This Easy King Cake uses refrigerated crescent dough instead of the traditional yeasted dough. It’s an easy – and delicious – way to celebrate Mardi Gras!
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Anyone who knows me knows that I am a die-hard college sports fan. I’ve lived in a tent for over a month in order to sit front row-center court for a Duke-UNC basketball game. I’ve tailgated for 12 hours in a parking lot for LSU football games…on numerous occasions. There is just something different about college sports vs. pro sports.
Have you ever wondered how your favorite team adopted their team colors? In the case of LSU, it’s actually related to Mardi Gras. According to legend, a faculty member arrived at LSU in 1893, and he immediately noticed that the school didn’t have much of a sports program. He decided to fix that, and he arranged a football game to be played in New Orleans.
The team “nailed cleats on leather shoes,” but they had no uniforms. So this faculty member – who was coaching the team – stopped at a store in New Orleans to pick up ribbons to decorate the uniforms. As they were preparing for Mardi Gras, the store had plenty of purple and gold ribbons. Apparently, the green ribbons had not arrived yet. So he bought all of the purple and gold ribbons in stock – and the colors stuck.
Easy King Cake
But enough about college sports. This is a food blog, and I’m sure you’re here for a recipe. Today’s recipe is a great one for Mardi Gras season! This Easy King Cake can be made in about 10-15 minutes, and it’s delicious!
Traditionally, king cakes are made with a yeasted, brioche-style dough. A good king cake is amazing, but they do take a bit of time to make. (If you’re looking for the traditional style, I posted my go-to king cake recipe years ago. Don’t laugh at the photos, though!) This Easy King Cake uses the same cinnamon + pecan filling, but it substitutes crescent dough for the homemade brioche dough.
Laura pointed out that this Easy King Cake tastes like the inside of a cinnamon roll. It’s buttery, cinnamon-y and sugar-y in the best way possible! I topped this tasty treat with purple, green and yellow (gold) sanding sugar as those are the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. Instead of sanding sugar, another option would be to drizzle the top with colored icing. Either way, this will be a festive and delicious way to celebrate Mardi Gras!
For this Easy King Cake, I opted for a cinnamon-pecan filling. However, king cakes in Louisiana are available with a variety of fillings. Cream cheese, praline and strawberry are all common options. The “Zulu King Cake” is a chocolate version filled with coconut. If cinnamon-pecan isn’t your thing, then you could use the filling from this recipe to make a cream cheese version. Or go hog wild and add chocolate chips and shredded coconut. The choice is yours!
I hope you enjoy this Easy King Cake as much as we did here in our house – it got 2 thumbs up from each of us! Laissez les bons temps rouler <– that’s Cajun French for ‘Let the Good Times Roll!’
Did you bake this Easy King Cake at home? Leave a comment or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Easy King Cake
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.
- Working on a lightly floured surface, unroll crescent dough and stack both sheets on top of each other. Roll dough into an 11”x18” rectangle.
- Using a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and chopped pecans.
- Spread sugar mixture evenly on top of dough.
- Starting with a long edge, roll the dough up into a tight log. Press seams together to seal.
- Using a sharp knife, cut log in half lengthwise. Place pieces cut side up next to each other and carefully twist pieces around each other. Transfer dough onto the prepared sheet pan and pull the ends together to create a circle; pinch ends together to seal.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
- Remove king cake from oven and let cool completely.
- Before serving, top with colored sanding sugar and a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar.
Looking for more Mardi Gras recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: