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King Cake Monkey Bread coated with cinnamon sugar and topped with white icing and green, yellow, and purple sanding sugar on a plate

The city of New Orleans certainly knows how to throw a party and this Tuesday they’re throwing the biggest party of them all!

Mardi Gras, otherwise known as Fat Tuesday, is almost here and even though I don’t live in New Orleans anymore, my heart will always be there.  So, in order to bring a tiny bit of New Orleans flavor and a few fond memories into my own home, I decided to celebrate Mardi Gras by making a luscious, gooey, and sweet King Cake Monkey Bread for my family.

An overhead view of King Cake Monkey Bread coated with cinnamon sugar and topped with white icing and green, yellow, and purple sanding sugar on a plate

The king cake is a tradition in New Orleans.  Originally, king cakes were simply a ring of dough with a small amount of decoration.  Today, you can find these rich, danish pastries in most supermarkets and bakeries and they are often filled with sweet fruit or cream cheese.  If you’re a fan of a simpler cake, you can also find them without any filling at all, but they are always topped with a sweet sugary glaze and sprinkled with the colors of Mardi Gras; purple, green and gold.

As true New Orleanians, we always manage to have King Cake or some variation of King Cake on Mardi Gras Day.  I chose to celebrate Mardi Gras with a King Cake version of monkey bread this year.  If you haven’t ever tried monkey bread, you’re in for a treat!  I’m not exactly sure why they call it monkey bread other than maybe because you pull off pieces of the dough and eat it with your hands.  For whatever reason, it’s so good!

For this recipe, you’ll need a greased bundt pan and four packages of refrigerator biscuits.

Overhead view of a greased bundt pan next to four tubes of biscuit dough and half a stick of butter on a countertop

Cut each biscuit into quarters.

Overhead view of biscuit dough cut into triangles on a baking sheet

Take each piece of dough and roll it into a ball.  Dip each ball into melted butter and roll it in a sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Cinnamon and sugar mixture in a bowl with a fork

Place each ball in a greased bundt pan.

Twelve cinnamon sugar coated dough balls circling the bottom of the bundt pan

Continue to add the balls of dough to the pan, layering as you go.

Layering cinnamon sugar coated dough balls in a bundt pan

Pour a layer of melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon over the top.

Pouring a layer of melted butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar mixture on top of layered cinnamon sugar coated dough balls in bundt pan

Bake the monkey bread in the oven for about 30 minutes.  Let it cool 2-3 minutes in the pan then carefully invert onto a plate or cake stand.

Monkey Bread fresh out the oven on a plate

Drizzle a lovely glaze over the top and sprinkle with colored sugar.

King Cake Monkey Bread topped with white icing and green, yellow, and purple sanding sugar on a plate


King Cake Monkey Bread

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
This sweet, gooey and luscious King Cake Monkey Bread is a perfect way to celebrate Mardi Gras.


  • 4 tubes refrigerator biscuits (use the regular biscuits not flaky)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • colored sugar for sprinkling (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and generously butter a bundt pan.
  • Mix the cinnamon and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Melt the stick of butter in another bowl. Set aside.
  • Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces, roll each piece into a ball and dip each piece in the butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Place in the prepared bundt pan. Continue layering all the balls of dough.
  • In another small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Stir in the melted butter and pour over the top of the balls of dough in the pan.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Carefully invert onto a plate or cake stand.
  • Prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectioners sugar and the milk. Whisk until lumps are gone. Drizzle over the warm monkey bread and sprinkle the top with colored sugar if you'd like.
  • Serve immediately.
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1 Comment

  1. Wow, what a celebration! Sounds like you had a lot of fun. I haven’t had King Cake before and your version with Monkey Bread looks divine. I love the colorful decoration, too!