Mini-King Cake Cinnamon Rolls

Mini-King Cake Cinnamon Rolls

We’re officially kicking off Mardi Gras Season with these crazy-cute and colorful Mini- King Cake Cinnamon Rolls. You are going to swoon over these babies! Plump, little rolls of yumminess are enriched with butter, eggs and fresh lemon, then layered with swirls of cinnamon-spiked brown sugar. Topped with a white glaze and a riot of Mardi Gras sprinkles, these mini-king cakes are a hit everywhere they go!

How to make Mini-King Cake Cinnamon Rolls at home

First, make the dough.

King cakes are traditionally made with a brioche dough. Part-cake, part bread, brioche is enriched with butter and eggs. Making it is usually a tricky process reserved for “grownup” bakers. We’ve come up with a quick and easy version anyone can make (although it certainly helps to have a stand mixer!) Mix all the dough ingredients in one bowl, including the melted butter (serious bakers, just close your eyes!).

Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature. Why? Baking Using cold ingredients will mess up chemical reactions I know nothing about but that are critical to the process.

Give yourself time. Although this is a quick and easy recipe, you will need several hours of “inactive” time to let the dough rise, chill, and rest. And don’t be scared by the texture of the dough after it’s mixed– it’ll be a sticky mess and need chilling in order to work with it.

Don’t be scared by the consistency of the dough. It will be a sticky mess, and you’ll think you’ve totally screwed up. Just keep beating it until it begins to pull away slightly and even start climbing up your beater. You may need to oil your hands to get the dough out of the mixer. Chilling the dough as indicated will make it easier to handle.

Next, make the filling.

Traditional king cake is made with a simple brioche and a light cinnamon filling. As the popularity of king cake has exploded, however, so have the number and types of fillings. You’ll find all sorts of fillings these days, including apple, lemon, cherry, pecan praline, bavarian cream and possibly everyone’s favorite, cream cheese. A few avant-garde chefs have even started baking savory king cakes with boudin and other spices. Vicky’s favorite is and always will be the traditional, so these mini-king cakes have a brown sugar, cinnamon-flavored filling with a dab of melted butter to add richness.

While the dough is chilling, go ahead and make the filling. You’ll need 3 tablespoons of melted butter and also a mixture of brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

One of these days, Vicky promises to experiment with other fillings, our guess is that it’ll be the pecan praline and cream cheese fillings that she tries first!

Work and shape the dough.

After the dough has chilled, you’ll knead it a bit and let it rest 25 minutes. Then you’ll roll it out into a rectangle and spread on the filling. Use your hands to carefully roll it into a log or tube. With a serrated knife, you’ll cut the log into 12 pieces and bake it for about 25 minutes.

Now the best part: the glaze and sprinkles!

This is the fun part. Vicky is not a fan of heavy glazes, but you’ll need something to anchor the sprinkles. Making this light glaze is a breeze. You’ll simply mix the powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and milk and drizzle or spread it on the rolls with a spoon. Apply the sprinkles immediately before the glaze hardens.

Find the best sprinkles money can buy! We’ll save you a lot of time – these sprinkles by Fancy Sprinkles are the best out there. You’ll be blown away by the selection. Check out their whole sprinkle collection! Worth the stock up.

We ordered these fabulous sprinkles from Amazon for the base (even comes with plastic king cake babies!) and these fun sprinkles for a little extra flare.

Mini-King Cake Cinnamon Rolls

February 6, 2020
: 12
: 1 hr
: 25 min
: 1 hr 25 min
: Medium


  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk (110°)
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packages dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) plus 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 3 eggs yolks, room temp
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (3 tsps.) ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water
  • 2 cups powdered or confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • Purple, green, and yellow sugar sprinkles
  • Step 1 Pour the warm milk into a large mixing bowl or KitchenAid. Sprinkle yeast over the milk and stir occasionally until the yeast fully dissolves (about 5 minutes.)
  • Step 2 Add the flour, 2 tsp. cinnamon, ¼ cup granulated sugar, salt, butter, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest and 2 tsp. of lemon juice.
  • Step 3 Beat on medium speed (using paddle attachment if you have one) at least 5 minutes until dough forms a shaggy ball and starts to pull away from bowl (the dough will be very sticky). Transfer the dough to a separate bowl sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Step 4 Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Step 5 Make the filling by mixing the brown sugar, 1 tbsp. granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl and melting 3 tablespoons of butter in a separate small sauce pan.
  • Step 6 Transfer the chilled dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead it briefly by folding it over 3-4 times. Let it rest 15 minutes.
  • Step 7 Roll the dough out into an approximate 12 X 8 rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough with 3 tbsp. of melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon mixture across the surface of the dough.
  • Step 8 Starting with the long edge nearest you, roll the rectangle into a log.
  • Step 9 Using a serrated knife, cut the dough log into 12 pieces.
  • Step 10 Brush the tops of the rolls with the beaten egg mixture.
  • Step 11 Spray muffin tin with baking spray. Place dough pieces into muffin tin cut side down. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour.
  • Step 12 Make the glaze: Mix the powdered sugar, 2 tbsp. melted butter, vanilla and milk until smooth.
  • Step 13 In an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees, bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Step 14 Drizzle the glaze on the rolls and add sprinkles immediately.