We might be a long way from The Big Easy, but that doesn't mean you can't get in on the Carnival and Mardi Gras fun in the Valley. This year, Fat Tuesday (the last day of the Carnival season) falls on Tuesday, March 4, which means you have just a couple of weeks left to celebrate.
A king cake is a staple of the season, and the cake traditionally hides one tiny plastic baby (or some other trinket) inside it. If you get the slice with the baby in it, you become the lucky winner -- the person who gets to host the next party. Here are three places baking Mardi Gras king cakes in metro Phoenix.
Barb's Bakery www.barbsbakery.com
This family-owned bakery in Central Phoenix is offering its king cakes in two sizes and four flavors. And they don't hold back on the festive decorations. A Barb's Bakery king cake comes with green, purple, white, and gold frosting, beads, and, of course, a hidden baby. A regular king cake serves between 10 and 16 people and costs $25.95, while a Royale king cake serves between 20 and 24 people and costs $39.75. You can order yours in any of the following four flavors: almond, apple, cinnamon, or raspberry. Place an order by stopping by the bakery or calling 602-957-4422.
Merci French Cafe and Pastisserie www.facebook.com/MERCIFRENCHCAFE
Former Parisian Duc Liao's new bakery and restaurant in Scottsdale, Merci French Cafe, can bake up an traditional French galette des rois (or king cake) for you, though you'll have to order as soon as possible. The cake is made with layers of puff pastry around an almond cream filling and Liao makes them in one size, a 12-by-12-inch square, which costs $50.
French Grocery www.frenchgroceryinc.com
The French Grocery in Phoenix will offer Mardi Gras king cakes in-store until March 4. You can swing by any day (actually, you'll want to call ahead to check availability) and pick up a 6-inch cake -- cinnamon and sugar only -- for $12 or an 8-inch cake for $15. Larger cakes must be ordered four days in advance and come in seven flavors.
The 12-by-9-inch cakes can be made with the following three fillings for $24:
- "Creole" -- Sweet cream cheese
- "Pontchatoula" -- Sweet cream cheese and strawberry
- "Audubon" -- Sweet cream cheese and pecan
Cakes with the following speciality fillings costs $28 each:
- "Laurel" -- Chocolate
- "Tchoupitoulas" -- Apple and goat cheese
- "Olivier" -- Pear and almond
- "The Grocery" -- Praline bacon and sweet cream cheese