King Cakes are like cinnamon rolls but twisted into a large oval. The tops are covered with white icing and then sprinkled with sugar dyed purple, green, and gold (yellow).
Hidden inside the king cake is a plastic baby about the size of an almond. Tradition has it that the person who finds the baby in the king cake is the next queen or king and must host the next king cake party.
In Old Tradition, King cakes originated, like mardi Gras, from the pagans. They had a celebration where a young man was to be treated like a king for a full year. He was denied nothing during his reign. After the year was over, he became a human sacrifice to the gods.
To continue this custom, the Christian Church encouraged an observance calling for the preperation of a king cake containing a bean. Whoever recieved the bean became king for a week. Eventually this tradition replaced the sacrificial pagan rite.