“Beads!! Beads!!” the Mardi Gras parade-goers chant. Forget that! I say, “Pie!! Pie!!” I’m talking about the ultimate Mardi Gras dessert – King Cake Pecan Pie.
King cake is the classic Mardi Gras dessert. It’s a bread-like cake that tastes like a nutty cinnamon roll. King cake is famous for its vibrant decoration in the Mardi Gras colors of gold, green, and purple as well as the tiny baby hidden in the pie (whoever gets the piece with the baby has to host the Mardi Gras party next year). For my Mardi Gras dessert, I used king cake as the crust for a pecan pie, creating a pie that is bready, gooey, sweet, sticky, irresistible, and just plain fun.
Per tradition, I hid a baby inside.
King cakes typically contain plastic babies that are hidden after the bake (they would melt if you baked them). While it’s simple to reach under a cake and hide something inside, pies don’t work the same way. So, I purchased an oven-safe porcelain baby from Acadia Baby on Etsy. The baby is kind of creepy, like like a cross between a Buddha and Casper the Friendly Ghost, but it totally rocks for Mardi Gras fun. It even comes with a chain so the winner can proudly wear it as a necklace (after cleaning).
Jonathan and I had tremendous fun making jokes about the baby arriving in the mail and baking the baby. We are easily amused.
The baby was trivial to hide. I just dropped it into the unbaked pie (as shown above) and then pushed it under all of the pecans. If you still want something in the pie for your guests to find and don’t want to buy a baby, you could adopt the tradition of using a bean instead of a baby.
King Cake Pecan Pie Recipe
If you can’t find either of these, corn syrup would also be tasty.