Just in case you didn’t know, Mardi Gras is a big deal in Louisiana. Lots of people “celebrate” Mardi Gras without having a clue what they’re celebrating. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday.” It is celebrated on the day before Ash Wednesday – or the beginning of Lent, which leads up to Easter. Many people give up something during the season of Lent. Some give up a certain food like chocolate or caffeine. Some give up social media. Some abstain from alcohol. So Mardi Gras began as one last day to indulge before fasting. Now days, people celebrate Mardi Gras from the middle of January until the actual day of Mardi Gras. There are balls and parades and parties.
It’s a big deal.
The traditional dessert to eat during this season is a King Cake. It’s a cake baked in an open oval with cinnamon and other fillings inside and a sugary glaze outside that is covered with sugars tinted in the traditional colors of Mardi Gras – purple, green, and gold. These stand for justice, faith, and power, respectively.
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I have never liked traditional king cake. The texture is usually dry and it’s just not something I enjoy. Even adding fillings does little to take away the dry texture. And I’m not a fan of the powdered sugar glaze. It kind of makes my teeth hurt.
When I want king cake, I want rich, buttery, moist cake. That’s exactly what this easy, delicious recipe delivers!
First preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a pizza pan with baking spray. You will need two cans of crescent rolls. The regular ones will work fine, but I like to use the “Big & Buttery” ones. It makes for a bigger king cake – and who doesn’t like that? I use these:
Unroll the crescent rolls into triangles and lay them overlapping on the pan with the tips pointing inward.
Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla (I like to use powdered vanilla because it doesn’t make the mixture too liquidy. I order mine online.). Spread the cream cheese mixture in a circle onto the crescent rolls.
Top with pie filling of your choice.
Pull the inside tips to the outside and press slightly to keep them in place.
Fold the outside of the crescent rolls to the inside and tuck under.
Continue until you’ve finished the entire ring.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool.
Place a tub of cream cheese frosting in the microwave and heat on high for 45 seconds. Spoon over the cooled cake.
Top with colored sugars.
Easy Crescent Roll King Cake
- 2 cans of crescent rolls (I like the Big & Buttery ones)
- 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla (I prefer powdered vanilla)
- 1 can of pie filling (You won’t use the whole can)
- 1 tub of cream cheese frosting (You won’t use the whole tub)
- Colored sugars (purple, green, and yellow)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a pizza pan with nonstick baking spray. Separate crescent rolls into triangles and arrange slightly overlapping in a circle with tips pointing to the inside.
In a small bowl mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until combined. Spread onto the middle of the crescent rolls in a circle. Top with pie filling.
Pull the tips from the inside, over the filling and gently press to secure. Fold the outer edges over to the middle and tuck underneath.
Bake for 25 minutes.
When cake is cooled, remove the foil inner lid from the tub of cream cheese frosting. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the frosting. It should be melted and liquidy. Spoon over the king cake. Top with colored sugar.
Slice and devour!
Well Duh #1: You can use low-fat cream cheese, but NOT fat-free.
Well Duh #2: You can use Splenda or any other sweetener. Splenda measures the same as sugar. You’ll have to figure out the measurement for other sweeteners. Be careful with liquid sweeteners since they will make the cream cheese mixture more runny.
Well Duh #3: Cherry pie filling, strawberry pie filling, and apple pie filling will all work just like this. Peach will work, too. With peaches, I add a little almond extract instead of vanilla and I add toasted, sliced almonds on top of the glaze. Have fun experimenting with different flavors!
Well Duh #4: Not into sweets? Leave out the cream cheese and make your filling with eggs scrambled with cheese and sausage or bacon. You can top with shredded cheese after it comes out of the oven. A yummy breakfast any time of year!
Whether you plan to celebrate Mardi Gras or not, try this delicious dessert treat! Before you know it, you’ll be transported to Bourbon Street and shouting “Throw me something, mister!”