How To Make King Cake For Mardi Gras

With the culmination of Mardi Gras approaching, are you wondering how to throw the perfect party? No Mardi Gras event is complete without a King Cake, the celebration's signature dessert. But in addition to being a tasty dessert this dish also has historic meaning.

The celebration begins on Jan. 6, King's Day, and continues through Fat Tuesday each year. Fat Tuesday is the night before Ash Wednesday, which serves as a last chance for practicing Christians to indulge before making a Lenten sacrifice. Each cake, throughout history, has contained a bean, coin, and in the present day, plastic babies. In the past, these trinkets represented crowning the next king. Now, it is customary that whomever's piece of cake contains the baby provides the next King Cake.

The cake is typically decorated with colored sugars in the same tones that you will find in Mardi Gras beads, which is because each color holds a specific meaning. Gold represents power, green is faith, and purple means justice.

In the video above, Chef David Guas from Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar and Eatery in Arlington, Va. shows you how to make the perfect King Cake. Guas hails from New Orleans, and his cakes have gained quite a reputation throughout Washington, DC. During past seasons, he has made 1800-2000 cakes, including filling orders for the White House. David has also shared his recipe on the Today Show.

Follow David on Twitter @BayouBakery. Follow Eva @EvaZaccaria.