Quick Q&A on King Cake History

While the rest of America implements New Year traditions with self-assured weight loss resolutions, Louisianans are diving head first into king cakes in celebration of Mardi Gras. Shreveport-Bossier is keeping the king cake folklore afloat with more than 10 established king cake bakeries by serving traditional and unorthodox king cakes and king cake-inspired treats, but if you’re new to the Mardi Gras scene, this quick Q&A on king cake history may help you understand.

What is a king cake?

A traditional king cake is a ring-shaped pastry made with sweet yeast bread, commonly filled with cinnamon and cream cheese then frosted with purple, gold, and green icing. These festive colors represent faith, power, and justice, and is often served with standard Mardi Gras paraphernalia, such as beads, masks, and a plastic baby tucked away in the dough for a devourer to find.

What’s the origin of king cakes?

King cakes originated with European Catholicism in the Middle Ages, honoring Epiphany or Twelfth Night, which is the baptism of Baby Jesus. Once the tradition entered the New World, the king cake ritual evolved into a Cajun keepsake.

What’s the deal with the plastic baby?

The plastic baby practice stemmed from New Orleans bakeries that used to bake porcelain babies into the pastry. Now, plastic babies are typically included with the purchase of a king cake and left for the customer to bury in the dough. It’s been said that whoever gets the baby in their slice of king cake is indebted to purchase next year’s pastry.

Where can I purchase a king cake?

With more than 10 king cake bakeries in the area, you’re likely to find a king cake in every nook and cranny of Shreveport-Bossier during Mardi Gras season, but here’s a few popular bakeries:

What if I don’t like traditional king cake?

We rarely find a person that doesn’t like king cake, but instead we help them discover their own king cake style. Many of our king cakes are savory. You can try the mufaletta king cake at Lowder Baking Company, the bacon maple king cake at A few quirky king cake options include beer, cocktails, cupcakes, coffee, dips, cocoa bombs, cheesecakes, donuts and more. You can put king cakes in a box, but not Shreveport-Bossier.

For more information about things to do, eat, see and experience in Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.Shreveport-Bossier.org or visit www.SBFunGuide.com for upcoming events. Happy King Caking!

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