Since moving to Seattle, bakery visits have become so integral in my life. There are so many good options in our area. Proximity plus my sweet tooth equals trouble for me. When I learned a nearby bakery makes King cakes, I knew I had to have one for our Epiphany celebration!
Since I was a kid, my family would leave our Christmas decorations out until Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings, also known as the three wise men, or the magi. At the start of Advent the three statues of the kings would be far from the manger scene. Each day it was my job to move the kings one step closer to the barn. At Christmas we would put out the baby Jesus statue, but the kings wouldn’t reach him until January 6.
I started this same tradition with my son. Usually this is the extent of our celebration, but after learning of a local French bakery that makes King’s cakes I needed to try.
If I was going to get a cake, then I might as well make an event of it. I would need some decorations right?
Crowns for Epiphany party.
I invited a friend over to help celebrate with us and to keep my kiddo company.
If I had more time I would have either made crowns or prepped materials for the kids to make crowns.
There are so many options for crowns. You can get simple or elaborate.
Other than the cake, which came with the cute crown, I didn’t do too much. Since we leave our Christmas decorations out there wasn’t too much else to do.
Some gold stars left over from a birthday and of course the magi statues along with baby Jesus rounded out my table decorations.
My three kings are a thrift find and the baby Jesus is from a set I purchased in Ecuador.
On the bakery website they explain the French tradition and the roll of the cake.
Beyond sharing a delicious dessert with family and guests, there is a small porcelain figure hidden amongst the layers. Some people bake their own cakes and simply hide a bean in the cake.
Whoever finds the figure or the bean in their slice is king or queen for the day! The cakes are sold with a paper crown for the lucky winner.
In Latin cultures, like parts of Mexico some say whoever finds the figure will have to host and buy tamales for Día de la Candelaria which falls on February 2nd. Other variations, say the finder will host the following Día de Los Reyes, Epiphany holiday.
Epiphany place setting
To tie into the gold crowns and stars I used gold utensils and mismatch vintage plates with gold accents.
The lucky slice
The very first slice I cut had the porcelain fève!
Once we cleaned off the little figure we saw that it is an angel.
Other cakes will have a small baby Jesus statue inside.
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Questions frequently asked about Epiphany
Is king cake a Catholic holiday?
The history of the king cake came from European and Roman Catholic roots, which made its way into the New Orleans area in the 1870s. In contrast to the French king cakes, which are a flaky puff pastry, the New Orleans style is similar to the Spanish tradition, called rosca de reyes which is oval-shaped and topped with icing.
However, anyone can enjoy a king cake! Plus, religion or not, you can throw a party!
How long do you eat King’s cake?
You can eat King Cake from Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany, to Mardi Gras Day, which is the day before Ash Wednesday. This span of time is know as carnival.
What is Epiphany?
Also known as Twelfth Night, which historically marks the arrival of the three wise men/kings in Bethlehem who delivered gifts to the baby Jesus.
What countries celebrate Epiphany?
Epiphany is a public holiday in countries such as Austria, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Ethiopia (but on different date that varies annually), parts of Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Spain, and Uruguay.
Are gifts given for Epiphany?
Gifts are traditionally given on Epiphany in Spain and in many Latin American countries. Children write letters to the Magi on the feast’s eve, requesting presents. Children often leave their shoes out overnight to find presents in the morning.
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Thanks so much for reading! I’ve found some fun crown options, like crafty sets that kids and adults can color or bedazzle. I also marked some plates and napkins for easy entertaining.
I had never heard of this before your post. It’s so interesting. Bakeries are trouble for me too, having an enormous sweet tooth. Back on Keto this week to try and lose those Christmas kilos!
Glad it was informative! Seattle area would be bad news for you. Thanks for stopping by Carol
Loved your childhood story. We haven’t done King’s cake though even grocery stores have them in our area.
Thanks Linda! Happy New Year! I did notice grocery stores in the Los Angeles area where I used to live started carrying king’s cakes too. I haven’t seen them here in Seattle markets though. Interesting to see the regional differences.
I love learning while enjoying a post. Your table setting is adorable 🙂
That makes me so happy! Thanks for reading
I’ve never heard of this so thank you for sharing! So interesting!
Thanks for stopping by! Happy to share 😊 Have a great day!
I had no idea that there was another type of King cake. I have a post on my blog about our style King cake. I love to learn new things. Thanks for sharing, Kippi
I’ll have to check yours out! Thanks for reading Kippi ❤️