Sunday, March 2, 2014

Simple King Cake for Mardi Gras

Last year, a coworker brought a king cake to work for Mardi Gras to start the tradition. How it works is that there's a toy plastic baby hidden within the cake, and whoever gets the slice with the baby has good luck for the rest of the year, but he's also in charge of the cake for next year. I figured I'd start the tradition here with my school friends.

I went for the easiest recipe that I could find, and I'm a bit embarrassed by it since I'm not someone who takes shortcuts with my cooking. But this recipe just calls for two tins of Pillsbury Crescents, and since I despise making dough, this was perfect. The end result was surprisingly tasty considering the effort. We had a Mardi Gras-themed school formal on Friday so I made this for a get together before the event, and it was completely polished off. My friend who won the toy baby looked pretty nervous about having to provide the cake for next year, but I'm going to make sure he follows through. New tradition started :)

Adapted from a recipe by Holly Clegg

  • 2 (8-ounce) cans reduced-fat crescent rolls
  • 4oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp + 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • Green/purple/gold sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Separate crescent rolls at perforations into 16 slices (each roll will provide 8 slices).

Line either a large cookie sheet or a round pizza pan with foil, and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Place slices around pan with points in center, and press seams together about halfway down from the points (do not press together at points/ends).

In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 2 Tbsp confectioners sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla until creamy. Spread cream cheese mixture on dough in center where seams of dough have been pressed together.

In another bowl, combine butter (melted in microwave first), brown sugar, and cinnamon with fork until crumbly. Spread over cream cheese.

Fold dough points over cream cheese area and then fold bottom of triangle over points forming a circular roll like a king cake. Some people like to put the toy baby in now prior to baking, but I decided to hold off on it until after my cake was done in the oven since I didn't want to accidentally melt the little guy.

 Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, then remove and cool until warm to touch.

Flip your cake upside-down, cut a hole using a knife, and stick your toy baby in before flipping back up to decorate. Boo from Monster's Inc. was the closest I could get to a toy baby at the last minute...

For the icing, combine remaining confectioner's sugar, milk, and remaining vanilla in a small bowl. Drizzle on top of your cake and add sprinkles for decorations. My way of decorating was a lot simpler than other options that you can do, so feel free to scour the Internet if you don't think my cake is pretty enough. Enjoy!

Mah frands, about to go ham after sampling my cake...

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