New Orleanians love their king cake. The delicious cinnamon-laced confection made of braided Danish pastry has been a favorite since the 1800s. The tradition dates back to the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated on the twelfth night after Christmas. Twelfth Night is better known to New Orleanians as the first night of the Mardi Gras season, or for sugar aficionados, king cake season.
This year, from January 6 (All King’s Day) to February 9 (Mardi Gras Day), Carnival revelers will find just about any excuse to indulge in the delicious treat.
Sucre, a popular artisanal New Orleans confectioner, features its Sucre King Cake each year, favored as one of the best, and most beautiful, in the city. Try Sucre’s simple recipe at home, and watch the video for step-by-step instructions.
What’s the Deal With the Baby?
A plastic baby is placed inside the cake prior to consumption to represent the evening Baby Jesus was shown to the Three Wise Men. A lucky reveler who discovers the baby is said to have good fortune for the year, but everyone who gets to enjoy the delicious cake is lucky. The recipient of the baby is tasked with continuing the festivities by supplying the king cake at the next party.
The cake is decorated in the royal colors of purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power).