64 thoughts on “Best Cake Ever

  1. *shudders* king cake. It always looks slightly radioactive to me. And I was always afraid I would choke on the inedible baby. I would much prefer a baby made of marzipan!

  2. I think my absolute favorite in that warning is the fact that they had to SPECIFY “non-edible” baby. Quite frankly not much in the world is truly “non-edible”. I mean heck, almost anything you put in your mouth can be eaten and hence rendered edible….they could have just put “Plastic” baby or “small ceramic baby inside cake poses choking hazard”….

    Mmmmm baby flavoured king-cake…its like donuts in super-size! :D

  3. Mmmm. King cake. Delicious!

    Oh, and Heather B? If you’ve never had king cake (and can look over the many colors) you should try it. Tastes like a cinnamon bun!

    And if the baby were edible…we’d never know who was supposed to buy the King Cake next year! Although…mmm…baby cake….

  4. Dare I ask why there is a non-edible baby inside the cake? Why put one in if it isn’t edible?

    I’m flashing on Monty Python – “But if you took the bones out, it wouldn’t be crunchy now, would it?”

  5. Mmmm king cake. Back when we lived in New Orleans, my family really celebrated mardi gras and we would get a king cake every year. My brother and I would try to cheat and figure out where the baby was by pressing down on the cake to see if we could feel it. So our cake was always terribly mutilated.

    Now that I think about it, being that eager to bite into a naked plastic baby is kind of weird.

  6. Heh. If you are the lucky dog who gets the inedible baby, you get good luck for the year, and you have to buy the king cake for next years mardi gras.

    If the baby is edible…well, how would we know who gets the luck and the job of buying the cake? :-)

  7. Man, king cake is so great. I mean, it’s just a big fucking danish, but a GREAT danish.

    I wonder if you can get it around here. I wonder if it would be half-price today.

  8. The cake is a lie.

    I’m sorry that I cannot keep myself from making nerdy jokes.

    Over my head. Where’ s that from?

  9. Shade, king cake is one of the traditional foods of Mardi Gras. Every store and bakery here in New Orleans has their own version (and I hear they have them over in Mobile, too). King cakes typically aren’t really like cake at all, they’re drier and more pastry-like, though some bakeries make them really moist and more doughnut-like.

    Plain king cakes have cinnamon swirls, and you can get them filled with just about anything – cream cheese, fruit fillings, even chocolate. They’re topped with white icing and sprinkles in Carnival (Rex) colors – purple, green, and gold. Every king cake has a small plastic baby in it.

    In time past (and still in some societies today), the king or queen of next year’s carnival was decided by serving the cake, and whoever got the piece with the golden bean (now baby) was the next royalty. Nowadays the lucky partygoer who finds the baby has to bring a cake to the next party.

    More info in king cake history here.

  10. In time past (and still in some societies today), the king or queen of next year’s carnival was decided by serving the cake, and whoever got the piece with the golden bean (now baby)

    You just know it was a fat person who suggested replacing the bean with a baby.

  11. It gets better: the baby is baby Jesus.
    No really. The king cake tradition is for Mardi Gras in the States, but the baby comes from the Christmasness of similar cakes used to celebrate Epiphany in parts of France.
    Also, you used to be king for the day in those celebrations if you bit the baby/coin/bean/whatever was inside… I think I’d rather be king for the day than king of the crewe for a Mardi Gras.

  12. (and I hear they have them over in Mobile, too)

    And if I were from Mobile I’d tell you that they (Mobilians) had them first — probably while sputtering in indignation. ;-)

  13. The cake is a lie is a reference to the video game Portal in which the players are told they will be rewarded for their tasks with cake. They are ostensibly testing technology for apeture science, and the testing is at best extremely risky. I died 8billion times, but it is an amazing puzzle game that comes packaged with some other games. The rest of the weird jokes are from the lyrics to the closing song of the game.

    I’m being so sincere right now.

  14. Huh… the baby Jesus thing makes sense.

    Anybody else get paczki yesterday? They are pretty much baby donuts when you consider the tiresome rundown of how many calories they have and how many hours of x, y, or z you would have to do to “burn them off.” They are the evil food of February around these parts. Suddenly an item that is only available for a few days once a year is responsible for the Obesity Epidemic.

    Didn’t stop normal people from lining up around the block to buy dozens, of course. God forbid you should have fun with food traditions and enjoy life.

  15. The song, importantly, is by Jonathan Coulton.

    This is important for two reasons: one, he is AWESOME, and two, I totally had drinks with him and I like to brag about meeting famous people. (One time I had Indian food with Kate Harding!)

    Now… who’s got my weighted companion cake?

  16. I want that picture on a postcard.

    I could do the phrase on a shirt…

    … but really, it would be so much funnier on a maternity shirt that I almost feel like regular shirts wouldn’t be worth it.

  17. (Nah, come to think of it, because it says “inside this cake” it would still be funny. But how hilarious is a maternity shirt that says “non-edible baby inside”?)

  18. This is fascinating. About the only people in the UK now who have a Twelfth Cake (as they call it here, because they still do it on Jan 6th) are the actors at the Drury Lane Theatre. I had no idea it was part of Mardi Gras.

