David Guas' King Cake (photo by Ellen Silverman)

This post has been updated.
Tomorrow is the last and 12th day of Christmas (Epiphany), even Ethiopian Christmas (Coptic). We never celebrated the last day of Christmas in the protestant church. Three Kings Day celebrates the visit of the 3 Magi or Kings bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. A King Cake is baked with a little toy baby inside. The person who gets the piece of cake with the baby is King for a day. Newbies, be advised. King Cake resembles and tastes more like a big yeasty danish than a cake.

But wait. The celebration continues because Kings Day or Epiphany is just the first appearance of the King Cake. You’ve got nearly a month to enjoy the cake leading all the way up to Fat Tuesday (that’s Mardi Gras) February 7. According to my calendar, there’s a full moon that night. Should be quite a party before Lent begins. My bad. Fat Tuesday is February 21 and there’s a new moon. And I need a better calendar. Still. Party time in February and plenty time for King Cake.

I remember back in the day, co-workers ordered their King Cakes directly from the source. You just didn’t touch King Cake from anyplace else. But when you want it fresh and hot (and for me it’s the hot Beignet fix), you gotta go local. Bayou Bakery is my local source. Owner/chef and New Orleans native David Guas is cooking up King Cakes for the Cooking Channel’s “Unique Sweets” all day tomorrow. People are invited to watch; just email simone[at]simonesez[dot]com

Bayou Bakery is located at 1515 N Courthouse Road Arlington, VA 22201

Another King Cake source – make it yourself! Last year Tim Carman posted an article with recipe links in the Washington Post Food section for King Cake. David Guas is mentioned and quoted. Recipes include a gluten-free King Cake. Something tells me, picking up a King Cake from the bakery is just part of the grand tradition.

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