Monday, February 9, 2009

First Annual King Cake Giveaway or Just an excuse for me to go to the bakery

Yep. You heard it ... ANNUAL Giveaway.


We (and by "we," I mean, Louisianians ... all of them ... no matter what religion or denomination they are) have this tradition.

In Louisiana, during the month of February, Valentine's Day takes a back seat to Mardi Gras.

If you have never heard of Mardi Gras or have heard of it, and don't know what it's all about, I'm gonna give you a brief overview of the whole holiday.

Mardi Gras, in itself, is not something we personally celebrate. It is traditionally a Catholic holiday. However, Catholics and Non-Catholics alike, usually claim it as their own because it's really just another excuse to party.

Basically, think Brazil's Carnival and you've got Louisiana's Mardi Gras.

The holiday comes from the fact that Catholics are just about to start up Lent, where they are to have no parties and certain foods are forbidden. This is all done to commemorate the days leading up to Jesus' death. 

So, the night before you're about to go on a large fast or sacrifice for the purpose of remembering what Jesus did for you, of course, you're going to want to engage in debauchery the night before. Seems logical.

So, that's what Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is all about ... just a big party before Ash Wednesday. There are lots of parades, balls with kings, queens, and their royal courts, parties, and the only part we participate in ... eating king cake.

The king cake is associated with the Festival of Epiphany and is named after the three kings. Catholic tradition states that it took the kings 12 days to arrive in Bethlehem to see Jesus. The king cake season starts on the twelfth night (Jan. 5) until Fat Tuesday. Inside the king cake is a little plastic baby, symbolizing Baby Jesus. The bakeries actually just put the figurine in the box for you to shove in the cake somewhere. Whoever gets the baby in their piece of cake hopefully won't choke to death, and has to buy the king cake for the following year and king cake party.

The cake is basically a giant doughnut or cinnamon roll, depending on what kind you get and where you get it from. There are all types of filling from pecan praline to strawberry, chocolate to bavarian cream, and the list goes on. If all that's not enough, the cake is frosted and then topped with purple, green, and gold sugar or sprinkles (Mardi Gras colors).

The best king cakes down here are made at Meche's Doughnuts, which is where I will purchase one just for you if you win.

Here are the rules:

1. You must have never tasted a king cake.
2. You must not live where you can buy a king cake.
3. You must post about your king cake experience.

Just leave a comment with the name of the state you live in and your email address so that I can contact you quickly. 

Giveaway ends Saturday, February 14th! Leave a comment before then.

In this video, I am the "King of Queens," Doug. The pizza is the king cake you will be eating and you are Arthur Spooner. Enjoy!

60 Comments:

RachelQ said...

I want one but I have had it before!!! I miss it.... strawberry cream cheese filled or cinnamon... yummy

Donnetta said...

Hi! I found you via FB Networked Blogs & I'm a SITSa too!

I have NEVER had a king cake but have desperately wanted one!

The only time I've been to Mardi Gras was when I was 9 years old. Not thinking the experience is QUITE the same! :)

I live in Georgia. BUT, I've ALWAYS wanted to be a Louisiana girl! My 16 year old is attempting to get into UGA - very hard these days! If she doesn't, I SOOO want her to go to LSU! :)

I'm going to follow you & hope you'll do the same!

My blog is http://jayefamily.blogspot.com

My Facebook is Donnetta M. Jaye

My email is dj0811@bellsouth.net

Thanks so much!

Lisa said...

I have never even heard of a kings cake, but would love to try it.
ldaynard1@aol.com from Indiana

The Wixom Zoo said...

I've never even heard of King cake, so I guess that means that I've never had it. I live in Idaho, they don't sell 'em here. I'll be happy to blog all about my King cake experience should I win! :) My email is wixomzoo@live.com.
Thanks, Mama!

silverhartgirl said...

I have never heard of a king cake before.
I live in iowa.

Mike, Brie and The Three said...

