How to Make an Easy Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras season is here!  Pensacola kicked off the Mardi Gras celebration this week with Twelfth Night.  I love that Pensacola has such a family friendly parade for Mardi Gras.  We love to go to the parade but that isn’t until the end of February so we celebrated Mardi Gras this weekend with a homemade King Cake.

The “King’s Cake” represents the three Biblical kings that journeyed to Bethlehem.  King cake season goes from the end of Twelfth Night through Mardi Gras Day.  The cake is a ring of twisted cinnamon dough with a variety of fillings.  The most common is cream cheese but you may also find a variety of fillings like cherry, peach, lemon, rasberry and more.  The cake is covered with a sweet icing and then purple, gold and green sugar.  Often, there is a baby or a small bean hidden inside the cake but seeing as this presents a choking hazard, we leave it out.  Tradition states that whoever finds the hidden bean or baby is the person who brings the next king cake.

This is the first king cake I have ever made and I admit that I totally cheated!   We used a can of cinnamon rolls!  I might attempt a more difficult recipe.


1 can of cinnamon rolls and the icing that comes with it

1 cup of sugar divided into 3 bowls


Open the can of cinnamon rolls and fold each roll in half to resemble a hot dog bun.  Lay the rolls in a circle so that they are barely overlapping.

If you want to add a cream cheese flavor to it you can put a dab of cream cheese frosting in the middle of each roll.  In the picture, you will see the cinnamon rolls open facing out.  I wish that I had faced the opening towards the inside of the ring.

Bake the rolls according to the directions on the container.  My recipe called for 13-17 minutes and they were ready right at 13 minutes.  Be sure to watch the oven.

While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make your colored sugars.

Put three to five food coloring drops into the sugar and mix thoroughly.  I used this tutorial on how to dye your own sugar.

Take the metal lid off of the icing container, discard, and microwave icing for about 10-15 seconds so the icing is a little runny.  Pour the icing over the top of the cinnamon rolls and coat with the colored sugars.


  1. This turned out pretty well, although my green sugar wasn’t as green as the picture. But yummy!


  1. […] My first King Cake experience went down at a Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday celebration at a church. We had music, dancing, Cajun food, pancakes and King Cake. My long time friend, Jen from Pensacola with Kids (long time meaning we were in church Christmas plays together and her sister and I were singing Jesus Loves Me in Sunday school), has a great recipe for homemade King Cake that she calls super easy and it’s made with refrigerated cinnamon rolls! Hello! […]

  2. […] King Cake, made by my cyber friend Jennifer, of Pensacola, Florida’s favorite family blog, Pensacola for Kids. I’m part of a Facebook group with other local bloggers from around the country, and Jennifer […]

  3. […] a King Cake with the kids. You can order a King Cake from several famous NOLA bakeries but my kids and I prefer to make our own. Take a can of cinnamon rolls, fold the rolls like a hot dog, and bake.  Cover them with the […]

  4. […] or you have children who are eager to do it all themselves, you can also make a wonderful cake with cinnamon roll dough. If you’re baking with yeast, this is the perfect time to talk about how yeast work to grow […]

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