Mardi Gras season is here, ushering in a wave of king cake-inspired – well – everything. In Louisiana, you can grab a king cake latté on your way to class, have a slice of a sushi king cake for lunch and finish off your day with a drink made with king cake vodka from Twelfth Night to Mardi Gras.

These simple mini king cakes made of canned cinnamon rolls are the perfect breakfast or dessert to round out your well-balanced king cake diet, and making them only takes two ingredients.

While any seasoned Mardi Gras celebrant would be quick to inform you that a king cake is not just a big cinnamon roll, this recipe is great for the college student who wants to participate in king cake making but might not have the time, space or experience for the real thing. 

Watch a video tutorial of this recipe on our Instagram and TikTok.

Mini Cinnamon Roll King Cakes

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:18 mins
  • Total Time:23 mins
  • Servings:5
  • Easy


  • Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls or similar canned cinnamon roll dough
  • Purple Green and Gold Sanding Sugar
Jillian Elliott
  • Step 1

    Start by opening a package of cinnamon roll dough and setting the icing to the side. Preheat your oven to 325°F.

    Jillian Elliott
  • Step 2

    Unravel a cinnamon roll and lay it on a flat surface. Cut it in half. Place the two halves parallel to each other.

    Jillian Elliott
  • Step 3

    Pick up one strip of dough and lay it over the other, as if you’re braiding hair. Then, pick up the other strip and lay it over the first strip. Repeat this process until the two strands are lightly intertwined from end to end. Be careful not to twist too tightly or stretch the dough as this will make a shriveled and dense mini king cake.

    Jillian Elliott
  • Step 4

    Form the twisted strands into an oval, and firmly press the two ends together.

    Jillian Elliott
  • Step 5

    Place the king cakes onto a greased sheet pan, spacing them with enough room to expand in the oven. Bake for 18 minutes, checking regularly to ensure they don’t over-brown.

    Jillian Elliott
  • Step 6

    Once golden brown, allow the mini king cakes to cool completely. Remove the metal lid of the included cup of icing, and microwave the cup for five seconds. (Do not microwave it for more than five seconds or the icing becomes too liquidy to spread evenly.)

    Jillian Elliott
  • Step 7

    Evenly spoon melted icing over the completely cooled cakes. Allow the icing to cool down. Once the icing is cool but still tacky, sprinkle as much purple, green and gold sanding sugar as you’d like!

    Jillian Elliott

Spoon Tip: No oven? Air fry at 300°F for seven minutes, flipping halfway.

Heat one up for breakfast or serve on a platter decorated with beads and a mask at your next Mardi Gras party. If you make this recipe, tag us @spoon_lsu on Instagram and TikTok!

Happy Mardi Gras!