30-Minute Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe: This Shortcut King Cake Recipe Is Worth Celebrating by Holly Budde

30-Minute Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe: This Shortcut King Cake Recipe Is Worth Celebrating

La vie douce means "the sweet life!" And it's never as sweet as during Mardi Gras season! King cake is the cake associated with this festive time of the year in New Orleans and other states now. 

A king cake is a sweet vanilla cake with a sweet filling. A small plastic baby is baked into the cake, and whoever gets it is considered lucky and sometimes wins a prize. An authentic king cake can take a lot of time to bake for dessert. If you're like me and don't have the time, you need to try this shortcut king cake recipe I came up with. 

The king cake is made with refrigerated crescent rolls, butter, cinnamon, cream cheese and powdered sugar. A simple two-ingredient glaze – powdered sugar and vanilla – is poured over the baked and cooled cake. Simple! Decorate with yellow, green and purple sprinkles and you have a festive cake worthy of celebrating. 

Make your Mardi Gras a little sweeter with this easy king cake recipe. This simple king cake recipe will make you a genius Mardi Gras cake baker in 30 minutes. No one will care how easy it was to bake after they taste it. 

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Servings: Makes 1 cake


  • 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
  • butter
  • cinnamon
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 box powdered sugar (divided)


  • powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • warm water


  • yellow sprinkles, green sprinkles and purple sprinkles
  • beads

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Unroll the crescent rolls into one piece. Press together the seams to seal.
  2. Mix a paste of butter and cinnamon and spread over the dough.
  3. In a bowl mix together half a box (approximately 8 ounces) of powdered sugar and the softened cream cheese. Drop by teaspoons full on top of the butter mixture, making sure you have it evenly distributed. (You can also add a few teaspoon dollops of pie filling and/or nuts to this step if you want.)
  4. Roll the dough horizontally. Press the seams together and form a circle on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. While it’s baking, mix the remaining powdered sugar, the vanilla and enough warm water to make a thick glaze. 
  6. Allow cake to cool, then spread the glaze heavily on the cake. Decorate with sprinkles and beads, of course!

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Elisa Schmitz
How fun, Holly Budde ! The kids would love to do this. I remember when my daughter made a king cake one year. It absolutely made her whole month! :-)
Holly Budde
it was a fun day. Kids and friends trying to find the baby 😂

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