A Mardi Gras king cake and beads.
The Layered Symbolism Behind Mardi Gras King Cake

Around Mardi Gras, a popular delicacy in New Orleans called king cake is a colorful pastry ring with a small figurine of a baby baked inside.

This pastry is made with brioche dough and features delicious fillings, icing, and sprinkles in traditional Mardi Gras colors like green, purple, and gold.

The cake is circular as Mardi Gras begins on the Epiphany, aka Three Kings' Day, when the wise men followed a circuitous path to the Baby Jesus, avoiding detection by King Herod.

The figure baked inside the cake represents the Christ Child. The person who finds the baby figure symbolically becomes king that day and is expected to pay for the next party.