The King Cake is believed to have originated in France around the 12th century. It was made to celebrate the three wise men bearing gifts twelve days after Christmas calling it the feast of the Ephiphany or Twelfth Night. In Louisiana, Twelfth Night also signifies the begining of carnival season which ends on Mardi Gras Day/Fat Tuesday. During carnival season, King Cakes are eaten. Hidden in each King Cake is a plastic baby signifying the Christ Child. The person who receives the baby in his/her portion is considered very lucky and has to buy the next King Cake. In Louisiana, the 3 colors of Purple, Green and Gold are official Mardi Gras colors representing justice, faith and power.
This King Cake made by my colleague’s wife has the texture of soft and chewy brioche bread. It has cinnamon filling topped with sugar frosting. Very delicious!