What Is a Mardi Gras King Cake?

Did you get the baby in your piece of cake? You have to host the party (or buy the cake) next year. (Photo: Arina P Habich/Shutterstock)

Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans and beyond always culminate with Fat Tuesday, the day before the Christian holiday of Lent.

One of the traditional dishes of Mardi Gras is the king cake. This cake is usually served sometime during the week before Fat Tuesday, and there's a hidden surprise in the cake. The person served the piece with the hidden surprise is required to host next year's party where the king cake is served.

I knew this much about the king cake, but I didn't know its entire history. I'm going to be making a king cake tonight, using a recipe that uses my bread machine (the king cake is actually more of a bread/pastry than a regular cake).

In the meantime, this video taught me a few things about the king cake, and I thought I’d share it with you.