King cake sales on the rise as Mardi Gras nears - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

King cake sales on the rise as Mardi Gras nears

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Bakeries throughout the lake area are seeing an increase in king cake sales as Shrove Tuesday quickly approaches.

The king cake is a special part of the Mardi Gras celebration that includes a pastry, a plastic baby, and of course, a party.

Paula Stevens of Delicious Donuts & Baker in Lake Charles said the rise in cake sales kicked off on January 6th with the start of the Mardi Gras season.

"They come in spurts," said Stevens. "We try to make enough but sometimes our crystal ball doesn't work as well as others."

Stevens said her bakery sells somewhere between 2,000 and 4,000 cakes every Mardi Gras season. The bakery owner hopes she will see even more sales this season than last year.

"It's a very long season since Mardi Gras is not until March 8th this year," said Stevens. "This is exciting because it means we get to make kings cakes a bit longer than usual."

Stevens added it's a special process that goes into baking these popular Mardi Gras favorites.

"From the time you start until the time you finish it probably takes about 6 hours," said Stevens.

When baking the cake, Stevens said she must make sure the king cake is rolled in to a circular shape to represent the circle of life with no beginning and end. The cake is also decorated with beads and the necessary colors of purple, green and gold. The bakers also hide the plastic baby inside each cake.

The history behind the cake is the story of when the three kings visited baby Jesus. The three colors represent the colors worn by the three wise men and the beads symbolize the gifts brought by them. The hidden baby represents the good news brought by the savior.

Stevens added that she cannot complain about the king cake sales even if getting the orders out does get stressful at times.  

"It's very fulfilling to me to be able to start with just flour and in a matter of a few hours you've got a nice product that looks like fun and tastes good too," said Stevens.

Delicious Donuts and Bakery sells king cakes year round and ships them all over the world. A few places they've sent them to include Egypt, Africa, Canada, and Iraq.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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