Christmas King Cakes are familiar to lots of families, especially if you are from Louisiana and other southern areas, since this cake tradition arrived in the United States, in New Orleans, in 1870.
These cakes are often enjoyed on January 6, on Epiphany, to celebrate the coming of the wise men to visit the baby Jesus.
A King Cake is baked with a bean, or a plastic or ceramic baby figurine, symbolizing the baby Jesus, in it. Tradition says that whoever gets the piece of cake with the bean or baby in it is King or Queen for that day, and is obliged to host the next Christmas King Cake party. In Louisiana it is common for schools to have the party on a Friday, with the person who finds the trinket bringing the cake for the next school day.
The cakes have icing in three colors: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. This tradition is celebrated world wide, with each country having its own twist. Mexico celebrates “La Rosca de Reys” on January sixth, with a bean inside an oval shaped cake decorated with dried and candied figs, cherries, quinces, etc.
You can buy King Cake Mix, and I located two online stores that sell Mam Papaul’s Famous King Cake Mix, which includes praline filling, icing, a baby figure, and serves twelve. These stores are in Louisiana, which is appropriate.