The beginning of the year is a great time to go on a diet or a great time to eat some delicious King Cake.
What is king cake? It’s a delicious cinnamon roll type of desert in some cases there is a creme cheese or fruit filling. In New Orleans residents begin throwing parties or bringing king cake to work around January 6th. The use the cake to bring family and friend together to kick off the Mardi Gras season.
The actual name “king cake” is from the biblical three kings and is commemorated on January 6 which celebrates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. The season for king cake extends from the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Twelfth Night and Epiphany Day), up until Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday;” the day before the start of Lent.
Several years ago I was in New Orleans for St. Patrick’s Day which was right after Mardi Gras. My favorite coffee spot PJ’s had a few leftover slices if cake and I devoured them. Since then every year I try to either make my own cake or order it.
Most people outside New Orleans or the south have no idea what a king cake is. Being that I live in the Bay Area this dwindles the opportunity, but there are a few ways to get yourself a king cake.
For those not kitchen challenged there is the home version. Cost Plus sells a mix which is quite good. My mom has made it many times and it is very tasty, You do however, have to wait for the dough to rise. There are a couple of good online quick recipes that involve cinnamon roll mix with sprinkles.
Now if you want the authentic version I have two favorites that you can order and have delivered to the comfort of your own home.
One year I purchased a HUGE Randazzo cake. It is a cinnamon infused hand braided with white Randazzo (creme cheese) icing. Comes with Mardi Gras trinkets and serves 20-24. Cakes are available from 1/7-2/5 cakes and are $52.95 a piece. This cake is more traditional in the sense that it’s hand-braided and absolutely delicious. If you are looking to be the hit of your office or Super Bowl party, this is the cake.
The last few years I have been buying Sucre King Cake. It was voted a favorite by the Times Picayune 2012 king cake contest. It featured their signature buttery Danish pastry made sweeter by raw sugar cane and cinnamon and then folded in with creole cream cheese. This cake is a bit smaller and serves 8-10 people! It’s available from 1/6-2/16 for $20.