King’s Cake is a centuries-old Mardi Gras tradition – covered with colored sugar of the three kings, yellow, green, and purple, a little toy Baby Jesus or a crowned king usually hides inside this cake as a surprise for a lucky individual!
The colorfully melting pot that is the Creole culture of New Orleans holds this cake in particularly high esteem. It has been a Mardi Gras party essential since the 1700s and is traditionally a braided ring of bread, usually brioche, decorated with frosting and colored sugar. Sometimes filling of cream cheese or praline is added, along with the trinket baby, of course.
And what honor is bestowed upon the one who finds the trinket? They are the King or Queen of the day! They also have to host the next Mardi Gras party or at least bring the King’s Cake to the following year’s party.
Where to buy yourself a King’s Cake locally:
-In New York City, East Village bakery Mara’s Homemade http://www.marashomemade.com/ is a favorite.
-Downtown LA is home to Paris Pastry http://www.parispastry.com/
-Chicago’s Swedish neighborhood, Andersonville, has the famous Swedish BakerÂ http://www.swedishbakery.com/
-Seattle residents can try Sugar Bakery and Cafe http://www.sugarbakerycafe.com/
-Try DC’s area Heidelberg Bakery in Arlington, Virginia http://www.heidelbergbakery.com/
-If all else fails, you happen to be in America’s Mardi Gras capital, or you just have a hankering for some authentic New Orleans flavor, order from Gambino’s http://www.gambinos.com/shop/default.php or Haydel’s Bakery http://www.haydelbakery.com/ . Pick up or shipping is available!