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The Sweet Tradition: Unraveling the History of King Cake



Mardi Gras, a celebration synonymous with vibrant colors, lively parades, and, of course, the iconic king cake. Across cities like New Orleans, Houston and Galveston this sweet treat has become a staple during the festive season. At PattyCakes Bakery,, we bring you a delectable assortment of king cakes, each a unique experience in itself. Join us as we delve into the rich history and traditions that surround this beloved dessert.


The king cake tradition traces its roots back to 1870 when it arrived in New Orleans. The French version, known as "Galette des Rois" or "cake of the king," involves a round puffed pastry filled with almond cream. In New Orleans, the cake takes on a sweet pastry form with various fillings like cinnamon, cream cheese, or almond. The vibrant purple, gold, and green decorations symbolize justice, power, and faith.


The Mystery of the Baby:

One intriguing aspect of king cakes is the inclusion of a miniature plastic baby. This tradition, solidified in the 1940s, originated when a traveling salesman provided small porcelain dolls to baker Donald Entringer. The figurines symbolize baby Jesus, and while they are not actually baked into the cakes for safety reasons, they are hidden by the person who provides the cake. The finder of the baby is then tasked with buying the cake for the next celebration.


Evolution of King Cakes:

Over the years, king cakes have evolved in shape, size, and flavor. The traditional ringed shape has transformed into a sticky coffee cake or brioche ring adorned with carnival colors.


Culinary History and Traditions:

To understand the origins of the king cake, we must travel back to the Roman era when celebrations like Saturnalia and Twelfth Night involved selecting a king for a day. The concept of "bean cakes" emerged, where beans were baked inside cakes to determine holiday kings and queens. These festive traditions, rooted in history, have continued to shape Mardi Gras celebrations with their unique blend of pageantry and rowdiness.


Order Your King Cake from PattyCakes Bakery:

As you indulge in the fascinating history of king cakes, don't forget to experience the delight firsthand. At PattyCakes Bakery in Galveston, TX, we offer a variety of flavors, including Cinnamon  Sugar, Raspberry & Cream Cheese, Cinnamon Pecan, and Chocolate for $35. For a truly special treat, try our specialty French Galette des Rois for $60, a classic puff pastry king cake with frangipane filling. Place your order through our convenient form and give us 36 hours notice to ensure a freshly baked king cake for your celebration.


The king cake is not just a dessert; it's a symbol of tradition, history, and the joyous spirit of Mardi Gras. As you savor the flavors of our meticulously crafted king cakes, remember the centuries of tradition that have shaped this delightful confection. Order from PattyCakes Bakery and make your Mardi Gras celebration truly special with a touch of sweetness and history.

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