king cake


plural king cakes
: 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

Examples of king cake in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Grab your king cake and masquerade masks: Mardi Gras is arriving particularly early this year. Grace Tucker, The Enquirer, 23 Feb. 2024 Enjoy all the flavors of the traditional king cake without spending hours in the kitchen. Southern Living Test Kitchen, Southern Living, 24 Jan. 2024 The bakery’s take on the iconic king cake is a braided crown of babka, a nod to New York’s Breads Bakery, where co-owners Kelly Jacques and Samantha Weiss met. The Bon Appétit Staff & Contributors, Bon Appétit, 13 Mar. 2024 This will be an evening of music by the Extra Crispy Brass Band, casino games, a silent auction, live artists, king cake, New Orleans appetizer stations, casino tables, beads, masquerade masks and interactive entertainment. Cathy Kozlowicz, Journal Sentinel, 29 Jan. 2024 The Mardi Gras traditions of spending weeks partying and eating king cake all lead up to one day, Ash Wednesday. Julia Gomez, USA TODAY, 13 Feb. 2024 Typically, king cake is made of a rich, brioche dough and a wide array of fillings, such as cinnamon, chocolate, and cream cheese. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 13 Feb. 2024 Manresa Bread’s king cake will be on the Mardi Gras menu at The Bywater, Chef David Kinch’s Los Gatos restaurant that honors his New Orleans roots. Laura Ness, The Mercury News, 9 Feb. 2024 The lucky person who receives a slice of king cake and stumbles upon the baby or other item is then responsible for bring the king cake to the next gathering. Ray Padilla, The Courier-Journal, 11 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'king cake.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1741, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of king cake was circa 1741

Dictionary Entries Near king cake

Cite this Entry

“King cake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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