A Vibrant King Cake for Mardi Gras

A Mardi Gras King Cake.

A Mardi Gras King Cake.

Jazz up your Mardi Gras celebrations with a vibrant King Cake this year.  King cake has an interesting history that dates back to the time when Louisiana was a territory of France. Ever since then, King cake has played a colorful part in the Mardi Gras celebrations of New Orleans.  This cake is absolutely delicious!  It can best be described as a delightful marriage between a coffee cake and a beautifully buttery French pastry. Yep, this is a dream come true for fans of coffee cake and French pastry. 

King Cake

King Cake

I LOVE it!  Just think about how scrumptious a flaky, buttery pastry dough would be when rolled out very thin, filled with a flavorful cinnamon almond paste, rolled up, shaped into a circle, and then baked until fragrant and golden brown.  It’s truly mouthwatering.  And were not even done yet! Once cooled, you’ll glaze the entire cake with icing and then adorn it with dazzling multicolored sprinkles. Absolutely amazing!  Believe me, this cake is just as fun to make as it is enjoyable to eat.

It’s also a great cake to make with the kiddies in your life.  Once you’ve baked the cake, children can’t wait to help decorate with the colorful sprinkles.  The traditional colors of: green, purple and yellow, or gold have a special significance.  Now things are not only fun but also educational as the kids can learning something about the cake they are decorating.  The color green signifies faith, purple represents justice and gold/yellow depicts power. Interesting, no?  Not only do these colors make for a stunning appearance, but they have a nice story behind them making this cake even more interesting.  

And the excitement isn’t over yet.  Oh no!  Now we have to talk about the little plastic hidden baby.  Yes, a baby!

The traditional little baby hidden King cakes. An almond or bean will do the trick in a pinch too.

The traditional little baby is hidden in King cakes. An almond or bean will do the trick in a pinch, too.

Traditionally, a very small plastic baby is placed in the cake from underneath after baking.  It is a lucky token of a surprise for the person who winds up with it in their slice.  Some people, if they can’t find the plastic babies, use almond or a bean as a safe substitute, and these substitutes can be baked inside the cake.

The mystique behind the baby is that whoever gets it in their slice is crowned KING or QUEEN for the day!  But wait, there’s a fun twist.  Not only are they king for the day, but now they’ve been chosen to make or purchase a king cake the following year for their friends and family.  

And, the Mardi Gras fun just keeps on going!