• 20 frozen biscuits such as Mary B's
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped, reserving one for the prize
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1-2 tbsps milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Glazing sugar, optional

History of the King Cake

The  holiday season has passed and winter is now a reality in Mobile and so is our Mardi Gras celebration.  For nearly 300 years Mobilians have observed this pre-Lenten celebration which climaxes on Shrove Tuesday the day before Ash Wednesday on the Christian calendar.

While originating in Mobile, Mardi Gras is too much fun to keep to one location and has spread throughout the Gulf Coast.  Mobile’s Mardi Gras reputation as a major tourist attraction is reaching international proportions.  The income that the carnival brings into the city is big business and one of Mobile’s biggest money makers.  One way business in our area produces income is with the traditional “King Cake”……..A King cake is an oval-shaped bakery delicacy, crossed between a coffee cake and a French pastry that is as rich in history as it is in flavor.  It’s decorated in royal colors of PURPLE which signifies “Justice,”  GREEN for “Faith”, and GOLD for “Power”.  These colors were to resemble a jeweled crown honoring the Wise Men who visited the Christ Child on Epiphany.  In the past such things as coins, beans, pecans or peas were hidden inside each King Cake.  Today, a tiny plastic baby is the common prize.  At a party, the King Cake is sliced and served.  Each person looks to see if their piece contains the “baby”.  If so, then that person is named “King” for a day and bound by custom to host the next party and provide the King Cake.

Source: information gathered from article “The History of Mobile’s Mardi Gras” written by: Gordon Tatum 

Directions:

  1. Lay the frozen biscuits as close as possible in 5 rows of 4 each on top of parchment paper.
  2. Let biscuits thaw completely.
  3. Dust rolling pin and biscuits with flour and roll biscuits into a rectangle.
  4. Melt 1 stick butter, pour over surface of the dough.  Use fingers to spread the butter evenly.
  5. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle all over the top of the dough.
  6. Top this with pecans.
  7. Lay pecan piece on top of dough or if using plastic baby, place baby under cake after baking.
  8. Starting at longest edge, start rolling the dough up into a long cylinder.
  9. Transfer to baking sheet, lined with parchment and pull the 2 ends of the dough together forming an oval and smoothing the seam as much as possible.
  10. Bake 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until brown.
  11. Let cool completely.
  12. Meanwhile, mix confectioner sugar, vanilla  and milk slowly until you have the consistency of a thick glaze.  Divide into 3 containers. Mix your colors in each container, making one purple, one green, and one yellow.
  13. Drizzle each color over king cake.  Sprinkle with glazing sugar (if desired).