Marti Gras-Cinnamon Roll King Cake

Mardi Gras King cake made with cinnamon rolls

Happy Marti Gras!  Here is a cinnamon roll variation of King Cake that I made this morning.  All the recipes I have read for King Cake are cinnamon filled yeasted coffee cakes.  I decided that cinnamon rolls are the perfect individual sized portions of King Cake.  No baby hidden inside, the prize is the the cinnamon sugar awesomeness inside these rolls.  For those who are interested, here is more info on King Cake.  I will be submitting these rolls over to Yeast Spotting.

King Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Course Breakfast
Keyword cinnamon rolls, king cake, mardi gras
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
resting time 2 hours
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Heather


The rolls:

  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter melted
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus more for the bread board

The filling:

  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon

The frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops food coloring each purple, yellow, green


Cinnamon Rolls

  • In a large bowl, stir together the yeast, sugar, and whole wheat flour.  
  • In a large measuring cup or microwave safe bowl, pour in 1/2 cup milk. Add margarine and microwave for 1 minute or until the margarine is melted. Add 1/2 cup water to margarine, milk mixture. Pour into bowl with yeast, sugar, and whole wheat flour. Stir to combine.
  • Add eggs and stir to combine. Add in the all purpose flour and stir to combine. Knead with the hook attachment of your stand mixer for 3-4 minutes. If kneading by hand, increase time by a minute or two.  You want the dough to be smooth and elastic, tacky but not sticky. (See notes).  Cover and allow to raise for about an hour or until dough is doubled in size.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute. Roll out dough into a large rectangle. Brush the melted butter across the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar over the butter. Roll up the dough into a log. 
  • With a sharp bread knife, cut the rolls about 1 inch long and placed in a greased pan. I used 2-8 inch cake pans and really they were too small once the rolls had proofed. Cover and allow to raise for 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Bake rolls at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes (may need to go longer if only using one large pan). Remove from oven and allow to cool. 


  • For the frosting, mix together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Separate into 3 small bowls. Add a few drops of violet food coloring into one bowl, a few drops of yellow into one bowl, and a few drops of green into the last bowl. Stir to combine. Spread the frosting over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy!


What do I mean by tacky but not sticky?  If you touch the dough, it shouldn’t stick to your fingers, but should feel tacky like sticky tack or play dough.  If the dough sticks to your fingers badly, you may need to add a little bit more flour.  I usually do this 1/4 cup at a time.
Mardi Gras King cake made with cinnamon rolls