King Cake

Last week, when I needed a palate cleanser, I completely forgot that I had an ACTUAL palate cleanser, in the form of King Cake! The events of this post actually took place on January 6th, but posting about it slipped my mind because I needed to write about the Capitol Insurrection first to blow off some steam.

Several of my friends are New Orleans residents, so I’ve heard about King Cake on and off for years, but I had never had one. (I did have the German equivalent, Dreikönigskuche, or Three King’s Cake, around Fasching, but I didn’t make the connection until very recently.)

The basic idea is this: Every year, between Twelfth Night on January 6th and Fat Tuesday, when Lent begins, New Orleans is full of King Cakes and Mardi Gras events. You can get King Cake throughout that time, but don’t eat it before January 6th!

When I saw my New Orleans friends starting to talk about King Cake this year, I remembered that one of the DMV’s best New Orleans style bakeries was just a short distance away. I quick check on their website confirmed that they do, in fact, sell King Cake, and so I placed an order.

The Bayou Bakery King Cake is almost a sweet-bread more than a cake. It’s a Danish-style cake filled with “Creole Cream Cheese,” whatever that means. It’s topped with white icing and dusted with sugar in the three colors of Mardi Gras: gold for power, green for faith, and purple for justice. It comes with some Mardi Gras beads, and a little plastic baby.

Some of the stories say that the plastic baby is from the olden days when there would be a bean in the cake and whoever got the piece with the bean would be King for a day, or something like that. The more recent iteration of the story is that you can hide the baby somewhere in the cake and whoever gets that piece is the lucky host of next year’s King Cake party.

The Bayou Bakery King Cake costs $39.95 and serves 14-16 people. Since I was only willing to have ten or twelve servings myself, I took it to a friend’s house and she and her daughter helped me to consume it.

If you’re in the DMV and want one of these delicious cakes, they’re available until February 16th, at Bayou Bakery in Arlington.

Have you ever had a King Cake?



9 thoughts on “King Cake

  1. Jason Vervlied

    I absolutely love King cake. I had my first about 10 or so years ago when I was working for a finance company in downtown WPB. That cake had the baby hidden inside. I’ve never seen it come with the baby on the outside, but I’m sure that’s due to liability or something.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love King Cake but I’ve also only seen it with the baby inside. I don’t do well with food dye things, so I have to eat around that nonsense too– but I’m here for all the sweet breads and cheeses. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. King Cake season doesn’t start before Jan 6 because for many Christians, Jan. 6 is Kings’ Day, or Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, since it falls 12 days after Christmas. The reasoning goes that Epiphany is the day that three magi followed a star to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus.

      Or so the story goes.

      People in New Orleans are particularly militant about the “no King Cake before January 6” rule.

      Liked by 2 people

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