King Cake Bars

kings-cake-bars

Happy Mardi Gras! I have a confession – I’ve never actually been to Mardi Gras, but it looks like it’s so much fun! I went to New Orleans once on a family vacation when I was about 8 years old, but it’s on my bucket list to go back and spend some more time there. That’s why I decided to make my own version of a King Cake.

Okay, another confession – I’ve never actually had King Cake either! But from my research I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a lot of different versions of king cakes. Most involved a yeast-based dough, with a filling, and a glaze.

Around here though, ain’t nobody got time to make dough. I’ve seen “easy” King cake recipes where people used pre-made cinnamon roll dough or croissant rolls dough – but I don’t like the taste of those kinds of doughs.

I decided to get creative and make a BAR version of the King cake. These King cake bars are so fast and easy to make – and they’re super yummy and rich – just how I imagine a king cake would be.

King Cake Bars:
Yield: 9-12 bars Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour

For the Crust: 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Filling: 
1 and 1/2 cups pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

For the Glaze: 
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Colored sugar

king-cake-bars

Directions:

For the Crust:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a square baking dish with parchment paper. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter with the sugar at medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. At a low speed, mix in the flour, salt and lemon juice until a soft dough forms.

Press about 2/3 of the dough into the lined pan, creating an even layer. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is set and golden.

For the Filling:
Combine all the filling ingredients and toss until pecans are evenly covered.

Once the bottom crust is baked, spread the filling over it. Carefully roll out the remaining 1/3 of the dough and place it on top of the filling. Bake until the top layer is a golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

For the Glaze:
Combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla and whisk together until you have a smooth glaze.

Pour on top of the bars and decorate with colored sugar as desired.

king-cake-bars-1



21 Comments on King Cake Bars

  1. krystel
    at (2 years ago)

    these are very colorful creative and look delioous

    Reply
  2. Jenn
    at (2 years ago)

    Yum! These look pretty AND delicious!

    Reply
  3. Melissa S
    at (2 years ago)

    I love these as an alternative to baking a whole cake. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
  4. Adelynn Lovellette
    at (2 years ago)

    Based on a video from high school French class, bakers put a plastic baby toy in the cake.

    Reply
    • Sarah
      at (2 years ago)

      Yes! Adelynn, I tried so hard to find a plastic baby, and I couldn’t find one ANYWHERE!

      Reply
  5. Aimee
    at (2 years ago)

    these look soooo tasty

    Reply
  6. susan king
    at (2 years ago)

    These look and sound so good !! I have to try and make them the next time we have company coming. Thank you !!

    Reply
  7. Mai T.
    at (2 years ago)

    It looks so yummy! And even more attractive with all the colors!

    Reply
  8. Kathy Luman
    at (2 years ago)

    These look really good. I might have to try to make these some time.

    Reply
  9. Dorothy Teel
    at (2 years ago)

    This looks good, I wish I had some all purpose flour here today, I would make some of these bars, I love the layers and the colored sugar on top

    Reply
  10. dari
    at (2 years ago)

    it’s purple, matches your blog perfectly.

    -as soon as I wrote this I noticed my ipad keyboard is purple! maybe from overuse but literally just right now happened…

    Reply
  11. Joni
    at (1 year ago)

    I made these today. They are very good. I have never made these before. Great recipe.

    Reply
  12. Sara Nowicki
    at (2 months ago)

    these look great. What size Pan did you use.. 8×8 or 9×9

    Reply
    • Sarah
      at (2 months ago)

      Hi Sara,

      Thanks for visiting! I used an 8×8 pan, but I think a 9×9 pan would be fine too.

      Reply

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