By Whitney Christy
Mardi Gras 2015 is coming up, bringing with it the long-time and delicious tradition of the King Cake.
Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday” for those who skipped French in high school, is analogous with the European tradition of Carnival – a party of indulgence before fasting for Lent. The king cake itself represents the three kings that visited the Christ child in the Nativity Story and thus is also enjoyed during the Christmas season in Canada and parts of Europe, even Scandinavia. While details are hazy on how the King Cake and Mardi Gras first came about in the Gulf region, historians believe the tradition began with Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, the French explorer whose main camp would eventually grow to be the city of New Orleans.
Today, the famous pastry continues to sate our sweet tooth before a time of fasting, though it is very different from the days of d’Iberville. Right here in Baton Rouge, just 80 miles from where the tradition in North America was born, King Cakes have evolved far beyond the simple braided dough covered in sugar filled with fruit or cream. King Cake balls and even hamburgers with the cake as the bun and more have made their way on to the scene here in BR.
Statistically speaking, you’re probably one of the millions of people who resolved in 2015 to eat more healthy foods. But, as we like to say at DIG, a little slip every now and then never hurt anyone. We’ve combed BR for the best king cakes and interpretations of king cake, and hope you like our list. Happy Mardi Gras!
Ambrosia Bakery is a local favorite for king cakes, with many variations that may be hard to resist. Often known for their special King cake burger, the bakery also has a variety of southern inspired flavors as traditional flavors. This year you can find a pecan praline version of the cake, which includes the famous sugary sweet glaze on top and a sprinkle of pecans. Ambrosia Bakery is also accepting orders for its signature king cakes, which come in traditional, filled, and Zulu. Order online www.ambrosiabakery.com or visit the bakery located on Siegen Lane.
Though the holidays have come and gone, Gambino’s Bakery is still serving a special edition Kris Kringle king cake, which includes the traditional Danish dough infused with cream cheese, almond, or praline filling. Other traditional versions of the cake range from original cinnamon to a single fruit flavor, and double filling options to the King Cake Mambo that includes a variation of up to six different cake flavor styles in one cake.
Gourmet Girls are serving up their king cake cupcakes in addition to their traditional cake made with brioche. There’s no slacking with this flavorful treat. In addition to the variety of flavors, cupcakes are topped with icing and edible glitter and gold. Cupcake prices begin at $4.75 each and can be purchased in sets of four, six or a dozen. The king cakes are priced from $25-$50. For more info on their specialty sweets, visit www.gourmetgirlsbr.com and order by calling 225-252-0999.
Baum’s Bakery is offering a southern spin with their fleur de lis shaped king cake. It is a traditional cinnamon sweet dough with no filling. The cake comes iced with white, black and gold glaze or a purple and gold glaze. It costs $29.99 and serves 15-20. The bakery is also serving and shipping a wide variety of cake, including the traditional cinnamon, cream cheese, and Bavarian cream. They’re spotlighting new filling options that are available this year – brownie and cream cheese.
Molly Jarvis, owner and baker at Cake Jewels, is serving up a full line of king cake flavored cake balls as opposed to the traditional king cake. She’s included flavors such as praline, cinnamon, lemon, cream cheese and red velvet. She has an interesting take for Mardi Gras this season with her Spanish Town themed cake balls king cake, which is pink velvet filled with cream cheese.
“If you’re looking for something new and different, the king cake balls are great thing to try. [They’re] great for Mardi Gras parties”, says Jarvis.
These specialty morsels can be found at the local Alexander Market and all Carter’s Supermarket locations. For more information, contact 225- 337-0253. If you would like to place an order email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.facebook.com/cakejewelsbr