The Traditions and History of the Mardi Gras King Cake
January 6th officially kicks off the Mardi Gras Season each year with the celebration of “King’s Day”, also known as the “Twelfth Night”. This iconic tradition celebrated in New Orleans and our Mississippi Gulf Coast is said to have begun in the 1870s, and was heavily influenced by European traditions, with a strong French influence.
There is great symbolism that is represented in several different ways through the delicious tradition of the Mardi Gras King Cake. King Cakes are traditionally oval-shaped to represent unity. The trio of traditional colors of the King Cake each represent something different. Purple symbolizes “Justice”, Green symbolizes “Faith”, and Gold symbolizes “Power”. Then you add the baby, which is typically hidden inside of the King Cake, which symbolizes the Baby Jesus. Whoever gets the slice of King Cake with the Baby in it is said to have good luck and is “King” for the day; adding even more fun to the tradition, he who gets the Baby is to bring the King Cake to the next gathering!
Enjoy all of the unique and traditional varieties of King Cake delicacies offered all along our beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast throughout this Carnival season up until Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is also known as Mardi Gras Day, which is on March 5th of this 2019 year. Come the following day, Ash Wednesday, the King Cake tradition ends until the Twelfth Night of the next year. You can check out a calendar of events for the Mardi Gras Parades and Carnival Celebrations along our MS Gulf Coast for the 2019 Season, here.
King Cakes and Carnival Cravings on the Coast
A local bakery here on our Mississippi Gulf Coast has taken the traditional King Cake and given them a creative, unique, and fun twist! Cheeky Monkey Cakes on Debuys Road in Biloxi has some exciting, new flavors that are sure to excite your King Cake taste buds during this Coastal Carnival Season! Cheeky Monkey Cakes has taken their version of the King Cake to the next level again this year with the unique and creative flavors that are sure to please. Some of their special order King Cakes include flavor combinations such as Caramel Apple, Banana Split, Bacon and Maple, Pina Colada, the Elvis, and step it up with the Fat Elvis! Their most popular special King Cake flavor this year is a Wedding Cake King Cake! They also provide traditional fillings of strawberry, blueberry, cream cheese, and more. Everyone is sure to enjoy a fun-flavored King Cake from Cheeky Monkey Cakes to satisfy their Carnival cravings, so be sure to go check them out! You can always encourage the lucky recipient of the King Cake “Baby” to pick up a delicious and different flavor combination they have to offer, so you can try them all!
You can also get your King Cake craving satisfied here on the Coast with a delicious cup of coffee from PJ’s Coffee in both downtown Gulfport or Bay St. Louis! They have a signature “Carnival Blend” to bring you the taste of Mardi Gras, which would pair wonderfully with a scrumptious slice of King Cake on the side. Here at Mandal Preferred, we are already enjoying a fresh slice of King Cake with a hot cup of coffee to kick off our days during this Mardi Gras holiday! Or you can give the King Cake Donut a try from King’s Donut Shop in Bay St. Louis, it is delicious and festively decorated with the traditional purple, green, and gold. You can even enjoy the spirit of Carnival season with a special brew from the tasty partnership of Chandeleur Island Brewing Company and Le Bakery to give us “the King Cake Ale”, which will be available on our Coast in February! The Coast is great at getting creative, especially with our food and drinks, during the Carnival season – so don’t hesitate to share with us what your favorites are, we’d love to hear your suggestions!
We want to know what your favorite King Cake flavor and filling is, and where you find the best King Cakes and other Carnival delicacies here along our exciting and flavorful Mississippi Gulf Coast! Leave a comment below, and let’s share all of the delicious treats we are so lucky to have all along our Coast!
Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler – Let the Good Times Roll!