Easy King Cake

I’d never heard of  King Cake until well into my twenties when a co-worker from New Orleans brought one to work.  As per tradition, her father would send her one every year to share with the office.   In theory, the person who found the hidden plastic baby was supposed to provide another King Cake, but nobody ever did because at the time, they weren’t quite as popular in that region.  Now you can find them in lots of places, including some grocery store bakeries.

King Cake

A few years ago, I bought Fuzz a cookbook for kids and in it, was a picture of a King Cake. She loved that cake and off and on throughout the year, asked if we could make it. We finally got around to it this week and since this, have made a couple!

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This is a really fun activity. If you have the time and patience, make the dough yourself. However, canned biscuit dough is the perfect medium for little hands and covered with cinnamon, sugar, and butter, it tastes really good. Emeril has a recipe similar to this, but he uses canned crescent dough. We might give that a try, but so far the biscuit dough has been well accepted.

1king.jpg

 

Easy King Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
An easy King Cake made with canned biscuit dough
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 oz) can of biscuits (regular, not the layered kind but the regular). We use "Grands"
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • A few spoonfuls of canned cream cheese frosting (optional)
  • Yellow, Purple, Green Sprinkles
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with Release foil. You can skip this, but it makes clean up easier. Open the biscuits and lay them flat on the foil. Press them into a large
  • circle
  • (about 12 inches) or giant
  • rectangle
  • . We've done it both ways.
Instructions
  1. Paint the dough with butter, then mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle evenly over dough.
  2. Lay babies somewhere on the dough.
  3. Roll the dough up into a cylinder and pinch as tightly as possible to seal. Shape the cylinder into a round.
  4. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, then spoon icing over top and let it fall down sides. Sprinkle sugar on top.
  5. Ready to eat! It tastes best shortly after being made, but also tastes good the next day.
  6. Lay babies somewhere on the dough.
  7. Roll the dough up into a cylinder and pinch as tightly as possible to seal. Shape the cylinder into a round.
  8. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, then spoon icing over top and let it fall down sides. Sprinkle sugar on top.
  9. Ready to eat! It tastes best shortly after being made, but also tastes good the next day.

 

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Comments

  1. ThereseB says

    Hi again Anna!

    Oh my gosh, this is so cool! I am chuckling at those little plastic dolls!!
    Where can you purchase those? Too cute!
    I have seen these cakes too, but this one looks so doable and easy. Thanks!

  2. says

    Therese, we found the dolls at a party store called “Party Pig”. Any party store should have them, if not, try Michael’s. You can hide coins instead of babies.

    Williams Sonoma has the colored sprinkles. They’re 4.00 a canister, but will last forever. We’ve also made our own colored sugar, but I think the larger-crystaled sprinkles are better. Granulated sugar seems to grainy to me.

  3. KelliRR says

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe. My husband is from New Orleans and we love King cakes. My girls will get a big kick out of being able to make their own.

  4. Ann says

    Anna, Could you please post the recipe using the crescent roll dough? This sounds like something my son would like to try.

  5. Monica says

    I personally go the lazy man’s route and instead of buscuits, I use cans cinnamon rolls. This way you already have the icing and the cinnamon sugar goodness.

  6. Gigi says

    I love that Fuzz was wearing a crown/tiara to make the King Cake. I actually think that should be a requirement for any kind of baking.

  7. says

    Monica, my girlfriend came over and her first question was “Why didn’t you just use cinnamon roll dough?”. I’m going to try it. What I liked about the biscuit dough was I was able to really control the amount of sugar/cinnamon/butter.

    Gigi, she’s pretty funny with tiaras….and hats in general. If there’s one around, she’ll wear it.

  8. says

    Update: We tried this with crescent dough. In my opinion, it was too rich. The butter plus the extra butter in the dough was just overkill. I think the cresent dough would work well with a different filling, but the butter and sugar filling was better with the biscuit dough.

  9. KelliRR says

    I made this as a suprise for my girls last night while they were at gymnastics. They were so excited to see it sitting on the counter when they got home. Who knew that Grands and a little frosting and sprinkles could put such smiles on their faces! Actually, the flavor really suprised me. It did not taste like biscuit dough as the filling gave it an upscale taste. Thanks for the recipe. It will for sure become a yearly tradition.

