Luck or Responsibility? Delving Into the Meaning of Finding the Baby in a King Cake

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Jan. 12 2024, Published 4:54 p.m. ET

Mardi Gras king cake.
Source: Getty Images

Hey, it may only be January, but guess what? King cake season is back! While some folks might think Mardi Gras is just a one-day shindig, the savvy New Orleanians know better — it's a whole season of revelry and, of course, diving into the delectable wonder that is king cake. Ugh, it's so good!

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Speaking about that delicious king cake, are you feeling lucky enough to find the baby in your slice? Wouldn't that be the greatest thing ever?! If you're not in the loop about the whole "baby in the king cake" tradition, don't dart away just yet — we've got all the deets you need to join the festive fun.

A plastic baby waits to be inserted into a fresh king cake.
Source: Getty Images
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What does it mean if you find the baby in a king cake?

Sure, king cakes come in various styles, but the OG is a twisted cinnamon roll-style dough masterpiece. It might flaunt some fancy icing or sugar, possibly rocking the classic Mardi Gras colors — purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. And let's not forget the tempting fillings like cream cheese, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry.

Now, here's the inside scoop on the tiny porcelain baby (which represents Jesus) tucked away in the scrumptious king cake. It's a nod to celebrating Christian faith, and finding the baby in your slice of the king cake often symbolizes luck and prosperity. The lucky finder then becomes the "king" or "queen" of the evening.

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Alongside this stroke of good fortune comes a unique responsibility — the person who discovers the baby often takes on the role of planning the following year's festivities. This might involve providing the king cake for the event or even taking on the hosting duties for the next Mardi Gras party.

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As briefly mentioned earlier, the presence of the baby in the king cake conveys a deeper meaning — a celebration of Christian faith. This symbolic representation of baby Jesus adds a spiritual dimension to the occasion.

So, if you're fortunate enough to find this tiny emblem, you not only become a bearer of good fortune but also partake in the rich tradition of intertwining joyous Mardi Gras celebrations with a deeper sense of religious significance.

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