I recently was on a trip to Lake Charles, Lousiana for Mardi Gras where I encountered the making of a King Cake! “A what, I asked?” Being from the South, you would think I would have heard of all the desserts out there but never had I heard those words before. There are some words related to food that we eat knowing nothing more than it tastes delicious! Then there are foods that have such a rich history that you can’t help but ask for more information. King Cakes are one of those…

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

King Cakes Origin and Recipes

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

A King Cake is similar to a frosted coffee cake and is sprinkled with sugars dyed in the Mardi Gras colors of green, purple, and gold. King Cakes are sort of a cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry, but King Cakes have a very different ingredient in each one which makes you wonder why it is there:

A King Cake has a tiny, plastic baby baked into the cake!

“Say what?”

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

The plastic baby is meant to represent baby Jesus when he first showed himself to the three wise men. Consider it good luck if your slice contains the figurine! The cake itself is decorated with different colors and each color represents something different:

The King Cake itself is decorated with different colors and each color represents something different:

Green represents faith,

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

Purple represents justice,

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

and gold represents power.

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

Altogether, the colors represent a jeweled crown in honor of the three wise men. At a traditional Lousiana party, the King Cake is sliced and the person who receives the baby in their piece is the one that brings a King Cake to the next party.

King Cakes Origin and Recipes

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

King Cakes are a big part of Mardi Gras throughout Lousiana. In fact, it’s common belief that the tradition came from France to New Orleans in 1870. Today, I found many different King Cake recipes you can enjoy. Just don’t forget the main ingredient, a small, plastic baby!

King Cakes Origin and RecipesCome along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

Mardi Gras King Cake | Barbara Bakes

30-Minute King Cake | Frog Prince Paperie

King Cake Bites | Plain Chicken

Traditional Kings Cake | Today’s Mama

King Cake Monkey Bread | MomDot

King Cakes Origin and Recipes

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

King Bundt Cake | Brown Eyed Baker

Cinnamon Roll King Cake | Tastemade

Gluten Free King Cake | Boulder Locavore

King Cake Cupcakes | Nola Mommy

King Cakes Origin and Recipes

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

King Cake Dip | Homemade Hooplah

King Cake Cheesecake | Kitchen Belleicious

Pecan Praline Cream Cheese King Cake | Texanerin

King Cake Oreo Truffles | Jam Hands

King Cake Bars | CS Monitor

King Cakes Origin and Recipes

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

King Cake Cheese Ball | Dip Recipe Creations

Vegan King Cake | Kittee Kake

Cinnamon Cream Cheese King Cake | Spiced Blog

King Cake Muffins | Blogging Babies and The Bayou

King Cake Donuts | Cooking on The Front Burners

Come along with me as I discover King Cakes Origin and Recipes

It is said that New Orleans sells at least 500,000 King Cakes during Carnival!

Recommended Reading:

Foods of Louisiana You Must Try

Chicken on the Run near Lake Charles, Louisiana

New Orleans: Jazz, Weddings, and Funerals

Looking for Diamonds in the French Quarter

Disclosure:  My fun time eating and making King Cakes was with the Lake Charles, Lousiana Tourism Board who also hosted me during Mardi Gras.