King (Cakes) for a Day

Photo courtesy Heavenly Sweetz

Photo courtesy Heavenly Sweetz

If you live anywhere in or near the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Alabama, chances are king cakes are pretty prevalent. Traditionally, people eat the cake on Jan. 6 for Epiphany, or the Twelfth Night, which marks the night the three wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus.

The cake itself pulls its origins from France. Southern Food and Beverage Museum founder Liz Williams told The Times-Picayune in 2012 that the cake actually has two types: the galette de roi (puff pastry with an almond filling) and the gateaux de roi, which has the familiar ring shape. The galette was more popular in northern France, while the gateaux was popular in the south. Many of the French who settled in New Orleans were from southern France, and they brought their treat with them. Here is where you can 
enjoy some of the local versions.

Broad Street Baking Company (4465 Interstate 55 N., Suite 101, 601-362-2900)

Almond cream cheese king cake with cream cheese and almond pastry cream, and icing with Carnival-colored sugar; a traditional cinnamon king cake; a "crawfish dip" one with a cheddar and jalapeno brioche and a crawfish-dip filling

Gil's Bread (655 Lake Harbour Drive, Suite 500, Ridgeland, 601-506-4523)

Bananas Foster king cake

Campbell's Bakery (3013 N. State St., 601-362-4628; 123 Jones St., Madison, 769-300-2790, campbellsbakery.ms)

Traditional, cream cheese and pecan praline, cream cheese and a fruit one with apples, strawberries and blueberries

Kimmiesweett (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 601-720-9774)

Traditional, strawberry and blueberry king cakes, and karamel crunch with caramel, cinnamon and butter

The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730)

Pineapple and cherry king cake 

HeavenlySweetz (126 Keener Ave., 601-291-1179)

King cake with a cream cheese, brown sugar and cinnamon filling

Beagle Bagel (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 145, 769-251-1892; 100 Mannsdale Park Drive, Madison, 601-856-4377; thebeaglebagelcafe.com)

Beagle Bagel Madison: pecan praline, strawberry, cream cheese, chocolate chip and cinnamon sugar; Beagle Bagel Highland Village: traditional with cinnamon sugar, cream cheese, cream cheese and strawberry, cream cheese and blueberry

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