For much of the country, January 6 is just another day on the calendar. But on the streets of New Orleans and other cities along the Southern coast, the day marks the Twelfth Night after Christmas, the day Mardi Gras season begins. And for those that celebrate the tradition, that means one thing: King Cake.
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Akin to coffee cake, the ring-shaped creation is popular for its sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold as well as the tiny baby (usually plastic) placed inside the baked and braided Danish dough. Got the slice of cake with the baby? Congratulations, you get to hold the next King Cake party.
Although several Valley bakeries will offer King Cake closer to Fat Tuesday (February 12 this year), Barb's Bakery, the family-owned bakery in Central Phoenix in business for over 30 years, is offering four different kinds of King Cake now, at the start of Carnival, and throughout Mardi Gras. Here's how to get a jump on the celebration.
Barb's Bakery is offering four different flavors of their signature King Cake: Cinnamon, raspberry, almond, and apple. In addition to the white glaze, purple, green, and gold sugars, and hidden plastic baby, each cake is topped with Mardi Gras decor accents of beads, coins, and a mask.
The price of a King (small) is $25.95 and serves up to 12 people. A Royal King (large) is $39.95 and served up to 24 people. Need to ship your cake to a Carnival-lovin' pal? Barb's will ship the King size only anywhere in the U.S. for $18.
Barb's Bakery makes around 400 King Cakes for folks each year. Place an order by stopping by the bakery, calling 602-957-4422, or visiting Barb's website.