King of all cakes, Mardi Gras King Cakes return to local bakeries/grocery stores

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 8:14 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - It’s Mardi Gras season in Louisiana, and that means the return of king cakes to local bakeries and grocery stores.

Over at Atwood’s Bakery in Alexandria, the Mardi Gras season is one of the busiest times of the year.

“Most businesses like it at Christmas time, but in a way, we’re glad when Christmas is over because we get really busy,” said Mark Atwood, who has been making king cakes for 43 years.

Atwood said each year, they make around 12,000 king cakes during the carnival season, all with a variety of different flavors. The best-seller at Atwood’s is the strawberry creme cheese king cake, which Atwood said they may make up to 5,000 a year just to fill the need.

Atwood’s Bakery is one of the few bakeries that still places the traditional plastic baby inside one of the slices. As everyone knows, that’s the one piece you don’t want, because that means the person who finds the baby is responsible for buying the next cake.

Atwood’s does add a little extra to their king cakes when it comes to decorating. Along with the normal green, purple and gold sprinkles on top, each cake also has a few Mardi Gras beads and doubloons.

“It just makes it more of a party,” said Atwood. “They lay on top of the icing, so you can still take these beads off and wear them.”

Throughout the 43 years that Atwood has been in the king cake business, he has had plenty of requests from people across the country waiting to try. Atwood’s has delivered king cakes to all 50 states, but some places were just a little harder to get to than others.

“Years and years ago, we sent one up to Alaska, and it actually had to go by dogsled,” said Atwood. “It was four hours inland and there were no roads that were passable at the time, they sent it with the dogsled that brings the mail.”

Other local places are also getting into the spirit of parade season. Rotolo’s Craft and Crust in Alexandria posted on their Facebook page that they are bringing back the King Cake calzone.

The King Cake Calzone is back! Featuring Cream Cheese, Melted Butter, Cinnamon, and a side of vanilla icing! We're getting the party started early here!

Posted by Rotolo's Craft & Crust - Alexandria, La on Monday, January 10, 2022

This calzone is not made of cheese and your favorite pizza toppings, but instead cream cheese, melted butter, cinnamon, and a side of vanilla icing.

Most bakeries and local grocery stores have already started selling king cakes and will continue through Mardi Gras Day.

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