Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Who got da baby???

It's full on King Cake season here in the Crescent City.  Mardi Gras begins in earnest this weekend, culminating in FAT TUESDAY on March 8th.  Since Mardi Gras is so late this year, it means we've been eating King Cakes now for...oh....about 8 weeks, and we still have 2 more to go.  Scale?  What scale?  I don't need no stinking scale! 
Bring on the stretchy pants.
King Cakes are bascially oversized cinnamon rolls, covered in THE most delicious blanket of creamy white, sugary frosting, then showered with crunchy yellow, purple and green sprinkles.  Some King Cakes have filling....cream cheese, lemon, apple, strawberry, pecan/praline and just about any other fruity filling you can conjure up. Sadly for my waistline, I don't think I've ever met a King Cake I didn't like.  I am THAT PERSON who looks at the King Cake and strategically places myself near the piece that has the most icing so I can dive right in at the appropriate time.  I'm not proud of it, but there it is. 
Be forewarned and stay out of my way.

Each King cake comes with a little plastic baby (symbolizing the baby Jesus) like this one stuffed inside.
King cake baby beads or cake stuffers - six

Kind of like this.
Hmmm...baking a symbol of the Baby Jesus in a pastry...creepy?
I think not.

Tradition is, if you get the baby, you have to host the next King Cake Party...or at the very least, buy the next King Cake.  Yes, some cheapos have been known to swallow the baby, or find other ways to shirk their duty, but most people proudly proclaim, "I got da baby!"...and you've gotta say it with a Yat accent.

Why do we eat King Cakes during the Carnival season?  Well, it's got everything to do with 12th Night (Epiphany).  The cake was orignally baked during 12th Night parties in honor of the three kings who came bearing gifts for the Baby Jesus.  Today we eat them because...well, they're just good.


If you're not fortunate enough to live in New Orleans, there are zillions of King Cake recipes on the internet.  Personally, I've never attempted to make one and probably never will.  Down here, you can find them at every grocery, big box store, bakery.  I ain't heatin' up da kitchen when I can just run to da corner and buy one.

You can also order them from a local bakery and have them shipped to you.  My personal favorite is Manny Randazzo's....and no, I'm not affiliated with them in any way.  I'm not even getting any freebies for this advertisement.

So, put on your purple, green and gold, order (or bake) a King Cake, invite over some friends and have Mardi Gras wherever you are!

Now...who got da baby????


  1. Now you've got me all inspired to buy a king cake@@@

  2. I never knew the baby in the cake symbolized Jesus. Neat!
    I saw your comment on another's blog about being afraid of yeast! I used to be too, but fear not, and give it a try. Not hard at all!
    Nice to meet you!
    Southampton, NY

  3. Our supper club is having a Mardi Gras themed dinner next Saturday. I'm looking forward to eating some King Cake. I tried to sign up to make it, but someone beat me to it. None of us have had the real thing, so we won't know if it doesn't have the New Orleans taste.