History of the Mardi Gras King Cake
The New Orleans King Cake continues the celebration of the Feast of Epiphany in honor of the night the Wise Men visited the Christ Child. A special cake in honor of the Three Kings was originated in Europe where a bean or a coin would be hidden inside of the cake for good fortune to the finder. In Latin America a small figure, representing the Christ Child was placed inside for the same purpose.
The New Orleans Tradition
New Orleans borrowed those traditions and revised them. Our cakes are as plain or as fancy as you want, but they almost all decorated with sugar in purple, green and gold, the official colors of Mardi Gras. Normally they have a small, plastic King Cake baby baked inside. Whoever gets the baby usually buys the next cake. In offices and schools and homes all over New Orleans the King Cake is a weekly tradition from January 6th until the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday. And, of course, whoever gets the baby in the cake on Mardi Gras day has to but the first King Cake next year on January 6th.
Order a King Cake
Can't get to New Orleans for King Cake season? You can order them on line. Here's the best places to order King Cakes.