This recipe for Mardi Gras Monkey Bread is perfect for celebrating Fat Tuesday! The easy sweet bread is made with canned cinnamon rolls and pecans and topped with vanilla glaze and yellow, green, and purple sprinkles. A twist on a traditional King Cake, you could even hide a king baby inside!
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Mardi Gras Monkey Bread
The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions; to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required, and to understand the steps and timings involved.
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is known as Shrove Tuesday.Wikipedia
Here in the UK it’s boring old Shrove Tuesday, where we cook up some sad old pancakes and that’s it. But Mardi Gras is all about Carnival!
We love to celebrate holidays of all different kinds here on The Purple Pumpkin Blog. And while Mardi Gras isn’t a thing over here in the UK, I just LOVE it!
One of the things on my bucket list is to visit New Orleans during Mardi Gras – the closest I’ve gotten to it is visiting Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter Resort for Mardi Gras back in 2019.
I love making different themed recipes for a variety of different holidays and this Mardi Gras Monkey Bread is one of my offerings for this year.
It is loosely based on King Cake as the main ingredient is canned cinnamon rolls. The sweet pull-apart bread is also full of pecans and sugar and topped with a vanilla glaze and yellow, green, and gold sprinkles. Its ooey-gooey deliciousness is a surefire crowd-pleaser!
Once cooked you could even insert a king baby inside – but make sure to warn your guests it is there!
The most simple King Cake, said to be the most traditional, is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style dough. It may be topped with icing or sugar, which may be colored to show the traditional Mardi Gras colors.
Traditionally, a small porcelain baby, symbolizing Jesus, is hidden in the king cake and is a way for residents of New Orleans to celebrate their Christian faith. The baby symbolizes luck and prosperity to whoever finds it. That person is also responsible for purchasing next year’s cake or host the next Mardi Gras party. Bakers have recently been placing the baby outside of the cake to avoid liability for any choking hazard.Wikipedia
Ingredients & Equipment Used In This Recipe
You may already have some of the basic ingredients for this recipe – the full list with measurements is found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
For your convenience, any specialized or notable ingredients and equipment needed for this recipe have been listed below and linked to Amazon or other stores if available online.
- Cinnamon Rolls – you will need two (16oz) cans or the equivalent. 16oz is around 450g, so if you are in the UK and buy Jus-Rol Cinnamon Swirls Dough, you are going to need just over 3 packs. You may as well use them all up – so you’ll just have a slightly denser Monkey Bread! You may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Brown Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
- Pecans – these are chopped up and go into the mixture for a yummy crunch!
- Powdered Sugar – also known as Icing Sugar or Confectioner’s Sugar.
- Pure Vanilla Extract – always buy good vanilla, it makes all the difference!
- Yellow, Green, and Purple Sprinkles – the colors of Mardi Gras! Purple Represents Justice. Green Represents Faith. And Gold Represents Power.
- Bundt Pan – A bundt cake tin is ring-shaped with a hole in the middle, which is designed to ensure the cake bakes evenly. Most bundt cake tins are moulded with designs, too, typically swirly or fluted, to give your cake wow factor. (Source: BBC Good Food)
Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog use both cup measurements and/or weighted measurements. American cups and kitchen food scales are handy pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen as it means you’ll be able to make all of the different recipes on my blog! I try to give American, imperial, and metric measurements in my recipes. You can mix cup measurements with weighted measurements, but never imperial (pounds, ounces, pints, etc.,) with metric (kilograms, grams, litres, etc.,).
More Recipes Using Cinnamon
The flavor of cinnamon is one of the heroes in this recipe, so if you want more cinnamon-flavored recipes, try these next:
More Sweet Bread Recipes
Looking for more sweet breads to make? Take a look at these recipes:
- Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Bubble Bread
- Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cranberry Bread
How Do I Make Mardi Gras Monkey Bread?
Just check out the recipe card below with full ingredients, instructions, and demonstration photos. You can print the card out too (don’t worry, the pics don’t print to save your ink).
- 2 (16-oz) cans of cinnamon rolls*
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ cups pecans, chopped
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Glaze
- 3 cups powdered sugar (icing sugar)
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 Tbsps milk
- Yellow, green, and purple sprinkles
- Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Spray the inside of a bundt pan
with non-stick baking spray and set aside.
- Remove the cinnamon rolls from their tubes and cut each one in
half and then in half again so you have four pieces per roll.
- Place the brown sugar, chopped pecans, and salt into a bowl and stir to combine.
- In another bowl stir together the melted butter and vanilla.
- Take a piece of cinnamon roll and dip it into the melted butter and then roll in the sugar mixture. Place into the bottom of the bundt pan.
- Repeat with each piece of cinnamon roll and layer into the pan until all pieces have been used.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a cake plate or cake stand. The monkey bread should slide right out. Leave to cool completely.
- To make the glaze, place the powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl, whisk in the milk to the desired consistency.
- Drizzle over cooled monkey bread and add the green, yellow, and purple sprinkles on top.
- Enjoy and Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!
*You will need two (16oz) cans or the equivalent. 16oz is around 450g, so if you are in the UK and buy Jus-Rol Cinnamon Swirls Dough, you are going to need just over 3 packs. You may as well use them all up - so you'll just have a slightly denser Monkey Bread! You may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 713Total Fat: 36gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 351mgCarbohydrates: 99gFiber: 3gSugar: 88gProtein: 4g
This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.
Make It A Meal!
You’ve made the dessert, but what about the rest of the courses?
Here are additional recipes to make a full meal!
- Appetizer: Baked Coconut Shrimp with Avocado-Lime Dip
- Main Dish: Jambalaya
- Side Dish: Cayenne Buttered Corn on the Cob
- Beverage: Mardi Gras Rum Punch
There are 500+ Recipes on The Purple Pumpkin Blog for you to enjoy – please feel free to check them out too!