Teetering on the edge of March is a reminder that Easter is around the corner. To those not familiar with the traditions of the south, this is the season of king cakes. The king cake is shared during pre-Lenten celebrations of Mardi Gras.
I never really considered where the name came from nor have I personally tried the pastry, despite spending almost two years stationed in northern Louisiana at Barksdale Air Force Base. I suppose that's because it freaked me out to see a tiny baby being pulled from someone's mouth.
According to tradition, the pastry is named for the three kings of the bible who visited the baby Jesus. And the plastic pink infant symbolizes the Christ child. Historically the person who's "lucky" enough to discover the baby provides the kings cake the following year.
The season for king cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas up to Mardi Gras' "Fat Tuesday"--the day before Lent starts. And despite the name, Louisiana-style king cakes aren't cake at all. They aren't batter based but a dough braided and formed into a ring with the baby baked inside. It's then topped with a sugar glaze and gold, green and purple sanding sugars--reflecting the traditional Mardi Gras colors--along with other decorations.
To date, Cravings Cupcakery hasn't ventured into baking kings cakes, however we can provide you with a festive cake to celebrate your Mardi Gras or Easter event. And although we can accommodate just about every request and would even bake a king cake upon request, I wouldn't expect to find a naked plastic baby inside unless you mention it when placing your order.