Friday, March 4, 2011

Mini-King Cakes {Mardi Gras Celebration}

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King Cakes! Mardi Gras is just not Mardi Gras without a King Cake.  Some of you may be wondering, "What on earth is a King Cake?  And why is it such a big deal??" 
A King Cake is a special dessert that has been passed down from generation to generation to aide in the celebration of Mardi Gras.  It originated in New Orleans in the eighteenth century and still is alive and well today.  It is named after the "Three Kings" in the Bible. 

A typical King Cake looks like this (image provided by Wikapedia).....

...with a little plastic baby in the middle to symbolize the baby Jesus....and the Mardi Gras colors (purple, yellow, and green) on the top.

Normally the baby is placed inside the actual King Cake and it is said that whoever eats the piece with the baby in it is responsible for purchasing the Cake next year or responsible for hosting the next Mardi Gras Party.  King Cakes are filled with yummy flavorful fillings, the most popular being cream cheese and pralines.  Believe me when I say that an actual 'real' King Cake is nothing short of delicious!! 

I have made the traditional looking King Cake before, however, I wanted to break the mold this week and make something different....hence these cute little individual cakes ;)   If you are looking for a quick and easy way to celebrate Mardi Gras, then you should make these mini cakes.  They literally only take 30 minutes to make, from start to finish.  And the best part is......you just need one ingredient....refrigerated cinnamon rolls :)

And now, I'm going to show you how to make them....
let's get started...........

Step One: 
Preheat the oven to whatever the directions say on the tube of rolls.  Open the tube and take out three of the rolls.  You may have the ones that separate into strips, and that's fine.  I ended up purchasing the ones that didn't separate.


Step Two: 
 Roll the rolls into little tube shaped dough lines with your hands.  If you have the ones that are in strips, unroll the strips so that they are flat.  The cinnamon will fall out and that is ok.

Step Three: 
Take the ends of each piece of dough and pinch them together to form a very long strip. 


Step Four:
Take the long piece of dough or strip and fold it in half so it makes a horseshoe shape.


Step Five:
Twist the two strips together as if you were braiding them.  Be sure to pinch the edges of them to make sure they are secure.


Step Six:
Take the braid and form it into a circle, making sure the edges are pinched and sealed. 
Bake for however long the directions state on the tube.


Step Seven:
Once they are baked and cooled, take the frosting that comes with them and drizzle it on top of the rolls.  You may have to nuke the frosting in the microwave for a few seconds to make it pourable.


Step Eight:
Take your colored sugar crystals and start placing them on top of the rolls...making sure you place them in a pattern.  Yellow, green, purple, yellow, green, purple, etc....


Step Nine:
Serve to hungry guests.....



These Mini King Cakes are the perfect thing to make if you want something festive for Mardi Gras, but don't want all the work (not to mention the calories) of the traditional Mardi Gras King Cake.  I'm sure somewhere in the middle you can squeeze the baby in as well ;)

Mini-King Cakes

(makes 4 mini-king cakes using 2 strips each)


Ingredients:
1 can/tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls (with frosting included)
Purple, yellow, and green sugar crystals
Plastic baby (optional)

Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to whatever the directions say on the tube of rolls.  Open the tube and take out three of the rolls.  You may have the ones that separate into strips, and that's fine.

2.  Roll the rolls into little tube shaped dough lines with your hands. If you have the ones that are in strips, unroll the strips so that they are flat. The cinnamon will fall out and that is ok.

3. Take the ends of each piece of dough and pinch them together to form a very long strip.

4. Take the long piece of dough or strip and fold it in half so it makes a horseshoe shape.

5. Twist the two strips together as if you were braiding them. Be sure to pinch the edges of them to make sure they are secure.

6.  Take the braid and form it into a circle, making sure the edges are pinched and sealed. Bake for however long the directions state on the tube.

7.  Once they are baked and cooled, take the frosting that comes with them and drizzle it on top of the rolls. You may have to nuke the frosting in the microwave for a few seconds to make it pourable.

8.  Take your colored sugar crystals and start placing them on top of the rolls...making sure you place them in a pattern. Yellow, green, purple, yellow, green, purple, etc....  Place the baby in middle of one of the rolls if desired.

14 thoughtful comments around the table:

  1. So cute Libby. My kids love cinnamon rols so they will love these. Who would of thought to make mini kings cakes out of cinnamon roll dough. Genius!

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  2. i love the colors, these are so cute!

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  3. What a fun and colorful breakfast! This looks perfect for Mardi Gras. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. so easy and simple! I love making king cakes like this! What a great treat! love the pictures!

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    1. Thank you :) They are super simple and easy..which is what I like ;)

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  5. These are adorable and so yummy! Making them as a take home little favor after a Mardi Gras themed supper tomorrow night!! So easy, will make these over and over again this time of year!

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    1. Yay! They would make GREAT take home favors for a Mardi Gras supper ;) What a fab idea ;)

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  6. Very easy and they came out beautiful! Thank you!

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  7. These look great! If I wanted to add a cream cheese mix filling, what step in the recipe should that be added?

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    1. I have never tried this idea, however if you were to maybe inject little dollops in the holes of the braid in Step 5, that may work. If you try this technique, let us know how it turned out ;)

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