Baby steps to a king cake, New Orleans-style

Back just after Epiphany, I received this great email from a reader named Jenny: I just wanted to let you know that I tried your faux cinnamon roll recipe but not for cinnamon rolls. Down here in New Orleans, Epiphany

King cakes. They're unusual-looking creations, bedazzled in beads, candies and, strangely, a little baby Jesus. King cakes are drawn from the Catholic tradition, Mardi Gras, which is the culmination of the Carnival season.

You don't need to live in New Orleans to enjoy the local festivities of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday! There is something so colorful and fun about the New Orleans' King Cake that I have to make it every year just to feel like I'm

There is a cure to the “I'm-Not-in-New-Orleans” blues and it's called the King Cake. The popular pastry is rich to the taste buds but it's also rich in history, explains Arthur Hardy, the self-proclaimed "World's Foremost Authority on Mardi Gras.

King cake reigns on Fat Tuesday – and the days leading up to it – but there are other traditional indulgences to be had across the country today, as Ash Wednesday looms.