce) reduced-fat crescent rolls
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Icing and Sugars:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoon skim milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
-- Colored sugars (purple, green and gold)


  1. Preheat oven 350F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare cake, separate crescent rolls at perforations, into 16 slices. Place slices around pan with points in the center. About halfway down from points, press seams together.
  3. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Using a mixer at medium speed, beat until creamy. Spread cream cheese mixture on dough in the center where seams have been pressed together.
  4. Combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese. Fold dough points over filling, then fold base of triangles over points forming a circular roll.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. To prepare icing, combine all ingredients except colored sugars in a small bowl. Whisk until icing reaches desired consistency, adding more powdered sugar or milk as needed. Drizzle over cooled cake.
  7. Sprinkle colored sugars in wide horizontal bands over the iced cake.

Recipe by Holly Clegg.



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