Mardi Gras Monkey Bread

by Christin Mahrlig on January 6, 2014

in Breads and Muffins, Breakfast

Mardi Gras Monkey Bread

 It’s been almost 20 years since my husband and I lived in New Orleans and one of the things I most miss about New Orleans is Mardi Gras. As a remembrance, each year we have a King Cake shipped to us rom a bakery in New Orleans. Our kids throw a fit if we forget.

King Cakes are fun for adults and children alike. A traditional King Cake is a twisted ring of cake, usually made from a yeasted dough and flavored with cinnamon, with a sugary icing on top. A small plastic baby, representing baby Jesus, is baked inside the cake. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the baby, is supposed to provide the cake for the next get together.

Mardi Gras Monkey Bread

 I’ve never made a traditional King Cake and to tell you the truth, it’s not my favorite cake. Unless it’s filled with lots of cream cheese filling. That ups the yumminess quotient a bunch. King Cake is typically not very sweet, but it’s drizzled with a very sweet icing. Sometimes I think it tastes like bread with liquid sugar on it.

But not a monkey bread kind of bread. There’s almost no bread better than a Monkey Bread. Especially this one. Maybe that’s because this Monkey Bread is made with biscuits. And we southerners know biscuits beat bread any day :).

Mardi Gras Monkey Bread

 Mardi Gras Monkey Bread is made with refrigerated biscuits, making it super easy to put together. Each biscuit is cut in 4 pieces and rolled in a cinnamon, pecan, sugar mixture. The whole thing is drizzled in lots of butter and more sugar before it is baked. You will feel like it is swimming in this butter/sugar mixture, but the biscuits really do soak it up as it cooks.

Then if that isn’t enough, a thick, creamy icing is spread on top and the Monkey Bread is finished off with some purple, green, and gold sprinkles.

If you are a sugar love like me, you will want to just eat the top portion of the cake which not only gets all the icing love, but the butter love too, since it was the bottom in the Bundt pan.

Make your next Mardi Gras celebration special with this super easy and delicious Mardi Gras Monkey Bread! Leftovers are great for breakfast with a cup of coffee!

Note: You could easily up the fun and add a plastic baby to this Monkey Bread. Just toss one in when the pan is halfway full with the pieces of biscuit. You can buy Plastic King Cake Babies here.

Mardi Gras Monkey Bread

Mardi Gras Monkey Bread
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


This delicious Monkey bread is decked out with Mardi Gras colored sprinkles and is simple to make using refrigerated biscuits.
Recipe type: Bread

  • 4 tubes refrigerated Homestyle Biscuits (not the Grands)
  • 1¾ cup sugar, separated
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine ¾ cup sugar, pecan pieces, and cinnamon. Roll each biscuit piece in sugar mixture and then place in a Bundt pan. You should use most of the sugar mixture up, but it’s ok to have some left over.
  4. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, brown sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Heat stirring occasionally, until butter melts. Pour over biscuit pieces.
  5. Bake 40-45 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and then invert onto a cake stand or large plate.
  6. For Icing, whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Spread on top of Monkey Bread.

 Recipe Source: adapted from

More Mardi Gras Food

Crawfish Jambalaya

Crawfish Spread

Cajun Pastalaya

Fried Crawfish Etouffee Balls

Spicy Southern Kitchen is an affiliate.


{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Chelsea March 1, 2014 at 9:00 am

I also love my King Cake with the cream cheese! Could I put a slice of cream cheese in the middle of each biscuit before rolling it into the cinnamon and sugar mixture and baking? Have you tried this before? Would the cream cheese cook into the biscuit?


Christin Mahrlig March 1, 2014 at 9:39 am

Hmmm. Once you cut the biscuits into four pieces each, you have a lot of biscuit pieces and they are pretty small. It would be very time consuming to put a piece of cream cheese in the middle of each one and it would have to be a small piece of cream cheese. I would maybe cut each biscuit piece in thirds and be sure to get the dough completely sealed around the cream cheese. Otherwise it will probably ooze out and most of it end up at the bottom of the pan. But that might still taste good. No way to find out but try :) Let me know how it turns out if you try it!


Nikki January 28, 2014 at 10:34 pm

Ok- what did I do wrong? I followed every step and when I got the bread out of the oven, let it sit a few minutes, turned it over to get it out of the pan… All the sauce I poured on before baking was oozing all over the top (the top after turning it upside down to get it out of the pan). Is that how it is suppose to be?


