Last week I was anticipating the arrival of a King Cake delivered by UPS from Delicious Donuts in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The excitement was too much to handle. When the cake I arrived, I was ecstatic. It was topped with purple, green, and gold Mardi Gras decorations and there were also several Mardi Gras drinking cups and a side of extra frosting and sprinkles for touch-ups (in case the cake got bumped around during transport). That evening my family delved into the tasty pralines and cream filled cake, the kids anxiously gobbling every bite in hopes the next fork full revealed the tiny King Cake Baby Jesus. On day two my husband was the lucky one who found a shiny purple baby resting in this baked dough. My daughter said, “Daddy, it’s your turn to order the next King Cake!”
Festivities officially started January 6th (Epiphany) this year and run through Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. King Cakes were a huge part of my up bringing in Baton Rouge along with all of the other Mardi Gras highlights like parades, costumes, doobloons (coins), and beads. I recall King Cakes being readily available at our local grocery store’s bakery while traditional bakeries tempted customers with gorgeous displays in storefront windows. Oftentimes our teachers would let us bring a cake on Fridays then whomever found the baby inside would be enlisted to bring the cake the following week. Up here in Minnesota King Cakes don’t exist and, in fact, most people in this region have never heard of them. But that doesn’t mean you need to go without.
I had forgotten that many Louisiana bakeries deliver King Cakes until I read an announcement from the Louisiana coast, or more specifically, the Louisiana Tourism Coastal Coalition, listing a number of bakeries offering shipped King Cakes. These small coastal parishes have battle scars from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the BP oil disaster but such catastrophes haven’t stopped this region’s resilient nature and it certainly hasn’t halted their love for the Mardi Gras season. Celebrations and parades can be found all along the coast. For example, the town of Lake Charles boasts being the 2nd largest Mardi Gras in Louisiana and it’s extremely family-friendly. The town hosts Children’s Day and Children’s Parade, alcohol and tobacco-free zones along parade routes, a Cajun chicken run where the community gathers for gumbo, and it’s home to the Mardi Gras Museum where you can see the largest display of costumes in the South. If you’re planning on heading down that way in coming weeks, be sure to download the Southwest Louisiana smartphone app which offers event details, parade routes and links to social media platforms.
As for the King Cakes, you can easily make this an annual tradition whether you head to Louisiana for Mardi Gras or not. And why not spread the cheer by sending a cake or two to some friends or bring one to your next event. The only problem may be choosing cake filling. Delicious Donuts, for example, offers a bevy of choices:
- House Specialty: Pecan Praline, Pralines-n-Cream, or Pecan Fudge
- Traditional Cinnamon
- Cream Cheese
- Strawberry/Cream Cheese
- Blueberry/Cream Cheese
- Cherry/Cream Cheese
- Raspberry/Cream cheese
- Boston (Chocolate Icing w/ Bavarian filling)
- Double chocolate
- Bananas Foster
- Zulu (Coconut cream filling w/chocolate and coconut icing)
Is your mouth watering yet? Delivered cakes start at about $38.50 and can be delivered world wide. Here’s a tip, warm your slice for 15 seconds in the microwave and you will think it is fresh out of the oven.
Thank you Delicious Donuts for sending Mardi Gras to Minnesota!