When I was a little kid, there was only one type of King Cake, and you could only buy it during the Mardi Gras Season – that is, between January 6 (Kings Day/Epiphany) and Mardi Gras Day (Shrove Tuesday).
Traditional King Cake was a cross between a bread and a cake, sprinkled with purple, gold, and green sugar. Now the traditional King Cake has been placed on the endangered species list. Fruit-filled, cheese-filled, iced, and cinnamon King Cakes can be found everywhere and not just during Mardi Gras.
What happened to tradition?
If you, like me, pine away for the days of yore when McKenzie’s King Cakes were the only choice, have no fear. Marguerite’s Bakery is here. Marguerite makes traditional King Cakes, and you can order them online, but you have to specify that you want the traditional McKenzie’s style King Cake – no cinnamon, no icing, no filling. Just cake and sugar, thank you.
You can make your own, which is what I do when I’m not in Slidell, Louisiana to make the trek to Marguerite’s.
Yield: 6-8 slices (Double the recipe for a bigger cake.)
- 2 c flour
- 1 T dry yeast
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/3 c melted butter
- 1/3 c warm milk
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 beaten egg (to brush on later)
Sprinkle with sugar of traditional Mardi Gras colors:
purple for justice
gold for power
green for faith.
Hide a plastic or porcelain baby in the cake somewhere. (Lift the cake and smush it into the underside.) In the olden days, they hid an unshelled pecan, so if you find yourself without a tiny toy baby, use a pecan.
Whoever bites into the baby is the king (or queen) of the party!