Growing up in New Orleans, we ate king cakes every year. The season was from King's Day in early January until Mardi Gras.
We would have king cake parties and the person who got the piece with the plastic baby (or bean) would have to buy the king cake for the next party.
It was always great fun. I remember when we were teenagers that my neighbor, Timmy, got the baby one time and tried to hide it in his sock so he would not have to buy the next king cake.
As you can see in the picture that I took of a king cake that was bought from a local bakery, the cake is covered with three different colored sugars: purple, gold and green. They are the traditional colors of Mardi Gras.
In the past, king cakes were just bread-like creations sprinkled with sugar. Things have evolved and now they have stuffed king cakes. They put almost any kind of filling you can imagine. Cream cheese, jellies, even chocolate.
It is a beloved tradition and I suggest that you try one out. You can order king cakes online year round. Just do a search and you should be able to find a good one!