Friday Feed: Mardi Gras King Cake

Source: Southern Living  Photo: Beth Dreiling / Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling Pam Lolley

Source: Southern Living
Photo: Beth Dreiling / Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey / Food Styling Pam Lolley

Today, my husband and I are driving down to Mobile have some fun and revelry with family. I grew up in the town were Mardi Gras was founded…yes, Mobile, Alabama. While some may argue that New Orleans does it better, Mobile did it first.

As history tells, the king cake represents the twelfth night of Christmas, honoring when the 3 Wise Men arrived, hence the name “king cake”. And it just so happens that Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday and the Lent season. Just in time to finish up the partying and get into the Easter spirit. :)

The King Cake is made much like a cinnamon roll, with rich dough is braided and baked and a plastic baby is inserted. If you get the slice with the baby, you buy the king cake next year. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with icing and sprinkles in Mardi Gras colors of purple (justice), green (faith) and gold (power).

This year, I won’t have to make or order a king cake. I’ll be able to get it fresh from my favorite bakery, Pollman’s. If you are feeling up to trying to make one, this is a recipe that I have tried and liked. Something that may make it a bit easier, if you have dough hooks for your mixer,  use it to kneed your dough.

Baking can be a crazy science, so if you’re not a baker and this recipe baffles you a bit, you can order an authentic one here!

Or….local folks can get one from Wolfe Gourmet Cakes for about $20 from Porter Road Butcher or the Food Company (in East Nashville and Green Hills, respectively). The owner is a New Orleans native, and her other sweets are so delicious, so I know it must be fabulous. I highly recommend a plain ole original style. No fillings and craziness needed for it to be scrumptious. :)

Enjoy!