PHOENIX — It's Mardi Gras, and for Christians, it's a day of feasting before fasting begins during Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday. Many in the Valley celebrated Fat Tuesday with some king cake.
"From everywhere, from Mesa, from all over --town driving that far for king cakes," she said.
Karl's Quality Bakery in Phoenix has had a busy few days taking orders for king cakes.
Stefanie Boerner opened the bakery in 1994. She said they've sold dozens of king cakes for people celebrating Mardi Gras over the weekend. And she was surprised to get many calls Tuesday morning.
Terrie Miller said she hadn't had one in 20 years. She was picking up a cake to take to a party Tuesday night.
“I’ve always wanted to find a place that makes king cake, and they’re not easy to find," said Miller.
King cakes are made starting on January 6 when Christians celebrate Epiphany and Three King's Day. Fat Tuesday marks the end of that celebration. Usually, king cake is yellow, green, and purple and is decorated with sugar or beads.
"Traditionally it’s a sweet yeast bread, and everyone makes it maybe a little different, different flavors. Ours has raisins, orange zest, and almonds," said Boerner.
Part of the tradition is finding the little toy doll inside the cake, which represents baby Jesus. Whoever is the lucky one who finds it must host the Mardi Gras celebrations the next year or provide the king cake.