king cake

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

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The first known use of king cake was circa 1741

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“King cake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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