New Orleans King Cake: Traditional Fat Tuesday Treat

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Mardi Gras revelers know all about king cake, a traditional treat served during Fat Tuesday celebrations. The buttery cake is named for the three biblical kings whose journey to Bethlehem to honor the baby Jesus took 12 days.

For those of you unfamiliar with Fat Tuesday, it is, essentially, your last gluttonous night before the season of Lent — a 40-day period with various food restrictions, depending on your religious background.

And given all the sugar, milk, and butter in the cake, it definitely is the king — of fatty, high-calorie desserts, that is.

For a traditional Mardis Gras king cake, the icing is colored and sprinkled with the colors green, purple and gold. 

During the Carnival season, many groups will throw weekly king cake parties. The cakes are traditionally fried and filled with anything from cream cheese to praline. Many cakes even came with a small plastic baby inside. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the baby inside had to buy the next cake.

What a fun tradition!

If you’re interested in making your own king cake, here’s one recipe we found from SparkRecipes.

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