PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) — Tuesday marked Mardi Gras (a.k.a. “Fat Tuesday”). It signifies the last day of indulgence before the fasting season of Lent begins.
A very popular Mardi Gras tradition is the King Cake. Trefzger’s bakery in Peoria Heights made sure to honor the day with the baked good.
Owner Jeff Huebner said he saw an increase in King Cake sales this year.
“You know, we will do an average of five to 10 a day up until actually Fat Tuesday. And then we’ll do about 150 to 200 of them,” Huebner said. “People in New Orleans, you know, they probably go through thousands of them. But here in Peoria, that’s a big deal.”
The baker started making the cakes at 5:30 in the morning over the past couple weeks. The cake starts with a layer of dough, then a layer of sweet coffee cake filling, and is followed by a layer of cinnamon sugar.
The cake is then rolled up and molded into a circle. It is typically decorated with icing and colored purple, green and gold/yellow.
“There are people who just love to have a reason to do something different, and a reason to have some type of a celebration,” Huebner said.
The origin for King Cakes come from 12th century France to commemorate the three kings that traveled to visit the newly-born baby Jesus.
Traditionally, a plastic baby is hidden in the cake and whoever finds the toy is crowned king for the day.