Tuesday, January 6, 2009

King Cake - Three Kings Day or Mardi Gras?

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, or Three Kings Day... the day the 3 kings arrived to honor baby Jesus on the 12th day of Christmas. It is also the beginning of the King Cake "season." The season runs from the day of the Epiphany through to Mardi Gras.

The King Cake is a pretty cool cake. I mean, what other cake actually has a season? It also is a very cool cake because a trinket is baked inside it, and the person who's piece of cake has the trinket gets to be King or Queen for the day. (She may also have the duty of hosting the following years party, and/or bringing the King Cake the following year... this may or may not be seen as a priviledge!)

There are many traditions surrounding a King Cake. I've done a little research in the past, since a French friend was very certain the cake was only eaten on the Epiphany, while I clearly remembered my friend from Louisiana ranting and raving about King Cakes at Mardi Gras time. Either way, both were right.

So, to honor Three Kings Day, I say, let's make cake! The picture above is from a King Cake I made with my kids. Lots of messy fun.

Below are some url's to sites with king cake recipes and folklore. Enjoy the tradition!
Wikipedia's Definition of King Cake
King Cake Recipe and Short Story