Mardi Gras a.k.a. Fat Tuesday is quickly approaching! The tradition of indulgence and celebration in anticipation of the Lenten season will fall on March 1 of this year. In the U.S., Mardi Gras is typically associated with New Orleans and the massive carnival and parade that occurs in the city every year.

When thinking of Mardi Gras images of brightly colored floats, beads flying through the air, and wild parties taking over Bourbon Street come to mind. However, if you can't make it down to Louisiana this year, here's how you can bring the party "Up North" with a traditional King Cake.

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What is a King Cake?

Growing up in Michigan I always associated Fat Tuesday with our traditional Polish treat Pączki (punch-key). It wasn't until I moved further south to Missouri that I first heard of a King Cake. This is not your ordinary cake! A King Cake, also called a Three Kings Cake, refers to the three wise men who brought gifts to the baby Jesus. With a base similar to a coffee cake, it often covered with sugar frosting of the traditional Mardi Gras colors: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. Many countries associate King Cakes with the Epiphany in January, but here in the U.S. we eat ours during Mardi Gras.

Baked-in Surprise!

What really confused me about King Cakes is the fact that there is a tiny baby Jesus figurine that is baked into the cake! Can you imagine enjoying a delicious piece of cake and suddenly hearing a loud CRUNCH, only to realize you almost ate baby Jesus?  Legend has it whoever finds the baby Jesus in their slice of cake will have luck and prosperity, however there is a catch: the finder is now responsible for supplying next year's cake and/or hosting the next Mardis Gras party!

Where to Find King Cakes in Kalamazoo:

Bert's Bakery

Bert's has two locations, one in Comstock and the other in Kalamazoo on Westnedge, for all your birthday, wedding, and King Cake needs! Their King Cakes are sold for $35 and pre-orders are preferred. Find Bert's on Facebook here.

Sweetwater's

A Kalamazoo staple, Sweetwater's are putting a delicious spin on this Mardi Gras tradition. King Cake donuts will make a return this year and are available 2/21-3/1, in addition to their Pączki.

Schult'z Treat Street

The Oakland Dr. sweet shop is now accepting pre-orders for this year's batch of King Cakes. Instead of a porcelain baby Jesus however, you'll find a bean inside your cake! These $40 cakes are available by pre-order only now through February 23.

How do you celebrate Mardi Gras in Michigan?

Macomb Man Selling His Party Trailer & Summer Is About To Be LIT

This creation made by someone in Macomb, Michigan is truly creative and would be perfect to be used in a parade. It's a custom party trailer, and it even has a tv mounted on it

 

 

 

 

 

 

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