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There are a lot of things that have gone by the wayside in the interest of public safety... DDT, candy cigarettes, and lawn darts, to name just a few.  Okay, maybe that last one deserves to be on the list... really... what were they thinking?

But one thing that was always a treat, was finding the baby in the king cake.  Tradition dictated that if you found the baby in the King Cake, you had to sponsor the next Mardi Gras party, or purchase the next king cake.  Finding the baby also meant you would have good luck.

History of the King Cake

The King Cake dates back almost to the origins of Mardi Gras itself.  According to wikipedia:

The three kings cake takes its name from the Biblical Magi, also referred to as the three kings.   In Western Christian tradition, Epiphany (also known as "Three Kings Day") celebrates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. The Eve of Epiphany is known as Twelfth Night, which is the last day of the Christmas season, and Epiphany Day itself commences the Epiphany season.

The baby represents the baby Jesus, which is also why the confection is called a "King" cake. The baby used to be made out of porcelain, but then was changed to plastic.  The baby used to be in the cake when you bought the cake, but at some point, it was deemed a choking hazard, and bakeries began placing the baby in the box with the king cake.

But to solve that problem, and keep the tradition alive, what about just creating an edible baby? I'm no baker or food expert, but it seems like some creative type could come up with an edible alternative to the plastic baby, that would be able to be baked in, or at least placed inside the cake before packaging, so the surprise tradition could be kept alive!

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