Mardi Gras just isn't Mardi Gras without a King Cake.
But it's not solely a Fat Tuesday tradition.
The season for the King Cake actually extends from the Twelve Days of Christmas through Mardi Gras, though many indulge in the desert as a last pleasure before the start of lent. Regardless of your fasting habits, King Cake has become a Fat Tuesday tradition.
The religious history behind the cake can be traced back to the three kings that visisted the baby Jesus on the night of his birth. Historically, King Cake parties can be traced back to the eighteenth century.
The cake, which existed in different forms in different cultures, often takes a Southern twist in New Orleans.
The king cake of the New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition comes in a number of styles. The most simple, said to be the most traditional, is a ring of twisted bread similar to that used in brioche topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. Cajun king cakes are traditionally deep-fat-fried as a doughnut would be, and there are many variants, some with a filling, the most common being cream cheese and praline.
Check out the video below for a King Cake recipe from Bayou Bakery.
Or you can order a King Cake online at kingcake.com.