Leave it to my friend, Holly Clegg, who lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to send a healthy and easy to make king cake recipe just in time to include it with your Mardi Gras party plans! She suggests using her king cake recipe – but with different colors of icing – for other holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and more!
You can find more of Holly’s trim& TERRIFIC® recipes at hollyclegg.com and The Healthy Cooking Blog. And don’t forget that Holly’s cookbooks make wonderful gifts for anyone trying to eat in a more healthy way!
An easy to make, healthy Mardi Gras King Cake
No matter where you live, I want you to be able to enjoy one of my favorite Louisiana traditions – the Mardi Gras King Cake! This might be my most requested recipe – so easy and fun to make that people all over say they prefer it even to the store bought king cake variety!
From my trim&TERRIFIC Gulf Coast Favorites cookbook, now, you can make this quick and healthier king cake recipe in your own home, without worrying about a complicated yeast dough – using crescent rolls. Kids will have so much fun getting in on the action too.
Each color of the icing represents something: yellow equals power, green equals faith, and purple equals justice. Remember that color chart, as equal parts of red and blue food coloring make purple. And don’t save this sweet king cake treat for only Mardi Gras season, make this cake year-round: for icing you can use red food coloring for Valentine’s Day, pastel colors for Easter, and red and green colors for Christmas.
The madness of Mardi Gras is about having a good time, so start the music, toss the beads, and enjoy the food that has garnered a reputation all over the country. As they say in New Orleans, “Throw me a party, mister!”
This Mama’s tips
If you're interested in lowering the calorie count, try using Swerve Sweetener confectioners sugar instead of regular confectioner sugar in Holly’s easy king cake recipe. To learn more about Swerve Sweetener, go to their website at swervesweetener.com. It’s great stuff – no calorie, all natural, and non-GMO. I love cooking with Swerve and it tastes great.
As for food coloring, I highly recommend Wilton’s icing color sets. You can buy them on Amazon or at your favorite store that sells Wilton’s cake decorating products.
Easy Mardi Gras King Cake with Cream Cheese Cinnamon Filling
- 2 (8-ounce) cans reduced-fat crescent rolls
- 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Mardi Gras Icing (recipe below)
Mardi Gras Icing:
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons skim milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Yellow, green, red, and blue food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Separate crescent rolls at perforations into 16 slices. On 10-inch round pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray, place slices around pan with points in center. About half way down from the points, press seams together.
- In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Spread cream cheese mixture on dough in center where seams of dough have been pressed together.
- In another small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle 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.
- Bake 20–25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly, drizzle with colored Mardi Gras Icing (recipe below).
Mardi Gras Icing:
- In small bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. Divide mixture into three bowls.
- In first bowl, add a few drops yellow food coloring. In second bowl, add a few drops green food coloring. In third bowl, add equal amount of red and blue food coloring (will create purple color).
- Drizzle each color over baked cake.
- Serving size: 1/16 of recipe
- Calories: 184
- Calories from Fat: 66 (36%)
- Total Fat: 7g
- Saturated fat: 3g
- Unsaturated fat: 4g
- Sodium: 275mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 26g
- Sugar: 16g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 39
- Cholesterol: 9mg
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 1/2 carbohydrate, 1 1/2 fat
Recipe and photo used with permission.