Mama Belle
What a great idea. It is so nice of you to share a little tradition with the rest of the country.
I am in Knoxville TN. Who knows if you can buy a King Cake here! My girlfriend just posted a note saying her mom sent her one so I am guessing you cannot. I have heard about them and the baby inside but never tasted one.
I seem to remember your post a few days ago saying you are taking a vacation to TN. Have a great time! The weather is beautiful right now but it is bound to change.

Becky @ Boys Rule My Life said...

AH... man! I'm disqualified because I have tried a king cake - once. It was SO SSOOO good!!! I had a friend from MS ship it to me when I was living in GA.

Still can't get them here in AL, though. Maybe I'll move another state over one day just for the king cake! :) jk.

Whoever wins... congratulations! You are going to be in heaven... but just for a little while because the cake won't last long!

McElroy Family Happenings said...

I really enjoy following your blog. One of my bloggy friends told me about your blog. I live outside of Houston and grew up on the SE Texas/SW Louisiana border...so I'm disqualified from your giveaway. And Mardi Gras is a strange tradition, isn't it!? We don't celebrate it either. Blessings,
LVMcE

Cajun Peach said...

Oh my goodness! What I wouldn't give for a Meche's Kingcake!!! I bought one from Kroger and it was terrible and super dry! I work with a lady from New Orleans and she brought one to work from Randazzo's in NO. It was pretty good, but it was not Meche's! Those were the BEST!! So, how much can I pay you to ship one to me.LOL! To whoever wins this - you will NOT be disappointed!!!

Jill @ Live Laugh Blog said...

I have never had a Kingcake. But you say super large doughnut and I am so there!

Deven said...

I've heard of king cakes before, but I've never had one. I live in Indiana.

devenswanATgmailDOTcom

Windy said...

Never had king cake and you can't buy one in SC. I don't have an experience to tell you about since I've never had the cake, but if I win, I'll tell everyone who reads my blog and yours:)
PS The little baby Jesus thing sort of freaks me out;)
windyatwork@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I have never had a King cake before. I live in North Carolina.

mchattons at yahoo dot com

Brandi said...

I live in FL where we have no cool cultural things! Just a beach and a bunch of people from other states! haha

No KingCake for me. . EVER! I'd love to win!

pick me, pick me
brandi@kidslake.org

Also, MAJOR props on using a King of Queens clip! We LOVE that show

Brandi

Lily said...

I've heard of king cakes, but never had one. Here in Virginia, that's just not something we do.

Please enter me in your king cake giveaway! Sounds really cool.

My email address is lilystreasures@live.com , and should you choose me I'd be very happy to post about it! My blog is http://everydaylily.blogspot.com

Thanks!
-Lily

rebel said...

I've heard of King Cake but have never tasted one and live in Missouri so I don't think they are for sale here, at least not in my area. I was plannin' on tryin' to make one because I want to try a King Cake soooo bad. I would love to win an authentic King Cake. What a perfect way for a first taste! If I win I promise to blog and show pictures.
Email me at
hillbillywoman@gmail.com
Thanks for a fun giveaway.

thedomesticfringe said...

I need a Kingcake!!! I should win becuase I haven't even had a Queencake.

I live NY...I've got no beads, no fancy cakes, no party spirit. Help!!!

My email is tricia9199@yahoo.com
-FringeGirl

Patrice said...

Oh YAY, a cake I have never ate!! Trust me, I've had a lot of cake!! He he!

Okay I live in Tennessee, and up until now I have never heard of a King Cake and really never knew the meaning behind Mardi Gras. I thought it was just a big party, for no other reason, but to just party!

my e-mail address is:
jpdbj(at)dishmail(dot)net

I'm excited! If I win, I will share with Jill @ Live Laugh Blog, she goes to church with me!!

Tammy said...

BOO! I've had one, loved it and even got the baby!

Can you send me one just because... ummm, well just because?!

I've not had one this year. May have to go on a mission.

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Well, you know I live in NM and I'm pretty sure I can't get one here. But...yum. And also, so not allowed on this horrible South Beach Diet that I'm (sort of )on. But I'd be willing to cheat for something like this, and I'm sure my hubby would be ever so grateful for something sweet in the house.

Rachel said...

