Order a brightly decorated King Cake for your Mardi Gras celebration from Bennison's Bakery in Evanston. The traditional pre-Lenten King Cake is consumed at parties from the twelfth day after Christmas until the end of Fat Tuesday.
King Cake was discovered in New Orleans. This pre-Mardi Gras coffee cake actually has its roots in Epiphany, the Christian holiday on January 6th which represents the Three Wise Men who discovered the Christ Child. The braided coffee cake has a special gift baked inside to represent the gift of the Christ Child. Latin and European cultures around the world have different customs for what gift is baked inside. The person who is lucky enough to find the gift in their slice is truly blessed. Outside, the cake is decorated in Mardi Gras colors. Green stands for faith, gold represents power and purple represents justice.
New Orleans has a decades-old tradition of shipping literally hundreds of thousands of King Cakes worldwide to customers who love this unique bakery item Bennison's want you to enjoy a King Cake, too. They are available plain, cream cheese, apple, cherry, or praline pecan filled.
King Cakes from Bennison's are $11.99, and are available starting January 2nd.
Bennison's Bakery also offers Pithivier (or Galette des Rois). Layers of puff pastry filled with almond frangipane (a sweet almond paste), glazed with sugar and topped with a crown. Each Pithivier is baked with a tiny baby trinket inside, and tradition states that whoever finds the baby in their slice is supposed to bring the Pithivier the next year.
Pithivier are $17.95, and are available starting January 6th.