A big part of the Mardi Gras celebration is the King Cake. It’s a tradition that is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870. Typically, a King Cake is an oval-shaped bakery delicacy, often described as a cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry that is as rich in history as it is in flavor.
Decorated in royal colors of purple which signify “Justice,” green for “Faith,” and gold for “Power,” the colors used for the cake are also the signature colors used for Mardi Gras. The particular colors were chosen to resemble a jeweled crown honoring the Wise Men who visited the Christ Child on Epiphany. In the past, things like coins, beans, pecans, or peas were hidden in each King Cake.
Today, a tiny plastic baby is placed inside the cake. At a party, the King Cake is sliced and served. Each person looks to see if their piece contains the “baby.” If so, then that person is named “King” for a day and designated to host the next party and provide the King Cake.
Here are seven local places where you can purchase a King Cake to celebrate Mardi Gras.
110 4th Ave S
Merridee McCray, the founder of Merridee’s Breadbasket, grew up baking breads, pies and sweets from scratch with her mother. It was a tradition passed on to her by her grandmother, Anna Maria Faust, who once served as head cook for the Pillsbury family. When Merridee passed away in 1993, Jim Kreider bought Merridee’s Breadbasket. Today, Jim and his exceptional team are still making everything from scratch, creating products that not only have a great taste, but are nutritional as well. Merridee’s features a variety of baked goods, homemade soups, quiches and fresh salads.
Find more information on their Facebook page.