If you’ve ever been lucky enough to travel to New Orleans during Carnival season, you’ve most likely had a slice of King Cake. After all, hundreds of thousands of King Cakes are eaten in NOLA during this time of year leading up to Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday which this year is on February 28. King Cake comes in a variety of styles and flavors, but the most traditional is a ring (to represent a king’s crown) of twisted bread similar to brioche topped with icing and sugar in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.
In south Louisiana, there are King Cake versions that are deep fried and filled with cream cheese or praline-flavored cream. There’s even a savory variety with boudin-filled bread topped with cane syrup and crackling crumbs. That’s certainly not traditional, but delicious nonetheless. Leave it to the Cajuns!
The best part of a King Cake is its taste but people often dig in for a second slice in search of a trinket, traditionally a small plastic baby to represent the Baby Jesus that’s hidden inside the cake. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the trinket has various privileges and obligations as King or Queen of the day. Usually, that person is responsible for providing the next King Cake or hosting the next Mardi Gras party.
If you are interested in making your own King Cake in celebration of Mardi Gras this year, try one of The Chopping Block’s favorite recipes. We also really enjoy downsizing the King Cake into smaller handheld treats, so also try these King Cake Cupcakes.
If you’d rather taste authentic King Cake rather than make it, join The Chopping Block for our Mardi Gras Madness party on: