HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - New Orleans has already prepared for Mardi Gras with the first parade of the season. Local bakeries are preparing for the annual celebration by baking King Cakes. Traditionally decorated in purple green and yellow topping, the breaded sweet treat can be loaded with cream cheese and or various fruits.
"We will make King Cake every day until, and probably a week after Mardi Gras ends. We're not like a lot of bakeries that make them year round," JoAnna Lopez, owner of Jody's Bakery said. "We are traditionalists, and we stick to the season but we're always happy to see the purple green and gold come around. It keeps us very busy and we always have a lot of fun. [It is] a lot of work, but a lot of fun."
According to Mardi Gras New Orleans, originally, most king cakes were a simple ring of dough with a small amount of decoration. Today's king cakes are much more festive and visually appealing. The rich Danish dough is braided and baked. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with delicious sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.
Most bakeries in more recent years have been creative with stuffing and topping their cakes with different flavors of cream cheese and fruit fillings.
"In France they make their dough, they make their king cakes more like puff pastry," Jessica Jacobs, assistant Pastry Chef at C'Est La Vie said. "Which is like, it's not a yeasted dough. This is more like a yeasted dough, it's got lots of butter in it, and so it is going to be more calories but more taste."
Traditionally a plastice baby is inserted in the cake after it's been baked. After the cake is cut by the consumer, whoever gets the piece with the baby is supposed to buy the next cake.