What’s your favorite Mardi Gras tradition? For us, the king cake is by far one of the sweetest. According to Eater, the tradition of the king cake originated in France and Spain and came to be associated with Epiphany during the Middle Ages. When it was brought to the New World (along with Catholicism and Christianity), the tradition evolved even further.
Now, especially in New Orleans, king cake and Mardi Gras go hand-in-hand. King cakes can be found in bakeries as early as January and are available through Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. Every king cake contains a trinket, often a plastic baby figurine, and the lucky person who finds the trinket in their piece of cake gets to be the “king” for a day. In addition, whoever gets the slice of cake containing the baby must also be the host of next year’s celebration.
The cake itself is a sweet, circular cake-like bread dough that’s twisted into a ring and decorated with icing and sprinkles in the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold. While some variants can be made from cake batter or bread or pastry dough, most versions are shaped into a circle or oval to mimic the appearance of a king’s crown.
For our Mardi Gras soiree, we surrounded a traditional king cake with Cafe Au Lait taper candles for a perfect French pairing. How do you incorporate candles in your Mardi Gras festivities? Show us your tablescapes and tag us on Instagram!
Shop our tapers in Cafe Au Lait here.