Christin Mahrlig January 28, 2014 at 10:51 pm

A fair amount will ooze down and the part that was in the bottom should be really soaked with the liquid and very soft and buttery while the part that was the top will be on the drier side.


Krystle(Baking Beauty) January 15, 2014 at 11:10 pm

We never do much for Mardi Gras. This looks like a really fun tradition to start. Love the sprinkles on top as well!


Amy @ Elephant Eats January 12, 2014 at 4:00 pm

I’ve seen King bread but never had it…but this monkey break version seems more my style. I’m with you on loving sugary things ;)


Shundara@SavyNaturalista January 9, 2014 at 11:56 am

I have never had king cake and I have always wanted to try some! Now that you have explained it’s just bread and sugar I am not going to pay that much attention to the hype. The carnival season has just started so this is lovely recipe! Looks like a King Cake Monkey bread I love it!!!


Cailee @ January 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm

This is so adorable!! And I totally hear ya on only wanting the top of the cake!! YUM! I hope that you have a great rest of your week!!


Ashley January 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

I’ve never had King Cake but this monkey bread sure sounds amazing! I mean you can’t go wrong with biscuits …. haha And with that glaze… so good!


Christin Mahrlig January 8, 2014 at 9:17 am

Nope… you definitely can’t go wrong with biscuits! Have a great week Ashley!


Anne ~ Uni Homemaker January 8, 2014 at 2:32 am

My husband proposed to me in New Orleans, near french quarter so it holds a special place in my heart. We had a blast eating and sight seeing. I absolutely love it! This bread totally reminds me of mardi gras! I love how colorful and festive it is. Have a great week Christin. :)


Christin Mahrlig January 8, 2014 at 9:24 am

My husband proposed to me in New Orleans too! Only it was in my run down old apartment. He did take me to Arnaud’s afterward though :)


Matt @ Runner Savvy January 7, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Drool! I love monkey bread.


Kammie @ Sensual Appeal January 7, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Such a festive one! I’ve never made monkey bread but I wanna try it finally. Great recipe. And it’s so colorful :)


Shikha @ Shikha la mode January 7, 2014 at 12:52 pm

You’re making me miss Louisiana with recipes like these! I love me some biscuits, but never thought to make monkey bread out of it! Looks like I’ll have to have my own Mardi Gras party in SF!


Christin Mahrlig January 8, 2014 at 9:34 am

You should definitely have your own Mardi Gras Party in SF. How much fun would that be!


Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor January 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm

Someone always brings in a store bought king cake to work, but I don’t ever see the appeal. To me, it is always dry and pretty tasteless. But if this monkey bread were in front of me, I wouldn’t be able to stop. The perfect way to celebrate mardi gras!


Christin Mahrlig January 8, 2014 at 9:39 am

I agree Ashley! King Cake can be pretty dry. This Monkey Bread has all the wonderful visual appeal of a King Cake, but is gooey and buttery! Have a great week :)


Marcie January 7, 2014 at 11:55 am

The king cake sounds like a great tradition, but when you can have a monkey bread cake, it doesn’t sound worth it! Your cake looks so delicious and fun!


Jess January 7, 2014 at 11:00 am

This looks so tasty! Love the way you’ve decorated it- so colourful and bright! :)


Monica January 7, 2014 at 9:00 am

I’ve never been to New Orleans but every time I see that festive icing/sprinkle combination, you can’t help but think Mardi Gras. : ) This type of monkey bread sounds do-able and you are right – who doesn’t love biscuits!


Shashi @ January 7, 2014 at 8:45 am

You are speaking my language – biscuits beat bread anyday!
This Mardi gras monkey bread is a beauty – so well done!


Consuelo @ Honey & Figs January 7, 2014 at 8:04 am

My jaw is on the floor, I tell you.
The icing, the butter mixture, the biscuits, the sprinkles… how did you get to fit so much deliciousness in a dessert? This looks like the most scrumptious thing ever, oh wow.
Have a nice day Christin! x


Kelly January 7, 2014 at 7:57 am

Great recipe Christin! Love how pretty your monkey bread looks with all the icing and sprinkles – so festive and perfect for Mardi Gras:)


Tamara Coleman January 7, 2014 at 12:23 am

Monkey Bread is always so pretty and yummy! :)


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