Happy Mardi Gras, Friends!!! There is nothing we love more at What to do with Lemons than fun – and tasty – traditions, and Mardi Gras has been something we’ve celebrated together for years. One of our good friends would get a king cake delivered to her dorm room every year to celebrate the season – we’d all get a good laugh in about how much she’d wished she didn’t get the apple kind, and then all indulge in this sweet treat in hopes of finding the baby for good luck. As you can imagine, the cake never lasted very long in her dorm room, but the fun of it all became one of our favorite memories. There are a “few” other religious aspects to this tradition, but for us girls it was all about that cake. And the luck!
I had to keep the tradition alive, so I set out to make this EASY recipe – all you need are a few standard ingredients, and you’ve got yourself one delicious treat. Think giant gooey cinnamon roll here…yes.
-refrigerated not sweet dough – I used pizza crust
-sprinkles – purple, gold, green
Preheat your oven according to the dough package instructions. Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough out on parchment paper into a big square.
Mix 1 cup brown sugar and 1-2T cinnamon in a bowl. Brush the entire dough surface with melted butter, and sprinkle with sugar – you may/may not use all of it, and that’s ok! Use your own discretion. Chop up the pecans, and evenly top the sugar mixture with the nuts. Using the parchment to help lift the dough, roll it up in cinnamon roll style, and pinch the seam shut.
Next, transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, and shape the dough into a circle. Brush the outside of the dough with more melted butter, and bake in the oven according to the time on the dough package, about 8-12 minutes.
While the dough cooks/cools, heat 1 package of cream cheese in the microwave until easily mixable – I did this in 30 second intervals. Add a heaping quarter cup of white sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract and stir. Spread the frosting onto the outside of the cake, and decorate in traditional Mardi Gras sprinkles. Then EAT…don’t forget that. It is Fat Tuesday after all…
I called it the kitchen sink recipe, because I used stuff I (mostly) already had. Aside from the dough, I almost always have everything else. So, I threw it all together and was actually pretty surprised as to how well it turned out! Sweet, sturdy but not soggy, and perfect for the celebration. OK, maybe not perfect. I didn’t have a baby, but I did have a mini wrestler figurine, so he was our lucky trinket for the year. *Note – if you’re participating in the hidden baby aspect of this recipe, cut a small slit in the COOKED cake, and place the baby in after you’ve already COOLED the cake but before you’ve frosted it…don’t cook the baby.
I made this recipe in about 40 minutes total, before jumping on a plane to meet up with some friends last week…you have no excuse not to try it. I’d eat it for breakfast or dessert, and it’s definitely bead worthy, if you catch my drift. How’d you celebrate Mardi Gras this year? Let us know @whattodowithlemons on Instagram!!