This quick and easy Shortcut Mardi Gras King Cake uses canned cinnamon rolls to give you all the king cake flavor with none of the work!
Hey folks! The Mardi Gras season is upon us! A while back I posted my recipe for a Mardi Gras King Cake that was a little more traditional and quite a bit more involved. This one, though, is super easy and will allow you to put some Mardi Gras color on your table in no time.
Using prepackaged cinnamon rolls in a Bundt cake pan, this super easy King Cake recipe isn’t exactly authentic, but it does the trick and tastes great! And, you still get to enjoy the fun colors of Mardi Gras without the mess of dishes brought on by a stand mixer and all that comes along with that. This delicious recipe provides all the Mardi Gras flavors in a Bundt pan with the fun traditional colors of Mardi Gras! It’s perfect for a festive breakfast and great for a quick and delicious dessert!
What is King Cake and why is it eaten?
King cake, a scrumptious sweet treat, becomes the main food event during Mardi Gras. Traditionally the King Cake is a cinnamon sugar filled dough twisted into a delightful ring that is topped with vibrant purple, green, and gold decorating sugars. It’s a festive treat that kicks off lively celebrations before the arrival of Lent. Here are a few more details about the King Cake that you might find interesting:
History of the King Cake
The king cake goes all the way back to medieval Europe when the people of that time would bake up the cake in celebration of the Epiphany, which represents the arrival of the Three Wise Men to meet baby Jesus. Over time the tradition landed in the United States, specifically New Orleans, Louisiana, where it became tied into the Mardi Gras celebration. While no one is certain how those two got joined together, it is what it is and frankly, I’m here for it because Mardi Gras is all about food and tradition, two things I absolutely love. Now to add a little excitement, bakers began sneaking in hidden trinkets or figurines into the cake, usually a baby figurine. Thus began the fun anticipation of who got the plastic baby in their slice of cake.
The Mardi Gras Colors of the King Cake
The fun colors on the King Cake—purple, green, and gold—aren’t just for eye candy. Those memorable colors each represent something. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. These three values are supposed to widely represent the meaning behind the Mardi Gras season. So, as you savor each sweet bite, you’re also soaking in a reminder of these honorable values.
The Significance of the Small Plastic Baby
In most King Cakes you will find a tiny plastic baby hidden inside. The baby is said to symbolize the Three Wise Men’s journey to see baby Jesus. Find the baby in your slice, and you’re the honorary “king” or “queen” of the celebration. Some even say, finding the baby in your slice means you are the next host or baker of the King Cake. Good luck!
What kind of dough is king cake made from?
The traditional King Cake is made of a kneaded dough featuring delicious sugary, cinnamon flavors. The dough is then twisted or braided into a ring with cream cheese spread throughout and on top. And, the final fun touch is all the colors of Mardi Gras – yellow, green, and purple sugar sprinkles.
For this particular recipe, I give you a super easy shortcut – cans of store-bought jumbo cinnamon rolls. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! This cake is absolutely delicious! And, the best part… no need to bring out the butter, eggs, purpose flour, yeast, vanilla, or other long list of ingredients! Three simple items are all you need plus a Bundt pan and a small bowl to stir up the icing. And, there you have it… a delicious Mardi Gras cake in less than an hour! Enjoy!
Other King Cake Recipes:
I have made many variations of the King Cake in my day. Some are super simple, like this Quick and Easy Mardi Gras King Cake. And, others stick to the traditional nature of the original recipe. All are absolutely delicious if you ask me. Try them out, and let me know in the comment section below which one you like the best:
Mardi Gras King Cake – This particular King Cake recipe is all about tradition. It’s not the quickest or easiest version, but it’s definitely the closest to the traditional King Cake that has been eaten for generations. While it does take a bit more time, especially to whip up the dough, this recipe is absolutely decadent and filled with Mardi Gras pomp and circumstance.
King Cake Pull-Apart Bread – This bread is like the monkey bread version of the King Cake. It is so delicious and the perfect breakfast dish to incorporate into the Mardi Gras season. While it’s not quite as simple as the above recipe you still won’t need to whip out a standing mixer or a dough hook. With a little elbow grease, a plastic bag, mixing bowl, pan, and your ingredients, you will create this delicious monkey-bread inspired King Cake. I especially love the cream cheese glaze poured over top.
Shortcut Mardi Gras King Cake
- 2 (17.5-ounce) cans jumbo cinnamon rolls with icing (each tube has 5 rolls)
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- sugar crystals in purple, yellow, and green
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray a Bundt or tube pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- Pop open the cinnamon roll tubes and remove the icing. Then line the bottom with the rolls. You may have to squeeze them in there.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cinnamon rolls are no longer gooey.
- Turn out onto platter to cool.
- In the meantime, mix the two icing packets with 2 ounces of softened cream cheese.
- Once the cake is cool, spread the icing and decorate with alternating sugar colors.
* If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. The values do not include optional ingredients or when ingredients are added to taste. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.