• Tommy Centola

Celebrating 12th day of Christmas with King Cake

January 6th is the 12th day of Christmas and the start of New Orleans Carnival season. It is on this day that the Three Kings (Wise Men) visited the Christ child. In New Orleans, January 6th also marks the first appearance of the Carnival season favorite, the King Cake.

Since King Cakes are rarely offered locally, I always make one on January 6th and throughout the Carnival season. A few years ago, I developed a quick King Cake recipe using a pre-made crescent dough sheet. This allows me to make a great tasting cake without spending hours in the kitchen. To be honest, I don’t like baking from scratch. It requires exact measurements of ingredients, which is something I rarely do when cooking. Baking from scratch also can be affected by the humidity. Since I chose not to be a meteorologist, I leave major baking projects to the professionals.

I shared an earlier version of this recipe a couple of years ago. Since then, I have tinkered with the recipe. As my wife says, I rarely leave a recipe alone. I am always trying to make it better. This year, however, she told me that this is the best version ever. The main difference is the filling. In previous years, I have mixed cream cheese with chocolate spread. This year, I switched to a cookies and cream spread, which has small bits of cookie crumbs. I have also tinkered with the glaze recipe. I also added butter to the glaze, which added flavor and a bright white color. The only change I may make is by adding strains of purple, green and gold icing over the cake.

To let you know how easy this recipe is to make, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I fractured my right hand (Yes, I am right-handed) on Christmas Day. I made this recipe mostly with my left hand, since my right hand was in a brace. When I posted my photo results to Facebook, I jokingly titled it my Left-Handed Cookies and Cream King Cake. You can check out my Facebook page, Creole Cajun Chef, for the picture of the cake. Now, here is the recipe.

For the cake

8oz Cream Cheese Spread

13oz jar Cookies and Cream Spread

1 can Crescent Dough Sheet

Cinnamon Sugar

Preheat oven to 375℉.

Mix cream cheese and spread together with beaters until thoroughly combined. Roll out dough sheet on cutting board. Cut in half lengthwise. Sprinkle both halves liberally with cinnamon sugar. Place spread mixture in the center of each half sheet. Wrap the dough around the spread. Spray a baking sheet or 13x9-inch cake pan with butter flavored pan coating. Place each half, with the seam side down, into the pan. Connect the two halves by pinching the halves together. Shape into an oval. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

For the glaze

1 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar

2 tablespoons of Heavy Cream, or more as needed

1/8 teaspoon Salt

1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

3 tablespoons Melted Butter

Combine all ingredients and mix until it is free of lumps. Add cream if necessary to desired consistency of the glaze. Spoon over cooled cake and sprinkle, in sections, with Purple, Green and Gold (Yellow) colored sugars.

As of now, this is the official recipe for my King Cakes. Of course, next year, who knows. I may find another filling for the cake. One thing is for sure, there will always be plenty of purple, green and gold sugar on top.

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