Easy King Cake
2023/08/17

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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 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!

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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 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!

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Easy King Cake

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!

5 from 5 votes

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes minutes

Servings: 12 servings

Calories: 314 kcal

Ingredients

2 8-oz. cans refrigerated crescent dough ¾ cup ¼ cup 2 tsp 6 Tbsp melted 1 cup {for topping} yellow green and purple sanding sugar {for topping} confectioner’s sugar

Instructions

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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.

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