Meche's? Nah, gotta be Gambino's, Randazzo's, or (my personal favorite) Rouse's grocery store filled to bursting with cream cheese, cher. :)

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

(I thought about doing a king cake giveaway, but given our recent financial issues I decided against it. So I'm glad you're doing it!)

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I do not believe you can get them in Indiana, but I could not swear to that. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure I qualify for this giveaway. Woo!

BaronessBlack said...

How cool!
I've never tasted King Cake but they have something similar in France. That's more like an almond tart, but it has a paper crown on the top of it.

We're not Catholic, we're Russian Orthodox Christians, but we keep Lent too. In our family we tend to have a fondue or raclette to use up all the cheese and sweet stuff in the house before the big fast!

Really interesting post! So great to hear about other traditions!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Oh yum!! I would love to try it! I had never heard of it until I saw Sara's post - where she posted a videa eating one from Rachel. :)
SOunds de-lish!! :)

Tracie said...

Oh How I Love Me Some Meche's King Cake!!!!!!!!

Carolyn G said...

I've never had king cake but would love to try it. I also live somewhere where it can't be found.

Carolyn G said...

I've never had king cake but would love to try it. I also live somewhere where it can't be found.

Lois Lane II said...

NOOOOO! I wanted to win!

;) Dang. Guess I'll have to run by Papa Joe's and pick one up!

Rach@In His Hands said...

See, I learn something new every single day in the land of blog as I sit at my computer in Indiana!

Pick me!

Rachel @ Unexpected Blessings said...

I would love to try King Cake!!! It sounds delicious! Thanks for the History lesson. Very interesting.

fiveofgreen@comcast.net
Rachel from Michigan :)

The Lilly Pad said...

I have never even heard of a king cake. So, I am sure you can't buy them around here. I live in NC. My email address is thelillypad1901@yahoo.com.

I will post about my experience if you pick me.

The sound of 'huge doughnut' and 'bavarian cream' makes me want one N.O.W.! I will patiently wait until Saturday before I order one!

Thanks for the give-away. I am very happy to see that it will be annual!

The video was HILARIOUS!

The Hat Chick said...

I'm jonesin' for some Mardi Gras! Throw me somethin' mister!

Big Daddy was in a krewe in Mobile. They love the moonpies over there. M-o-o-n-p-i-e, moonpie, moonpie, fly to me!

Best store-bought kingcake I've had came from Paul's in Picayune. Since I couldn't buy one when we lived in FL, I learned to make my own. Soooo good!

We are Anglican so we party before Lent as well.

anna said...

I've never had one before, but now after reading all the comments I'm dying to try one! I'm from Michigan, and as far as I know there isn't anywhere nearby where I can get one.

annajharry88@yahoo.com

Sunnie said...

Ohhhhh I have seen them on the Food Network channel....I've never tried one though!!
sunnnnie_1 at yahoo dot com

Cool giveaway!!

Sara@i.Sass said...

I have had one. Rachel sent me one. It was very good.
How sweet of you to do a giveaway.
It's good I can't win, I don't think I could stand to have another in the house. I was the only one that liked it, and I'm the ONLY one that shouldn't HAVE it. You know what I'm saying.

Bonnie said...

I've had one too and I am drooling thinking about it. Probably better since I'm a South Beacher (or as my hubby fondly calls it "Sumbeach") too and that much sugar and carbs would probably put me in a coma. (Because you know, I couldn't eat just a little slice...)

12-arrows said...

Never heard of a King Cake, never tasted one but I WANT one! I live in MI and will glady send you my email should I be the lucky recepient of this great wonderful give-away!

Lily said...

I posted last night, but I decided you needed more information. LOL

Not only have I never tasted King Cake and would be pleased as punch to receive one-- but I solemnly promise not to choke on the baby Jesus if you send it to me. :-)

Megan said...

Mama Belle-
Hi! I'm Megan, sister-in-law to lifeintheparsonage and sister to mylifesong. It's from these blogs that I found yours. I've never commented before - but I read your blog, in addition to many others over my lunch break at school. I teach high school English in Iowa and have never heard of (therefore never eaten) a king cake before. I'm also pregnant for the first time so this is especially of interest to me! :) Thanks for offering this giveaway and for keeping me entertained over my lunch breaks!

