The King Cake is a tradition that is part of the Carnival celebration that ends with Mardi Gras. During this time, people have King Cake parties. A small plastic baby is usually hidden in or under a slice of King Cake. The guest that is lucky enough to find the baby in their piece of cake is then expected to host the next party and bake another King Cake.
At our church we celebrate Shrove Tuesday on the Tuesday evening before Ash Wednesday with a pancake supper. Shrove Tuesday is another name for Mardi Gras. King Cake is also served at the pancake dinner. The person who finds the baby has to bake the cake for next year’s Shrove Tuesday pancake dinner. It is a really fun tradition and the cake is really good.
I decided to try my hand at baking a King Cake. But since I knew it was not your typical cake I decided to buy a cake mix. The mix came with everything I needed including the decorations and of course the little plastic baby.
How to Bake a King Cake
Following the directions on the box, I mixed up the dough. I used my stand mixer and then let it rise until double in size. Then I rolled out the dough. This shape and size is important of the rolled out dough is important. You want the dough rolled out flat as close as you can get it to a 5 inch by 30 inch rectangle. This will make shaping the cake into an oval much easier later. After you roll out the dough you will spread on a praline butter mixture. Then if you like you can add chopped pecans on top, which is what I did. Then, starting on the long side roll up the dough into one long roll.
After you have one long roll you should put it on your parchment lined cookie sheet and shape it into an oval and pinch the ends together. At this point, you need to let the dough rise again for about 30 minutes or so. Then you will bake the cake according to the package directions. After the cake is done baking allow it to cool. Then comes the fun part…decorating! Decorating this cake is so easy. Just mix up the glaze according to the directions on the box and spread it on top of the cake. Then using the traditional colors of Mardi Gras add sugar sprinkles before the glaze hardens. The colors are purple for justice, gold for power, and green for faith. If you are curious about Mardi Gras, go read our post “Why is Mardi Gras Celebrated?”. I hope you enjoy your cake and have a festive Mardi Gras!
Get ready for your Mardi Gras party with these cool items
Also check out these Mardi Gras books and Mardi Gras cookbooks