King cake, etouffee recipes to celebrate Mardi Gras

King cake, etouffee recipes to celebrate Mardi Gras

With Lent comes Mardi Gras, and with Fat Tuesday comes all those little plastic babies tucked away in king cakes.

If you want to make your own king cake — Mardi Gras falls on Feb. 16 this year — let’s turn to Ann Maloney, recipes editor at the Washington Post. She suggests buying plastic king cake babies and the purple, green and gold sanding sugars online, but you can also find them at party supply and specialty baking stores.

Lent and Mardi Gras also mark the unofficial start of crawfish season.

In the meantime, don’t hesitate to use frozen crawfish meat for jambalaya or etouffee. This version comes from chef Justin Devillier’s “The New Orleans Kitchen,” which has recipes for every Cajun and Creole dish you can imagine.


Makes 12 servings

Adapted from

New Orleans-area grocery stores began selling and shipping cinnamon-flavored king cakes in the 1980s, making them more popular and readily available.