Mardis Gras 2013 is Tuesday, February 12th, so plan some fun for family and friends! Below is a little history and a simple way to make your own Kings Cakes – they’re a special way to share in the celebration.
King Cakes are a tradition that have been enjoyed in New Orleans since the 1870s. As part of the celebration of Mardi Gras, it is traditional to bake an oval cake in honor of the three kings, hence the name King Cake. Mardi Gras begins on the twelfth day after Christmas which is also known as “Kings Day” and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. King’s Day is the day the 3 kings visited the baby Jesus with their gifts of gold, frankincense & myrrh.
Everything about the King Cake represents this event and the Mardi Gras celebration. The shape of a King Cake symbolizes the unity of faiths of the three Kings. Each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors: purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power and a small plastic baby, symbolizing the baby Jesus, is baked into each cake. The person, whose slice of cake contains the baby, receives good luck and blessing and is responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party or gathering.
SHORTY-CUT KING CAKE RECIPE: The traditional King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, topped with icing, and sprinkled with purple, green, and gold colored sugar. Here is an quick and simple take on the traditional recipe. Make your own King Cake with this easy recipe I modified from Holidays.net.
- 1 can of cinnamon rolls, with icing
- 3/4 cup of sugar, separated into 3 parts of 1/4 each food coloring
- plastic baby (available at most party stores)
- Separate the cinnamon rolls and roll them out by hand so that they look like hot dogs. Then attached them by pinching the ends together into one long roll and shape into an oval by closing the ends together with another pinch. Place on a cookie sheet. Cook as directed.
- While it is cooking, use food coloring to dye sugar. Make one part purple using blue and red, one part green, and one part gold using yellow.
- When the cake is finished cooking, ice the top with the white icing. Then sprinkle the different colors of sugars alternating as you go around the oval. Enjoy!!