With Mardi Gras festivities well underway, what better way to join in on the fun than with a homemade baked good? These King Cake Cinnamon Rolls are a nod to the classic Mardi Gras bread, spiraled with a cinnamon sugar filling and topped with a drippy glazed frosting. Once baked, the rolls can be consumed right away or stored in the freezer for a rainy day; simply reheat until barely warm throughout and frost prior to serving as a breakfast or dessert treat.
King Cake Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time: 120 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
For the dough:
¾ cup lukewarm whole milk
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
¾ teaspoon salt
3¼ cups all-purpose flour, with more for flouring surfaces
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
For the icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk, plus more as needed
To prepare the dough:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir to combine the milk, eggs, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- Add the sugar, yeast and salt, and stir to combine.
- On low speed with the paddle attachment, add the flour, ½ cup at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Increase to medium speed (I use speed number 4 on my Kitchen Aid stand mixer) and begin adding the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and then continue beating for an additional 4 minutes. The dough will be soft and slightly sticky.
- Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough inside, covering it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in a warm spot of your kitchen until it has approximately doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours.
- Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, prepare the filling. Stir to combine the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt and set aside.
To prepare the rolls:
- After the first rise, roll the dough out into an 11-by-21-inch rectangle.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the filling onto the rectangle.
- Starting with one of the long ends, roll the dough into a tight log and pinch the edges together to seal them shut.
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut 2-inch pieces out of the log.
- Lightly grease a muffin tin and place a roll, face-up, into each compartment of the muffin tin. You will end up with about 12 rolls.
- Lightly cover the tops of the dishes with plastic wrap for about a half hour.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and when the rolls have risen, remove the plastic and bake in the oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before stirring together the icing ingredients and drizzling over top. For thinner icing glaze, add an additional tablespoon of milk until desired consistency is reached. Re-warm and enjoy.
Kate Wood’s recipes can be found on her Wood and Spoon blog and on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.