With Mardi Gras approaching and all eyes on New Orleans last night, I was reminded of our King Cake adventure last year:
Kathy from Louisiana told me about making King Cake using our cinnamon rolls. I was clueless and emailed her back: “What’s a King Cake?” She told me, “King Cakes are made during Mardi Gras. Before baking, a plastic baby is tucked into the dough. Whoever gets the piece of the King Cake with the baby inside has good luck for the remainder of the year. ” Well, with Mardi Gras upon us, I thought I would experiment with this great suggestion. The first difficulty, of course, was finding a plastic baby. I went from store to store, and here in Massachusetts, outside the realm of Mardi Gras tradition, store clerks looked at me like I was crazy. Eventually, I found a 12-pack (so if you need one, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org). You might have luck in the “Baby Shower” section of a party supply store.
Preheat your oven, gather your ingredients, and go! Be aware that you need to keep an eye on the cake since the middle takes a bit longer to bake. Essentially, you unroll a can (or two) of our rolls, braid them, and roll the braids into a spiral cake, tucking the baby in somewhere. Bake it. . . Color the frosting (green, purple and yellow (gold) for Mardi Gras), pour it on to your cake and serve it up — our lucky baby finder was Mary! You can also make mini-king cakes from just one cinnamon roll, separated into 3 even strands. Here’s the story in pictures: