King Cake

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love New Orleans. It’s my second favorite city in which I’m in love with.  New York City (Brooklyn) is my first and Charleston, SC is my third.

The Sunday before Mardi Gras I got the urge to make a King Cake. Since I didn’t make it to NOLA for this insane day of celebration. I celebrated here in Pittsburgh by cooking up my own King Cake.

King cake cinnamon buns in a circle with icing and green, yellow and purple sprinkles

Before I get into the recipe here’s a little history behind the King Cake courtesy of New Orleans Showcase® (source).

Mardi Gras season begins on January 6, of each year and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. One of the wonderful traditions of Mardi Gras, and probably the most delicious, is the King Cake.

On the Christian calendar, the 12th day after Christmas is celebrated as the date that the gift-bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus. This day, January 6, is known by several names, including “Epiphany”, “Twelfth Night”, or “Kings Day”. The celebration of this event has evolved over the centuries, with each culture adding its own unique rituals. The New Orleans tradition, borrowing heavily from European influences, is believed to have begun in the 1870’s. As part of this celebration, it is now traditional to bake a cake in honor of the three kings – the King Cake. King Cakes are oval-shaped to symbolize the unity of faiths. Each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors – purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power. A small baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is traditionally hidden inside each King Cake.

In New Orleans, King Cake parties are held throughout the Mardi Gras season. In offices, classrooms, and homes throughout the city, King Cakes are sliced and enjoyed by all. Like the Biblical story, the “search for the baby” adds excitement, as each person waits to see in which slice of cake the baby will be discovered. While custom holds that the person who “finds” the baby will be rewarded with “good luck”, that person is also traditionally responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party or gathering.

The “traditional” King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, covered by poured sugar and sprinkled with purple, green and gold colored sugar. Today, many additional varieties of King Cake are also available by adding cream cheese, or other fillings to the “traditional” King Cake

Now onto the good stuff the recipe…

This recipe is going to blow your mind on how easy it is to make. I searched high and low for something simple and quick to conjure up.

There are a ton of recipes out there but they take entirely too much time to make.

You are going to high five me when you see how easy it is to make.


  • 6 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 (17.5 oz) cans jumbo cinnamon rolls with icing
  • Yellow, Green, Purple Sprinkles – Instructions on how to make your own sugar color sprinkles below


  • Heat oven 350° (I put mine at 325°F)
  • Brush Bundy pan with melted butter.
  • Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Sprinkle buttered Bundt pan evenly with the sugar mixture
  • Arrange cinnamon rolls around the prepared pan, overlapping one another
  • Pour the remaining butter over the rolls
  • Bake for 35 minutes (Check after 20 minutes with a toothpick. If it’s clear they’re done)
  • Let cool for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a cake plate
  • Pour frosting over the top and then add the homemade icing on top of that
  • Decorate with the yellow, green and purple sprinkles

Since the rolls didn’t come with enough icing I made my own.


  • 2 oz of cream cheese softened
  • 7 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of vanilla (you know what I’m going to say – I add a 1 Teaspoon)
  • 2 Tablespoons of milk (I add more milk for my desired consistency)
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of salt


  • Beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy
  • Mix in the vanilla and milk
  • Gradually mix in the confectioner sugar and until smooth and fluffy

Make your own green, yellow and purple sprinkles.

  • You’ll need 3 ziplock bags
  • Fill each ziplock bags with a 1/4 cup sugar
  • Food color (yellow, green, red and blue)
  • If you have the liquid start off by using 1 drop for the yellow and 1 drop for the green) For the purple add 1 drop of blue and 1 drop of red and shake then spread them over the cake alternating each color
  • I wasn’t able to find the liquid so I had to use the gel.
  • With the gel, you’re going to have to experiment by starting off with a drop or 2. When you add the gel into the ziplock bag you’re going to have work through the sugar and gel together by massaging with your hands until you get the color you fancy

Bon appétit Y’all.

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s chit-chat about this. What are your thoughts? You can leave your comment in the section below. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.

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So until we meet again my dear Friend, “Stay Cool, Classy, and Keep on Killing it. NEVER give up! NEVER be denied! You’re NEVER too old! NEVER look back!

With love,


Kimberly Ann Hawes


Everything is better, “Over Cocktails or Coffee!” ~~kah

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