One week until Mardi Gras! The countdown is on!
Whether you observe Lent or not, Mardi Gras is a really fun excuse to make some indulgent dishes – and these cinnamon rolls definitely fit the bill.
These cinnamon rolls wrap up the classic flavors of a king cake into my favorite breakfast pastry. Raisins are added to the dough, pecans fill the rolls, and they’re topped off with a cream cheese icing.
These aren’t the cinnamon rolls I’d make for everyday – but for Mardi Gras? They’re perfect.
They are a lot of work for a Tuesday holiday, though, so I’ve included directions to freeze them, too. Make a batch this weekend and you’ll thank yourself on Tuesday!
Looking for some more Mardi Gras-inspired eats? I’m linking up with some blogger friends today to bring you a slew of great options. From cocktails to dinners to treats, they have everything covered!
Check out these other delicious Mardi Gras recipes:
Cajun Chicken Pasta from Jolene’s Recipe Journal
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo from The Spiffy Cookie
Fastelaynsboller from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
King Bundt Cake from The Redhead Baker
King’s Cake Cinnamon Rolls from Kate’s Recipe Box
Mardi Gras Monkey Bread from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Muffaletta Salad from A Day in the Life on a Farm
Oven-Baked Mardi Gras Muffaletta Empanadas from Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Shrimp and Grits from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Shrimp Creole from Caroline’s Cooking
Shrimp Dirty Rice from Palatable Pastime
Shrimp Etouffee from House of Nash Eats
King Cake Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 2 dozen
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup raisins, soaked in warm water for several hours
1 cup melted butter, plus more as needed
1/8 cup ground cinnamon for sprinkling
1 cup sugar, plus more as needed
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3 Tbsp. cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. whole milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Green, purple, and yellow sugar
A few hours before (or the night before), cover the raisins in warm water and let sit. Raisins are ready when they’re nice and plump.
In a saucepan, combine the milk, vegetable oil and sugar. Scald and then let cool for 45 minutes.
Sprinkle yeast over the warm milk mixture and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 4 cups of the flour and raisins and transfer to a large bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour, until doubled in size.
Stir in the additional 1/2 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Sprinkle your work area generously with flour and roll the dough into a large rectangle. Spread melted butter over the dough, sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and pecan pieces. Roll up from the long side and pinch the seams together to seal up the rolls. Cut the log into 1 1/2″ rolls.
Place 1 Tbsp. melted butter in the bottom of each pan you’re using (a little more for larger pans) and arrange the rolls. You’ll get about 4 8″ round pans with 6 rolls each.
To bake now: Let rest for 20-30 minutes and then bake at 375 degrees for 13-17 minutes, until golden.
To freeze for later: Cover pans with foil and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the “bake now” directions.
For the icing: Beat together the cream cheese and milk. Beat in the powdered sugar until an icing consistency. If too thick, add a little more milk. If it’s too thin, add a little more sugar.
When ready to serve, drizzle icing over the cinnamon rolls and decorate with colored sugar.