king cake

noun
plural king cakes

Definition of king cake

: a sweet ring-shaped cake traditionally with a symbolic bean or figurine of the infant Jesus inside that is served from the Epiphany to Shrove Tuesday Of course, no one does king cake quite like New Orleans. It's decorated in the colors of Mardi Gras—purple (to represent justice), green (faith) and gold (power)—as chosen by one of the city's first Mardi Gras organizations, or krewes. A token or trinket—usually a plastic baby symbolizing the infant Jesus—is hidden inside. Whoever finds the baby may be crowned king or queen of the party; more important, that person is responsible for bringing the cake to the next gathering.— Noelle Carter

First Known Use of king cake

circa 1741, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About king cake

Time Traveler for king cake

Time Traveler

The first known use of king cake was circa 1741

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near king cake

kingbolt

king cake

king carp

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for king cake

Cite this Entry

“King cake.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/king%20cake. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!