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Easy Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes

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Easy Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls is going to be your new favorite way to enjoy this delicious cake! Filled with cream cheese, cinnamon & sugar, we took this to flavor town using sweet Hawaiian crescent rolls!

Easy King Cake Cupcakes using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls! These are simple and delicious! #MardiGras #KingCake #Cupcakes

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 Cupcakes on Plate to serve during Fat Tuesday Celebrations.

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!

There is a printable recipe at the bottom of this post, but I hope you read about some fun facts we have about the traditions behind Mardi Gras!

Fun Mardi Gras 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
Mardi Gras Beads

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!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Hawaiian bread flavor
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon

Filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles for topping: purple, yellow, green

Related recipes: Homemade Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Pillsbury Cranberry Bread, Snow Cone Cupcakes, Shark Cupcakes, Flamingo Cupcakes, Lemon Pound Cake, Easy Deviled Eggs

How to make King Cake cupcakes

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 small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Mix well, set aside.

Baked Mardi Gras Cupcakes

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.

Mardi Gras Cupcakes

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.

DID YOU MAKE THIS? PLEASE RATE THIS RECIPE BELOW!

Have you ever been to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? It is on our travel bucket list for sure! We want to sit in Cafe du Monde and eat beignets and have our own piece of authentic Mardi Gras King Cake!

Yield: 4

Easy Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes

Easy King Cake Cupcakes using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls! These are simple and delicious! #MardiGras #KingCake #Cupcakes

Easy Mardi Gras King Cake Cupcakes are made with sweet Hawaiian crescent rolls and filled with cream cheese, cinnamon & sugar! 

Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes

Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 1 Tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, Hawaiian bread flavor
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • Filling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles for topping: purple, yellow, green

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Spray 4 cups in a muffin tin with non-stick spray
  3. In mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon. Mix well, set aside.
  5. Open crescent rolls and place dough onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper.
  6. Seal diagonal perforations and separate into 4 separate rectangles.
  7. Generously sprinkle all four rectangles with cinnamon- sugar mixture.
  8. Evenly dollop cream cheese mixture on all four rectangles.
  9. Gently roll each rectangle using the long side. Pinch to seal seam and ends.
  10. Fold left end to the center of the rectangle, then fold the right side over left.
  11. Place each roll into greased muffin tin cup end up.
  12. Cover with foil and bake for 12 minutes.
  13. Remove foil and bake an additional 12 minutes.
  14. While cupcakes are baking, make the glaze.
  15. 1 cup confectioner sugar, 1 tsp milk, 1/8 tsp vanilla. If you want thinner icing, add a bit more milk.
  16. Allow cupcakes to cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.
  17. Place on serving plate and drizzle glaze over the top. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles.
  18. If you would like to add a token, you can do so before decorating.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 682Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 423mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 1gSugar: 60gProtein: 9g

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