Billie here with Epicurean Delights!
I've always thought New Orleans was the only spot in the world to have a complete Mardi Gras experience.
Maybe that's because of stories I heard from a couple of my favorite people who grew up in New Orleans. One of those friends even had an authentic King cake delivered to our office in honor of Fat Tuesday.
I can't promise you the real thing. However, I can promise you is a semi-homemade version of the King cake that is guaranteed to taste delicious and be a big hit with your family and friends.
If you aren't familiar with the King Cake, it's a New Orleans tradition that involves a pastry, a small plastic baby that represents the baby Jesus, and a party.
Our pastry cake contains all that. Well, except for the party. That part is up to you!
We used Rhodes frozen cinnamon rolls for our King Cake.
Confession: I've been fooling my family for years on Christmas morning with these yummy rolls. I always baked them with unconditional love. However, I never told them they were not made from scratch. The love makes up for it, right?
You can make people believe you spent all day in the kitchen making our version of the King Cake. Or you can let them know it's semi-homemade. I'll leave that up to you. Either way, your secret is safe with me.
Semi-homemade King Cake
1 package Rhodes frozen cinnamon roll dough with icing packets
1/2 cup brown sugar and white sugars
1 stick butter, melted
2 teaspoons Saigon cinnamon
Green, purple and yellow sanding sugar**
Small plastic baby (Note: I don't actually bake the baby into the cake.)
Large Bundt pan
**You can create your own sanding sugar colors by using a white sanding sugar and powdered food coloring.
The prominent colors for Mardi Gras are purple, yellow and green. We used The Sugar Art coloring and the Lucks Food Decorating white sanding sugar. If you can't get ahold of Luck's awesome sanding sugar you can also use Wilton's.
All you have to do is put the sugar in a Ziplock baggie with the color and shake until combined. It's that easy!
Place the rolls on a cookie sheet and allow the rolls to thaw.
Grease the Bundt pan with butter.
Mix the brown and white sugars and cinnamon together in a separate bowl.
Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly.
Roll the cinnamon rolls in the butter, and then in the sugar mixture.
Lay the rolls in the pan as shown in the first picture.
Place the Bundt pan in a warm place to rise. NOTE: If you set your oven to the lowest temperature and allow it to heat for 5 minutes, you can use it as your proofing area. Just be sure to turn the oven off before you put the pan in to proof!
Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled (approximately 1 1/2 hours). Take out of oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. The top will be nicely browned.
Remove from oven and invert on a large plate.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Open the icing packets and drizzle over the top of the cake.
Find a spot to hide the baby. Make sure you cover your tracks!
Sprinkle the sanding sugar on the top and sides of the cake.
Now Get Your Party On!
Once your guests arrive, serve the cake one slice at a time to heighten the suspense on who gets the slice with the baby Jesus in it.
The person who gets the baby Jesus has to make the cake next year. Be sure to share this recipe with them!