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Easy King Cake

Since I’ve been down with the creeping crud, I’ve asked my sister to do a guest post for me.  You all know her here as LilSis, but she does actually have a name!  Heather is going to share a recipe with you that I actually sent her in 1999, and had forgotten about.  So without further ado…

King Cake Recipe Hi Everyone!

Thanks to Wendy for letting me crash her blog.  As we were talking about the upcoming Mardi Gras season, I suggested that she post about the “queen” cake recipe that she used to make when her kids were little (you’ll have to ask her why she didn’t call it a king cake :-)).  She drew a blank, didn’t remember a thing about it, until I sent her the photo above.  Having refreshed her memory, she thought it would be a good idea, then she promptly started feeling a little under the weather and asked if I would fill in with a guest blog post.  I’m happy to!

Easy King Cake

  • 8 oz . cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg (separated)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 packages crescent rolls (each 8 count, chilled)
  • 1 cup pie filling (your favorite flavor)
  • Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk or juice or water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and the egg yolk on medium speed until smooth.
  3. Separate the crescent rolls into rectangles. Be sure to press the seams until sealed completely.
  4. On a round baking pan, lay the rectangles out like numbers on a clock with corners touching. Lay 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock first. Then lay 2, 4, 8, and 10 o’clock on top of those, still with their corners touching. You should have an opening in the center and the edges of each rectangle hanging off the edge of the pan.
  5. Spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly around the circle (don’t spread it out), then top with pie filling.
  6. Bring the outer edges of each rectangle into the center. Be sure to press all seams together so the filling won’t run out.
  7. Beat the egg white and brush onto the cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Mix the glaze ingredients until smooth.
  9. Let the cake cool slightly. Then brush with glaze. Sprinkle with yellow, green, and purple sugar.

The hardest part of this recipe is explaining how to lay out and fold the dough.  I do it a little differently than the original recipe – just an easier way for me to do it.  Follow along – 

Separate the crescent rolls into 8 rectangles.  I keep the dough in the fridge until I get to this step.  It’s easier to handle if it’s chilled.  Lay the rectangles out like your baking pan is a clock.  I use a pizza pan, but if you have a baking stone that’s great.  Even a plain old cookie sheet will work.

King Cake Dough

 The first layer is on 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock with corners touching which leaves the center open.

King Cake Dough2

Next, put another layer at 2, 4, 8, and 10 o’clock.  Again with corners touching and center open.  It’s important that you make sure all the seams are closed, so the filling won’t run out.

Now spoon the cream cheese filling around the dough.  Then spoon the pie filling on top of that.

King Cake Filling

 Not real pretty, but you get the idea.  Look closely and you can see the cream cheese mixture on bottom.  Because I’m somewhat of a rebel, and also a cheap frugal person, I didn’t use pie filling. With so much homemade jam on hand, I couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

Now begins the folding process.  This should go pretty smoothly if the seams are sealed well.

King Cake Folding Dough

 Simply pull the dough from the outer edge of the pan to the center circle.  Press the center circle seams together as you go along.  Once you’ve folded all the dough over, press any other seams together that aren’t completely closed.

King Cake Folded

As you can see, I had a little leakage problem, so I just pinched a piece of dough from a thicker section and plugged the hole.  Now take the beaten egg white and brush the top and edges of the cake.  It’s ready for the oven.  After about 25 minutes, it looks like this.

King Cake Cooked

 Some of my seams came open and filling ran out, but not enough to affect anything.  Let the cake cool slightly, then glaze.  While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle colored sugar on the cake. Traditional Mardi Gras colors are yellow (representing Power), green (representing Faith), and purple (representing Justice).

I made my own colored sugar using liquid food dye.  I just couldn’t get a purple that I really liked.  Next time, I’ll buy sugar already colored at a cake decorating shop.

King Cake Decorated

 I used dewberry preserves for this cake, and I sprinkled the sugar around the cake rather than in stripes.  I told you I’m a rebel!

King Cake

Here’s one I made last week using mock peach preserves made with figs.  It was delish!

King Cake 2

This is a pretty simple way to make a king cake that I think is every bit as good as those you can buy at just about any bakery around here during this season.  If you live in an area where Mardi Gras isn’t a big deal, and king cakes are hard to come by, I hope you try this out.  You can pin it here.


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  1. My friend made one of these last week using blueberry pie filling. After having a piece, I asked her how she did it. I don’t think I could have followed her directions. The photos really helped me. I’m a visual person.

  2. Thank you!! I looked at a King Cake yesterday but, the cost for a pre-made one is a bit high. I was hoping to do some baking tomorrow and had thought about a strawberry cake. I bet I could cook some down and use it for filling.

    1. Cammy, that sounds like it would be delicious! Just be sure they’re pretty thick so they don’t run everywhere. My dewberry preserves ran everywhere!

  3. Hi, LilSis! How nice of you to fill in while BW is under the weather.

    That’s an ingenious and easy way to make a King Cake. I’m going to share that with my aunt. She bakes a lot and is always on the lookout for new recipes.

    King Cakes aren’t common around here. I’ve never seen one, so if any get made, they’re made at home. More likely if someone is having a Mardi Gras themed party.

    I’m almost back to my usual self, after being down with a cold. Still a bit tired but better.

    We’ve warmed up to a balmy 40 degrees! Charleston didn’t really get hit too hard by Pax. Ten miles inland was another story. I’ve heard from family and most came through will no problem. Some lost power yesterday but were expecting repairs before last night.

  4. BW Get well! The crud is no fun, I don’t care who you are.

    Actually I did the same thing once with the pastel sugar colors, not wanting to start rumors, I said it was an Easter King Cake, its like you can’t wear white shoes till then, well it is the same with the King Cake Icing. That’s how you know how fresh it is.

    I doubt they bought it, but they didn’t argue and the colors were dismissed and dropped.

  5. LilSis – You mentioned Mock Peach Preserves made with figs. I’m very interested in this since I get gallons of figs from our trees. Did you make this yourself? If so, can you give me quick 1-2-3 on how you did it?

    1. Cynthia, I will get her to answer, but if you look at the Recipe menu on the right, click on Preserves, and once the page changes, Click on the Blackberry Fig recipe or the Mock Strawberry to see how we do this with Jell-O. We also made batches of fresh peach and fresh fig combined, so I’m not sure which she is referring to!

    2. Cynthia, I did use Wendy’s mock strawberry recipe, but substituted peach jello. Also, in one batch, since we had some frozen peaches, I chopped those up and threw them in. Divine! It really is my favorite flavor of all the mock preserve recipes.

      We have a giant fig tree that always seems to produce a ton, so I’ve been bookmarking, pinning, sharing, etc. different fig recipes that I want to try this summer. After all, you can only eat so much jam!

  6. Many thanks, ladies. I will make the Mock Peach recipe too. I already do the Mock Strawberry. Wendy, I thoroughly enjoy the many aspects of your blog. I’ve made King Cake from scratch but, LisSis, your quickie King Cake sounds like something I’d want to try as well.

    1. Yes, and if you do make it, PLEASE take a couple photos and email to me. Don’t worry if you don’t like the centering, I can fix all that. I’m thinking about another contest. . . . .

  7. That looks awesome! But I just ordered mine from Cannata’s! LOL Love their cakes and so does the office. I’ll keep this receipe for when I retire, that’ll keep me busy! Good Post Heather! Wendy get well.