King’s Cake


Mardi Gras or “fat tuesday” is coming up and while we, New Yorkers, may not have the magical parades, flashy beads and overall drunken debauchery as some places. We can still definitely join in the festivities right? And nothing says fat tuesday like King’s Cake. Traditionally there’s a small plastic baby hidden in the cake and whoever finds it is crowned king for the night. However, to escape potential choking hazards, I thought it best to replace the plastic baby with a whole almond. But if you really want to go for it, you can find them at party supply stores or buy them off amazon. You can make the pastry from scratch or use ready made pastry such as canned crescent rolls. I used the canned crescent rolls for a quick time friendly recipe, but I think I’m going to try and make the dough from scratch next time. The colors purple, green and yellow symbolize faith, justice and power respectively.

So let’s get started!

-4 ounces cream cheese (half a block)
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 cup raisins, soaked and patted dry
-1/2 cup pecan halves
-2 cans of refrigerated crescent rolls
-1 packets yeast
-1/2 cup milk
-1/3 cup warm water
-2 tbsp butter
-1/4 cup white sugar
-1 egg
-3/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-2 3/4 cups AP flour
-1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
-3 to 4 tbspn milk
-1 tsp pure vanilla
-Purple, green, and yellow sanding sugar*

*you can find these at Broadway Panhandler or NY Cake or Williams Sonoma
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a baking sheet with non stick spray. Soak the raisins in hot water for about 15 minutes and pat dry.Chop the pecans into smaller pieces and set aside.
  2. Mix together the cream cheese, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the raisins and pecans into the cream cheese mixture and set aside.
  3. Unroll the crescent doughs and layer them on top of each other without tearing them into triangles. Roll out the dough, pressing them together into one single sheet about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  4. Spread the filling around in the center and place the almond or the plastic baby wherever you like. Taking the edge closest to you, roll the dough away, until you get a log. Press the seams together and transfer to the baking sheet. Pinch the ends together to make a circle. It should look somewhat like extremely large bagel.
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. While the cake bakes, make the glaze by whisking together the milk, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  7. Drizzle it over the cooled cake and sprinkle the colored sanding sugar over the top.

I actually prefer the french version of King’s Cake called a Gateau de Rois. Maybe I’ll make that next time. I grew up eating this version and I like it much better. The recipe was adapted from this one at Allrecipes.

*I realized AFTER I baked it, that I should have braided the dough so it would look much nicer. I guess that’s what I’ll do next time?


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