Here in New Orleans we don’t refer to this time of the year as winter, we refer to it as Mardi Gras and King Cake time. This sticky pastry cake is one of the best known, symbols of Mardi Gras and New Orleans.
The origin of the king cake goes back to the 1800’s and is an interesting read. My history of this king cake dates back to grade school days. The beginning of carnival was marked by the first king cake party. Who ever got the baby had to have the next party that following weekend. Imagine a party guaranteed for months and paid for by your parents. If I recall, there were also spin the bottle games at those parties! Back then there was only one type of cake, hand braided and loaded with cinnamon and creamy white icing.
In more recent years, bakeries have been creative with stuffings and toppings. Cakes ooze with cream cheese, apple, lemon and strawberry fillings. My favorite remains what is now called traditional. I travel far for a cake from Randazzo’s bakery… to me, the best! They do ship all over the world!