Mardi Gras Cinnamon Rolls in a mini version have all the flavor of a traditional King Cake in a deletable small package! Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!
The inspiration for these Mini Mardi Gras Cinnamon Rolls, updated from February 7, 2016, actually started out as King Cake Bites. However, the King Cake Bites were horrible. Therefore, I turned to my tried and true cinnamon bun recipe. If you think about it, a King Cake is really nothing more than a giant cinnamon roll.
Making the Dough:
I used the following ingredients for the dough: Milk, eggs, room temperature unsalted butter, bread flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
I added the ingredients in the order listed to the pan of my bread machine and started it on the dough cycle. As soon as the kneading had ended I removed the dough from the bread machine. I then placed it into an oiled 8-cup measuring cup, covered it with plastic wrap. Then, I put it in the refrigerator to stay over night. From previous experience, I knew that cold dough was much easier to work with than room temperature dough.
Making the Filling:
The next morning, I prepared the two fillings for the Mardi Gras Cinnamon Rolls. The first was a mixture of cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. The second was a mixture of brown sugar, ground cinnamon and melted butter.
With the fillings made, I removed the dough from the refrigerator. I punched it down, and dumped it onto a floured piece of wax paper. I pretty consistently use wax paper when working with yeasted dough because it minimizes the mess and is easily disposed of. Anyway, I cut the dough into 4 pieces that were roughly 10 ounces each.
Making the Mini Mardi Gras Cinnamon Rolls:
Working with one piece at a time, I rolled the dough into a rectangle that was roughly 12-inches by 7-inches. Using an offset spatula, I spread some of the cream cheese mixture on the rectangle. I made sure to leave about 1-inch free on one of the long edges (this is the edge that I will seal).
Then, I spread the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of the cream cheese. Again, I left about 1-inch free on one of the long sides. Starting with the opposite long side, I carefully rolled the dough in jelly roll fashion. Then, I sealed it by pinching the dough together. Finally, I cut the log into 12-inch pieces for the Mardi Gras Cinnamon Rolls.
I placed each of the pieces, cut side up, into a mini-muffin pan that I had sprayed with non-stick baking spray.
I covered the pan, and let the dough rise for about an hour. Then I placed the pan into a 375° F pre-heated oven for about 12 minutes, until the mini cinnamon rolls were golden brown.
Finishing the Mini Mardi Gras Cinnamon Rolls:
While the cinnamon rolls were baking, I made the frosting, which consisted of cream cheese, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar.
When the cinnamon rolls came out of the oven, I transferred them to a wire cooling rack. While they were still warm, I spread the cream cheese frosting on the top, and decorated them with a sprinkling of purple, green and yellow cake sparkles.
The recipe actually makes 48 mini-cinnamon rolls, which is a lot. Therefore, I only baked one of the pans, and froze the other for later use. Oh my – talk about good! These little gems are incredible. Yum!
Mini Mardi Gras Cinnamon Rolls
For the Dough
- 8 ounces milk 1 cup
- 2 eggs large
- 2.65 ounces unsalted butter room temperature, 1/3 cup
- 21.25 ounces bread flour 4-1/4 cups
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3.5 ounces granulated sugar 1/2 cup
- 2-1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
For the Filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature, 1 cup
- 2 ounces confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup
- 3.75 ounces light brown sugar 1/2 cup
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
For the Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature, 1/2 cup
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature, 1/2 cup
- 10 ounces confectioners' sugar 2-1/2 cups
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Purple green and yellow cake sparkles
- For the Dough: Add the dough ingredients to the bread machine in the order listed. Select the dough cycle, and start the machine. Check the dough after five minutes of mixing, and add 1 to 2 more Tablespoons of milk or flour if the dough is too dry or wet. If making the night before, remove dough to large oiled bowl as soon as the kneading finishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If using the same day, allow the machine to complete the dough cycle. Makes approximately 40 ounces of dough.
- For the Fillings: Beat 8 ounces of cream cheese with 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar until smooth and set aside. Mix 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 4 tablespoons melted butter until combined and set aside.
- Making Mini Cinnamon Rolls: Spray the wells of two 24-cavity mini muffin pans with non-stick baking spray.
- Place dough on a floured surface and divide into four 10-ounce pieces. Form each piece into a log by first rolling it into a 12-inch x 7-inch rectangle, trim the edges as needed. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture on the dough to within 1-inch of the edges. Spread 1/4 of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of the cream cheese to within 1-inch of the edges of the dough.
- Starting at one of the long edges, roll the dough tightly into a 12-inch log; pinch seam to seal log. Cut into 12 pieces, and place seam side up in cavities of mini muffin pan. Repeat with remaining dough*.
- Cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake in preheated oven until the golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Mix the ingredients for the frosting to make a smooth, but not thin glaze.
- Remove the mini cinnamon rolls from the oven, and cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack. While still warm, spread the frosting on mini cinnamon rolls. Decorate with purple, green and yellow cake sparkles. Yield: 4 dozen Mini Mardi Gras Cinnamon Rolls.
- *Note: May freeze uncooked mini cinnamon rolls. When ready to use, remove from freezer, allow to thaw and rise until double in size. Proceed as above.