“Last Minute” King Cake

This festive treat bakes in just 20 minutes for easy entertaining and looks just as impressive as the classic.

5.0 from 2 reviews
“Last Minute” King Cake
Yields: 6 Servings
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated crescent dough sheets
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup strawberry preserves
  • Garnish: colored sanding sugar, confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, place dough sheets one on top of the other. Roll into an 18x11-inch rectangle.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add zest, egg yolk, and vanilla, beating to combine. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt, and beat at low speed until well combined. Spread cream cheese mixture onto dough. Dollop strawberry preserves on top of cream cheese mixture, and swirl until preserves are evenly spread.
  4. Starting on one long side, roll up dough, jelly roll style, pressing edge to seal. Place log, seam side down, on a work surface. Using a bench scraper or a sharp knife, cut log in half lengthwise. Place cut sides up, and gently twist two pieces around each other. Carefully place on prepared pan, and form into a circle, pinching ends to seal.
  5. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking. Let cool completely on pan. Garnish with sanding sugar and confectioners’ sugar, if desired.


  1. Step number 2 makes no sense and it would be helpful to have a video or some sort of diagram. Thank you for an interesting recipe but need more information.

    • There is 1 sheet of crescent dough in each can, and this recipe calls for 2 cans (2 sheets). In step 2, you are stacking one dough sheet on top of the other and then rolling them into an 18×11-inch rectangle. Hope this helps! We’ll look into getting a how-to video made.

  2. Thanks for looking into a video. I’ve tried to figure out how to do it from the directions, but to no avail. It looks very cool, though!

  3. Me again. Your reply to the comment above says to stack two sheets and then “roll them into a 18 x 11 inch rectangle.” That’s the part I don’t understand. If you have rolled them, how can they be a rectangle? It will be a cylinder. Do you flatten the rolled dough into a rectangle? I don’t get it.

  4. Couldn’t find the crescent dough sheets anywhere. Would love to know a good substitute. Crescent roll rolled out or puff pastry?

    • You can certainly use crescent roll dough instead of the sheets. You’ll just want to try and push it back together where it’s been perforated. Also, check the weight of the cans and make sure you use no less than what the recipe calls for.

  5. Ok, I too, will need to see a video. I did a test KC today, following each step..I think. The horror / laughter started as soon as I sliced the roll & started twisting the pieces. The filling started seeping out all over the place. Was able to transfer the bleeding mess onto the sheet pan to bake. After baking, I tried to sugar the cake, but the sugar rolled off, so made a thin powdered sugar glaze & poured over the cake, then the sugar stuck. The part of the cake with filling tasted ok; The other parts tasted like biscuits.
    I made a big mess, but luckily my husband, said I’d done enough, & proceeded to clean up while I had a glass of wine!


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