  10. says

    Hi Kelli,

    I’m glad you made it. Maybe next time, you could let the girls help. Fuzz loved making this and it was kind of a bonus that her little playgroup buddies showed up right as it was coming out of the oven.

    Now that I’ve made this one a few times, I’d like to move on to a scratch King Cake.

  11. KelliRR says

    Anna,

    The first cake went so fast that my daughters are chomping at the bit to make another! I have all the ingredients so this weekend I am going to let them make it. (They are 11 and 8) Both of them are excited and looking forward to hiding the babies (yes, just as in your picture, I put more than one baby in the cake!) Thanks again.

  12. Julie says

    I was so glad to find this easy king cake recipe. I teach preschool and was looking for a easy king cake recipe we could do together. We are going to try this one for sure. Thanks a lot.

  13. Mandy says

    I am planning a Cajun party for a friend. My first plan was to order a king cake, but after seeing all the shortcuts – I am ready to dive right in tomorrow for a trial run! Thanks!

    Mandy

  14. C L says

    At last a King Cake I can make! :) Yippee! Unfortunately, I will have to wait until next year because I didn’t get to the store in time to buy the ingredients before Lent. But next year, yes! :)

  15. Amy says

    This is genius!! My 7 yr. old son and I are looking forward to doing this tomorrow! He’s been carrying around the little gold baby from the last King Cake we had from 2yrs. ago! We had found a King Cake boxed mix, but I haven’t been able to find it since. I love to involve him in the baking (hence the reason I got the mix) and your recipe is perfect! Thank you for sharing! :)

    ~Amy

  16. moe says

    thanks… will be making this for my son’s 4th birthday NOLA themed party tomorrow… thanks for the EZ route!

  17. Kimberly Blankenship says

    I read that originally people would put a bean inside the cake to represent the baby! That could work if you can’t find our cute LA babies. Yes, I am a Louisiana girl and can’t imagine Mardi Gras without at least a couple each year!. I lived in New Orleans for 8 years and people always had their opinion about which bakery made the best ones! Be sure to read the history of the cakes on the internet!

  18. Stephanie says

    I’m from New Orleans and I wanted to add a few things here. The bakeries here add the plastic babies AFTER the cakes are baked by pressing them up into the cake from the bottom. I think this is because the babies could melt or release yucky tasting chemicals during baking.

    The best King Cakes (in my humble opinion) are the ones filled with sweet cream cheese. I bet that addition would push this recipe over the top!

    Just discovered your blog, Anna — love, love, love it! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

  19. Anonymous says

    Love, Love, love this recipe. I am a preschool teacher and needed a recipe for the letter “K” as we baked our way thru the alphabet. it is a great recipe and the kids loved it so much I made some for my family and friends. I leave out the babies as they are not necessary for our purpose. My one friend calls this recipe “Cinnamon goodness” and asks me to make it often!!! Thanks so much for sharing such a delicious and easy recipe.

  20. lisa says

    I love this post and always send my friends to this site for this easy & fun recipe! We make it every year to celebrate the Epiphany and its so wonderful & easy! My one thing to pass on is that the Grande Biscuits contain hydrogenated oil, so we opt to sub them for this recipe, then we follow your recipe exactly! Thanks again!
    Substitute dough instead of Grand’s Biscuits
    http://video.about.com/vegetarian/Baking-Powder-Biscuits.htm

  21. Olga says

    Thanks for this great idea! Made this with my 1 1/2 and 3 yos and it came out fantastic! I actually made the cream cheese frosting and added a filling of whipped cream cheese, vanilla, zest of a Meyer
    Lemon and turbinado sugar. For added fun, I had the girls make the sugar sand. All you do is put about 1/4 c sugar in a small
    container with a tight lid, add a few drops of food coloring, cover, an let the kids shake it up until they’re exhausted. I put on rebirth brass band and we danced and shook while the cake baked! So fun!!! And easy!!

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