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Farm & Fig

Mardi Gras season officially kicked off Jan. 6 — and that means King Cake season is here.

You have until Fat Tuesday on March 1 to enjoy this festive treat.

For those who might not be familiar with King Cakes, a sweet danish dough filled with cinnamon sugar, cream cheese or fruit filling is covered with vanilla icing and decorated with the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold.

The person who gets the slice of cake with the plastic baby inside becomes “king” for the day and is bound by custom to host the next party and provide the King Cake.

It’s a fun and tasty tradition that can be enjoyed, not just in New Orleans, but across the country.

If you want to make one at home, think of a King Cake as essentially a giant cinnamon roll. Besides shape and decoration, King Cake dough is the same as cinnamon roll dough.

Unlike cinnamon rolls which are cut into pieces, a King Cake is kept whole and baked in an elongated oval shape.

So, if you have a great cinnamon roll recipe, consider making your own at home.

If not up for baking, you can always order one.

It used to be you had to make your own King Cake or order one from New Orleans, but now many local bakeries are making this Mardi Gras treat.

For a list of 14 places in Memphis to find a King Cake before Mardi Gras ends, check out my story now up on CommercialAppeal.com.

If ordering, take my advice: Place your order early. Most places have a limited number available, especially for Fat Tuesday. 

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit.

Jennifer Chandler graduated at the top of her class from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is a full-time mom to two daughters in Memphis, Tennessee, and is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks The Southern Pantry Cookbook, Simply Salads, Simply Suppers, and Simply Grilling.