A favorite cake that is made for Fat Tuesday is a colorful Mardi Gras cake.
The “traditional” King Cake is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, covered by poured sugar and sprinkled with purple, green and gold colored sugar. A very pretty looking cake when. A tradition about these cakes is to a tiny plastic baby that is inserted into the cake. The one who receives the baby in there slice is the one who must bring the next cake to the Mardi Gras party to keep the tradition going. I’ve never made this cake or much less ever gone to Mardi Gras so I find this tradition quite intriguing!
The tradition behind the baby in the cake is meant to represent Jesus. In basic terms of keeping up with the Christian faith of the Feast of Epiphany at the end of the Christmas. The King Cake is made in honor of the three kings who came bearing gifts. Today, the tradition continues as people all over the world gather to celebrate the festive Twelfth Night celebration. The cake is made in a variety of ways.
The colored sugars even have a meaning which is interesting.
- Purple – to symbolize Justice.
- Green – to symbolize Faith.
- Gold – to symbolize Power
Here are 4 popular recipe websites that have Mardi Gras cake recipes.
What an interesting celebration! Our home town does a Mardi Gras in the summertime. It is nothing like the BIG party that is traditionally celebrated. It would be fun though to make The King Cake for that time. Here is a video that explains very nicely on how to make the cake. I love visual how to instructions. I’d have to follow it for sure.
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tbsp of white sugar. Let stand until creamy for about 10 minutes.
- When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic for about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume for about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
- To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
- Roll dough halves out into large rectangles approximately 10x16 inches or so. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Then frost while warm with the confectioners' blended sugar with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.