Mardi Gras King Cake Monkey Bread

February 20, 2020

Celebrate Fat Tuesday with this Mardi Gras King Cake Monkey Bread made with premade cinnamon roll dough, pecans, orange zest, and a bourbon spiked icing!

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Here’s the thing about being a blogger – you’re constantly celebrating holidays ahead of time.  We start working on our Christmas content in the summer.  And in the winter, we’ve moved well into spring.  But every year, I’m usually so busy scheduling Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and other springtime content that I completely pass over Mardi Gras.  Not this year!

I’m a Jersey girl, so my apologies if I totally get this wrong.  Even still, this recipe is probably the closest I’ll get to King Cake.  It’s not the easiest thing to find around here.  But I did a little research and decided to take the flavors of King Cake and turn them into a fun-to-eat monkey bread!

I don’t do a lot of baking from scratch because – well, I’m not that good at it.  But I’m pretty good at “almost homemade” baking.  So I grabbed three tubes of cinnamon rolls, sanding sugar in Mardi Gras colors, and made a pretty awesome, King Cake inspired monkey bread! 

If you’re not familiar with King Cake, it’s a Mardi Gras staple.  From what I’ve read, most of these cakes are cinnamon flavored, ring-shaped cakes, decorated with icing and purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power) sugar.  There’s usually a small, toy baby baked inside.  Whoever finds it has to bring the next King Cake or host the next Mardi Gras party. 

There aren’t any toy babies baked into this monkey bread (because choking hazard!), but I still did my best to represent this iconic Mardi Gras cake! 

How to make Mardi Gras King Cake Monkey Bread

Start this monkey bread by cutting the premade cinnamon roll dough into halves. Then, roll those halves into balls and stick them in a bowl with crushed pecans and orange zest.  Toss everything with melted butter and stick the dough balls into a greased bundt pan.

The monkey bread bakes for 30 minutes.  When it’s completely cooled, icing is poured over it.  The final touch is decorating the monkey bread with purple, green, and gold sanding sugar.

Mardi Gras King Cake Monkey Bread

Mardi Gras King Cake Monkey Bread


    For the monkey bread:
  • 3 - 12.4oz Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, icing set aside
  • 2/3 cups pecan halves, crushed
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • For the icing:
  • 3 icing cups, from Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. bourbon
  • Purple, green, and gold sanding sugar


    For the monkey bread:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a bundt pan.
  2. Cut the cinnamon roll dough in halve and roll into balls. Set aside in a large bowl.
  3. Once all the dough balls are formed, add the pecans, orange zest, and butter. Stir to coat all the dough balls completely.
  4. Place the dough balls into a bundt pan and pour in any extra butter or pecans. Gently press down the last layer of dough balls so the layer sits evenly in the pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Allow the monkey bread to cool completely before turning it over onto a plate.
  7. Once the monkey bread is cool, prepare the icing.
  8. For the icing:
  9. Spoon the icing cups into a small bowl.
  10. Stir in the milk, orange zest, and bourbon.
  11. Pour the icing over the cooled monkey bread. Then, decorate with purple, green, and gold sanding sugar.
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The flavor of this monkey bread kind of reminds me of coffee cake.  Just pull off a few pieces and enjoy with a hot cup of tea or coffee!  It’s a delicious way to celebrate your last hurrah before the Lenten season begins!   

Did you make this Mardi Gras King Cake Monkey Bread? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!


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  • Reply Michelle February 20, 2020 at 8:10 AM

    This looks delicious!!!

    • Reply Jessica February 20, 2020 at 8:17 AM

      Thank you! 🙂

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