Watching my first Mardi Gras parade in the French Quarter from atop my cousin's shoulders is a memory I love to conjure up. Right there with that parade, I also recall my first bite of Mardi Gras King Cake. Similar to coffee cake, this ring-shaped confection is as rich in tradition and history as it is in color and taste. Trademark decorations--sugars in the royal colors of purple (justice), green (faith), and gold (power)--honor the three kings who visited the Christ child on Epiphany, the 12th day after Christmas.
Also known as King's Day, Mardi Gras marks the start of merrymaking that continues until the grand finale on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.
It's my hope that the streets of New Orleans and other cities along the Southern coast will again be filled with the magic of Mardi Gras. So no matter where you live, I hope you will join me in a toast to our friends on the Gulf Coast with your favorite beverage and a piece of king cake.
Mardi Gras King Cake Baking Tip
Remember, always spoon (not scoop) your flour into the dry measuring cup; then level with a knife. Scooping the flour with a dry measuring cup can add more flour, compromising the results of your recipe.