What is a King Cake?
You may be wondering what exactly is a King Cake? These delicious treats are thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in the late 1800s and are made to celebrate the Epiphany and the beginning of the Lenten season, also known as Mardi Gras, and enjoyed on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.
Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes
King Cake is typically made with sweet yeast dough, cream cheese, and cinnamon. They are either braided or shaped into a ring before baking and the finished product is about the size of a big danish or bundt cake.
A whole cake would certainly go to waste in our house, so I decided to make cupcakes and found this portion to be perfect and much more manageable.
The best part? We used Pillsbury Crescent Rolls to make our King Cake cupcakes, and to mimic the sweet dough, we found Hawaiian Crescent rolls!!! SCORE!
Before we get to our recipe, I wanted to share a couple of fun facts:
Why do they put a baby in a King Cake?
Tradition has it that a ceramic baby is baked into the cake and the lucky person to finds it in their slice is thought to have good luck, however, it seems the more modern tradition is followed.
The one who finds the trinket is now responsible for baking the King Cake for next year's celebration.
Don't want to bite into a ceramic baby? I don't blame you! You can substitute with a dried bean or whole almond and can easily be placed into the cake after baking.
What do the King Cake colors represent?
You will often see King Cakes decorated with a glaze frosting and these colored sprinkles. The colors meanings:
- Purple: Justice
- Gold: Power
- Green: Faith
Celebrate Mardi Gras & Fat Tuesday with Easy King Cake Recipe
This easy Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcake recipe has cream cheese, cinnamon, sugar and crescent rolls! It's going to bake like one big amazing cinnamon roll and will go perfect with some New Orleans Chicory coffee!
- 1 Tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Hawaiian bread flavor
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp milk
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- Sprinkles for topping: purple, yellow, green
- Preheat oven to 350
- Spray 4 cups in a muffin tin with non-stick spray
- In mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.
- In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Mix well, set aside.
- Open crescent rolls and place dough onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper.
- Seal diagonal perforations and separate into 4 separate rectangles.
- Generously sprinkle all four rectangles with cinnamon- sugar mixture.
- Evenly dollop cream cheese mixture on all four rectangles.
- Gently roll each rectangle using the long side. Pinch to seal seam and ends.
- Fold left end to the center of the rectangle, then fold the right side over left.
- Place each roll into greased muffin tin cup end up.
- Cover with foil and bake for 12 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake an additional 12 minutes.
- While cupcakes are baking, make the glaze.
- 1 cup confectioner sugar, 1 tsp milk, 1/8 tsp vanilla. If you want thinner icing, add a bit more milk.
- Allow cupcakes to cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
- Place on serving plate and drizzle glaze over the top. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles.
- If you would like to add a token, you can do so before decorating.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 682Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 423mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 1gSugar: 60gProtein: 9g