    Sadly, I don’t think you’d get away with a non-edible choking hazard baby over here. Too many health and safety regs. Pancakes are our thing for the season, but they reckon pancake racing is dying out because well, you know, tossing a pancake around….you’ll have someone’s eye out with that! That’s before you even get to OMGSATURATEDFAT…

  19. the baby is baby Jesus

    Well, of course it’s a non-edible baby Jesus. Why would anyone eat the body of ….. oh, uh … hang on … lapsed-Catholic memory re-booting …

  20. I look forward to eating a king cake every year. They are wonderful! Cream cheese, lemon, and bavarian cream filled ones are my favorites, but plain king cake is delicious on its own.

    I’ve noticed that in recent years the baby is no longer inserted inside of the cake. Even with the warning on the box, bakers now put the baby in the middle of the cake or on top of it.

    And even still there is a warning on the box.

  21. That reminds me of the new commercial for “Hot Pockets” or some such that brags about the fact that the pocket contains “REAL CHEESE.”

    Which begs the question: as opposed to…

    Processed cheese food. You know, that plasticky stuff that Kraft calls SIngles? Or Cheez Whiz. Or that stuff in Handi-Snacks.

    Hm. Now I want a grilled cheese sandwich. :-D

  22. All this talk of king cake gave me mad cravings and now I’m staring at this and thinking that maybe I’ll spend the evening making it instead of cooking dinner and studying for my astronomy exam.

    Priorities. I has them.

  23. but they reckon pancake racing is dying out

    Pancake…racing?! Do pancakes have limbs and superhero outfits like the foods in our header?

  24. Whoa, that guy kicks ass!

    And I should be cribbing off of these dudes for my currently-running game of The Superest (mine is not nearly as awesome as the link). I just drew a guy with almost exactly that pancake’s mouth, only not half as good.

  25. I was actually looking for packzi (The Wife is of Polish descent) when I found the king cake in question. Given the amusement this photo has provided it is too bad I don’t have a high res photo – just a camera phone one.

  26. Oh god he’s so worked up! His superpower is keeping that pad of butter from dripping into his bandit mask.

  27. Ha!

    The office vegetarian brought King Cake to work last week and I told her she couldn’t eat it because “there’s a baby in King Cake, and that counts as meat.”

    She was not impressed by my charm or wit, so I laughed like a lunatic AT MYSELF!

    Sometimes, ya gotta.

  28. Hee hee hee…good thing you’re not from Mobile, Tricia, or we’d have a problem here ;-) Yeah, technically, Mobile started Carnival and many of the traditions, including king cake, but we’ve improved on ‘em ;)

    I’ve never heard of a packzi before in my life, and I’m 1/4 Polish! In what part of the country is that traditional February food? Why?

  29. Suzanne – funniest. lapsed. Catholic. joke. ever. I’m one too.

    Fillyjonk – you had drinks with Jonathan Coulton?! I am SO jealous! My code monkey husbadnd just introduced me to his music, and hilarity has ensued. I wrote him a geeky fan email and he replied, nice guy.

    “Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?”

  30. kira: I love my fellow Alabamians to the south (well some of them anyway), but the entire concept of “family friendly” Mardi Gras is just wrong. So, yeah, N’Awlinz definitely wins that contest.

  31. this is a discussion of much goodness!!

    obscure food history!
    portal references!
    Jonathon Coulton!
    who, i might add was nice enough NOT to run away screaming when i told him his presence was what actually got me to attend PAX this year. upon reflection, i had just spent a not small chunk of change at his booth at the time.

    now i want cinnamon rolls or danish…

  32. I like to think that the wee baby is there to eat his/her way out of the cake, eventually becoming edible once the whole cake is consumed and they break free of the cumbersome bonds of cardboard packaging…I mean, it has to be where chubby babies come from, right?

    mmmm king-cake flavored babies mashed into pancakes topped with butter mmmmmm

  33. I like to think that the wee baby is there to eat his/her way out of the cake

    OMG, you guys. I think DowntownVenus just identified the source of the childhood obesity epidemic.

  34. I am not too familiar with the origins of paczki or how widespread they are, but I have heard some indications that they might be sort of a regional Michigan (or maybe Midwest) thing. But that might just be our local media trying to co-opt them, I’m not sure.

    Either way, IMO you can’t go wrong with delicious donuts filled with everything from typical doughnutty stuff like raspberry or lemon or custard, to prune and apricot (which I think are considered the more traditional paczki filling). Though I know there are plenty out there who do not appreciate the prune as I do. :)

    I went to Hamtramck (a traditionally Polish suburb of Detroit) to get mine this year on a pretty much unanimous ruling that the best ones are to be gotten there. I don’t fuck around when it comes to donuts (after all, I’m a fatty, right?), so I wanted the best. And I have to say, it was worth it, though you can also get them at pretty much any grocery store around here.

    Anyway, all that to say that I am in no way Polish (I just like to ride the coattails of any donut-related custom) so I’m not sure to what extent paczki are traditional outside of this area.

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