“Semi-Homemade” DIY KING CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FILLING

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Sometimes during Carnival Season, ( Twelfth Night (January 6th) – Mardi Gras Day (February 21st) you just want a king cake. Sometimes you want a king cake when your favorite New Orleans bakeries are closed, or you don't feel like driving across town to them. Or you live elsewhere, and king cake really isn't a thing, and you don't want to pay the high cost of shipping one to you. Or you don't want to get out the mixer and make king cake dough and all of that! You want an easy recipe that is quick and simple!

Kind cakes are one of my favorite Mardi Gras traditions! Well, I have a solution for you, with this super easy ”semi-homemade” DIY king cake recipe. You can leave out the cream cheese filling for a traditional king cake or add a different filling like chocolate pie filling (add this one after baking) or Nutella (yum).

Good luck making your own Mardi Gras King Cake for all of your Mardi Gras Celebration!

DIY King Cake for Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Make this easy DIY king cake with creme cheese filling

What You Will Need To Make Your DIY King Cake

Ingredients

Other ingredients you will need:

How to Make a DIY King Cake

Start by unrolling three of the cinnamon rolls. Lightly press them together at the top (see picture below.) Braid the three pieces together into long strips, just like you would someone’s hair. Repeat this step so that you have two braided sections.

DIY King Cake for Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Braid the cinnamon rolls like you would hair.

Next, place braided sections in the shape of a circle on a baking sheet or stone.

Finally, take the remaining four rolls and unroll. Twist them together two at a time. Use the two twists to make an inner circle for the cake creating one wide cake.

DIY King Cake for Mardi Gras in New Orleans
This easy DIY king cake is ready to be filled with cream cheese!

How To Make the Cream Cheese Filling

In a medium bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and pure vanilla extract. (You will want to use a sturdy, metal whisk to get all of the lumps out.)

You can all put the ingredients in a mixing bowl and use your hand or stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Cream Cheese filling for  DIY King Cake for Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Creme cheese filling for this DIY King Cake.

Place a ziplock bag inside a large cup. Use the spatula to fill the bag with the cream cheese filling. Remove the bag from the cup—trim the corner off of the bag with scissors. Squeeze the filling to the bottom of the bag.

Inject filling into the openings of the cake.

DIY King Cake for Mardi Gras in New Orleans filled with cream cheese
Inject the cream cheese filling into your king cake! It's almost ready to bake!

How to Make Colored Sugar

Put approximately 1/3 cup of granulated sugar into 3 separate ziplock bags.

Using a small spoon, add a tiny amount of food color gel to each bag. One bag per color. (It’s better to start with a little and add more gel until the desired color is achieved.)

Seal the bag. Roll the sugar and gel food color around in the bag until completely mixed. This is a GREAT job for a kiddo or spouse while they are zoned out watching tv.

After the sugar is dyed, generously sprinkle it on top of the unbaked cake. 

Or you can just use sprinkles that are in a jar!

Easy Homemade King Cake 5
Top your king cake with purple, green, and gold sugar! Ready to bake!

How to Make Your DIY King Cake and Finishing Touches

Bake the cake at 350˚ for about 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.

DIY King Cake for Mardi Gras in New Orleans filled with cream cheese
Let your cake cool and then ready for icing!

Warm the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls in the microwave for about 30 sec – 1min (depending on the microwave strength.) You want it to still be white but thin enough to drizzle.

Drizzle icing over the top of the cake once the cake has cooled. 

DIY King Cake for Mardi Gras in New Orleans filled with cream cheese
Your easy DIY king cake is now ready to eat!

Mini King Cakes

Looking for a fun project with the kids? Give them their own cinnamon rolls and let them decorate them individually, and make mini king cakes! It’s a great project for scouts, youth groups, camps, and parties.

Easy DIY Mini King cake
These mini king cakes are perfect for the kids to make!

King Cake Recipe

DIY King Cake for Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Easy Semi-Homemade DIY King Cake with a Creme Cheese Filling

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Easy "Homemade" King Cake with cream cheese filling made from cinnamon rolls.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans of Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls (5 qty)
  • 1 package of softened cream cheese
  • ¼ cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • Approx 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • Wilton food color gel in Violet, Leaf Green & Lemon Yellow

Instructions

Cake

  1. Start by unrolling three of the cinnamon rolls. Lightly press them together at the top (see picture below.) Braid the three pieces together, just like you would someone’s hair. Repeat this step so that you have two braided sections.
  2. Place braided sections in the shape of a circle on a baking sheet or stone.
  3. Take the remaining four rolls and unroll. Twist them together two at a time. Use the two twists to make an inner circle for the cake creating one wide cake.

Filling

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and pure vanilla extract. (You will want to use a sturdy, metal whisk to get all of the lumps out.)
  2. Place a ziplock bag inside of a large cup. Use the spatula to fill the bag with the cream cheese filling. Remove the bag from the cup—trim the corner off of the bag with scissors. Squeeze the filling to the bottom of the bag.
  3. Inject filling into the openings of the cake.

Sugar

  1. Put approximately 1/3 cup of granulated sugar into 3 separate ziplock bags.
  2. Using a small spoon, add a tiny amount of Wilton food color gel to each bag. One bag per color. (It’s better to start with a little and add more gel until the desired color is achieved.)
  3. Seal the bag. Roll the sugar and gel food color around in the bag until completely mixed.
  4. After the sugar is dyed, generously sprinkle it on top of the unbaked cake. 

Baking and Finishing Touches

  1. Bake cake at 350˚ for about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  3. Warm the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls in the microwave for about 30 sec – 1min (depending on the microwave strength.) You want it to still be white but thin enough to drizzle.
  4. Drizzle icing over the top of the cake once the cake has cooled. 

Notes

Don’t like cream cheese? Any canned pie filling will do. This is also YUMMY plain, without any filling. 

You can also use purple, green, and gold sugar sprinkles.

Nutrition Information

Yield

16

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 105Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 5mgSodium 95mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 0gSugar 16gProtein 1g

The nutrition information provided is an estimate and is for informational purposes. Recipes results and nutrition will vary based on brands used, altering the recipe, equipmment used, climate, and more.

Did you make this recipe?

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