Store-bought crescent dough sheets make an excellent shortcut when we need king cake in a hurry.
Quick & Easy King Cake
Yields: 1 (12-inch) wreath
- ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped Granny Smith apples
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 2 (8-ounce) cans crescent dough sheet*
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- Orange Glaze (recipe follows)
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
- Yellow, green, and purple food coloring (optional)
- In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a medium saucepan, toss apples with orange zest and juice. Add sugar mixture, stirring to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until juices start to simmer. Continue simmering until thick and spatula leaves a trail when pulled through filling, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and place in medium bowl. Let cool to room temperature. (To cool faster, place bowl uncovered in refrigerator, stirring occasionally until cool. Filling can also be made the day before and chilled.)
- Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, unroll dough sheets and stack on top of each other. Roll stack into an 18×11-inch rectangle.
- Spread apple filling evenly on dough, leaving a border along one long edge. Starting on the other long side, roll up, jelly roll style, pinching edge to seal. Place log, seam side down, on the surface. Using a bench scraper or a sharp knife, cut in half lengthwise. Gently twist halves, cut sides up, together. Form into a circle, pinching ends to seal. Carefully place wreath on prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg and 1 tablespoon water together. Using a pastry brush, brush top and sides of wreath.
- Bake until deep golden brown, 28 to 30 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking. Let cool completely on the pan. Top with Orange Glaze.
- In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and orange juice until smooth. If coloring, divide glaze among three bowls and add 2 to 3 drops of desired food coloring to each bowl. Use immediately.
*We used Pillsbury Original Crescent Dough Sheet.