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Mardi Gras King Cake

Celebrating the warmth of New Orleans in the damp cold of February in the northwest.

During the time I spent in New Orleans it was easy to get caught up in the food, the culture and the music of this vibrant city. I was never able to get my timing right to visit New Orleans during that crazy week in late February/early March known as Mardi Gras but I was fortunate enough to be there a few weeks prior and saw the bevy of King cakes appearing on the shelves of bakeries everywhere. King cakes are not unique to New Orleans but their tradition there is long standing. Often, these delicious cakes are made of brioche and filled with cinnamon and cream cheese.  Each king cake also has a small trinket baked within, often a baby figurine, although many bakeries replace them with a nut these days. The person who finds the baby is named King and is responsible for bringing the next king cake. Talk about building community through food.

Everyone makes their king cake a little different, relying on recipes passed down for generations. I used this recipe from Saveur but played around with the filling and topping.

My king cake may have barely rose in my frigid kitchen but it was eaten up faster than you can say ‘Laissez les bon temps rouler.'