Megan said...

Oh, and I should leave my email address too:
twinm@aol.com
Megan

fransmomma said...

what a great giveaway! i have never even heard of a king cake, let alone tasted one. we live in texas. austin(ish) to be exact. i would love to try one and would blog about it with pride. :) hook me up! twig478@yahoo.com

livingmyhappilyeverafter said...

I've never had one before....but I have 5 kids so I don't get out much. We live in Texas.
+

Anonymous said...

I've never had a King Cake before but I've heard they are really good. I would love to try one. I'll keep my fingers crossed....hoping to win. I live in Maryland. Prissy_814@yahoo.com.

Thank you for considering me!
Priscilla

Priscilla said...

I've never had a king cake but would love to try one. I heard they are really good. Prissy_814@yahoo.com.

Thank you for considering.
Priscilla

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious! I have never heard of or tried a King Cake. I am from KS. But I am ready, hope I win.
jennifer.ledgerwood@yahoo.com

Jay said...

I 1st heard about King's Cake from Hoda Kotb on NBC last month but she didn't know that it was 3 Kings and baby Jesus-it was funny. I live in Florida and would love to give it a try! Thanks!
rbjj32825[at]lycos[dot]com

Kodi said...

I have heard of a King Cake, but never with as good a description as yours. I am from Missouri. I would love to win...cause I LOVE cake! :)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I've NEVER had a KING Cake...never HEARD of it and barely knew Mardi Gras was celebrated in Louisiana in the month of February!

So I'm ignorant!

I live in St. George, uT and if I can get king cake I have NO idea how to do it...

There you go!

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Oh my word!!! How did I miss this post!?!? Like a big donut, for real!?! It's like a slice of heaven. I need it.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

If you give it to me I will give up donuts for lent, I swear. I've never given up anything for lent...I'm a heathen like that.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

So....I just read through your comments and saw my preggo sister in law came out of the lurkers for cake :) Sugar addiction runs in the family. I'll share if I win. ;)

Love you mama belle.

Musings of a Homeschooling Mom said...

I cannot win because A) I live in Louisiana and King Cakes are in abundance here and B) I have had King Cake many, many times. The cake itself is nothing special, in my opinion, but I love the icing!!! I have never, ever, ever heard that the baby symbolizes baby Jesus! I know that whomever gets the baby is supposed to buy the next cake, but have never heard anything about anything symbolizing anything Christian with it. Thanks for teaching me something new!

Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net said...

I have never had one, and since I'm in Ohio the only way I will get one is if I win this from you! I will definitely post on it if I win because I love you like that ;)

windycindy said...

Happy Mardi Gras! Until your cake picture, I have never seen a King's Cake. I knew some of the tradition behind the Mardi Gras celebration, but not the cake! I love cake! Please add me to your drawing. It would be a fun experience to share with my husband and our two sons!
Many thanks.....Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Stephanie said...

Even though we are in the south i don't believe i have ever seen a king cake sold here. I would be great to share with my neighbors -many of which are northerners!

ladyt64 said...

I have never heard of a King cake before. I live in KY. I would love to try it.

Sarah said...

ok, so honestly I've never even heard of a Kings Cake. Sorry!! But your description and history definitely has left me wanting to try one. I live in Missouri and to my knowledge we can't get King cakes around here. So, I'd love to have one to try with my family and some friends. And I'd love to share the whole experience with you and my faithful blog followers. :) I love to document random fun things and this sounds like a great experience for sure. Thank you!!!
thegood3 at gmail dot com

Jinxy and Me said...

I have heard of a King Cake, but never tried one before. I live in MN.

Mimi said...

Send that cake to me in California!
I've never tasted one, and I've always wanted to go to the mardi gras!

Sonya said...

I have always wanted to taste a King Cake, but never have. I would absolutely love to try an authentic Lousiana one! I live in Ohio! Love your blogg!
Email me at: lyn727@ymail.com