It’s Mardi Gras season, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with some king cake. Dee Carter, a New Orleans native and the owner of Bourbon Street Ice in Kennesaw, has been making the dessert since she was a little girl.
Circular in shape (like a king’s crown), the king cake is a concoction that is part French pastry and part coffee cake, sometimes filled with cream or fruit, and often topped with icing and colored sugar (like the Louisiana-style versions decorated in purple, green and gold).
The tradition, which was brought over from France to New Orleans in the late-1800s, kicks off the Mardi Gras or Carnival season —also known as the “Twelfth Night,” “Three King’s Day” or the Christian feast day of Epiphany. In a nod to the story of the three wise men/kings delivering gifts to baby Jesus on this day, the tradition of a small plastic baby hidden inside the king cake emerged (other trinkets can be hidden inside, but the baby is by far the most popular nowadays). Whoever finds the baby inside their slice of cake gets to be “king” for the day—and is the host of next year’s celebration.
Watch the video above to find out what goes into making the Fat Tuesday classic, and check out our list of places to buy king cake if you’re not the baking type.
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