Party Panache, Gearing up for Mardi Gras!

People along the Gulf Coast are very serious about Mardi Gras.  You might be surprised to learn that the very first Mardi Gras celebrations were in Mobile, Alabama, not New Orleans~

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Decorations go up on King’s day Jan. 6, 12 days after Christmas, the feast of the Epiphany.  It celebrates the three kings, bringing their gifts to baby Jesus.


King’s day marks the beginning of Mardi Gras season.  From Jan 6 until Fat Tuesday, March 4th this year, locals stay busy with parties, parades and celebrations.   Schools are even closed for vacation the week of Fat Tuesday in many places, because of all the festivities!

mardi gras platter

One of my good friends is on the court of the Krewe,  Bon Temps Cabrix.  This is one of the local Krewes in Orange Beach.  So exciting!  She asked me to paint a platter for King Robin~ and glasses for her court

mardi gras tableware

The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple [justice], gold [power], and green [faith].


Bon Temps Cabrix is French for good time kids [goats]!  They have some wild and crazy parties!


There are lots of wreaths and fun decorations everywhere


This isn’t really the French Quarter, it’s a little shopping plaza nearby in Fairhope, Alabama


There is even a Mardi Gras tree in our local grocery store!

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Balloons and cakes galore!

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The traditional food all season is King Cake.  There are many versions and I have a new recipe posting in a few weeks, but in the meantime I want to re-share an easy peasy version I made last year.  It’s, well, it’s fit for a King!  The cakes were made circular to represent the route that the kings took to get to the Christ child.

king cake

Originally the cakes were baked with a small pea or coin.  The person who got the piece with the token was said to be blessed with good luck for the coming year.  The tokens have been replaced in modern times with a small plastic baby, representing Jesus.  Whoever gets the baby is expected to host a King cake party in the next year


I bought this cake at Publix for us to nibble on, but my version is almost as easy as buying one at the deli~

mardi gras cake thepaintedapron

It’s easy because you use crescent rolls.  You don’t have to make the colored icing either, it’s just as good with a little white drizzle and a sprinkle of sugar.


Course Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, French
Servings 8


  • 1 can 8, crescent rolls
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • powdered sugar
  • almond extract {the secret ingredient}
  • milk
  • yellow, green, purple food color gels
  • sparkling sugar or colored sugars


  • Unroll crescent rolls and press to seal all perforations.
  • Mix vanilla in with the melted butter. Spread butter and vanilla over crescent rolls.
  • Mix pecans with cinnamon and brown sugar. Top butter with pecan mixture.
  • Starting with the long end, roll up jelly roll style and form into a circle. Pinch edges together. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes (until golden brown).
  • After the cake has cooled, mix together powdered sugar and milk and almond extract to make an icing.
  • For each color start with 1/8 cup powdered sugar. Add 1 T milk, 1/2 tsp almond extract to a tiny bowl with a few drops of desired food coloring and stir. Once color is mixed add it to the sugar and stir. Continue to add sugar {up to another 1/8 cup or so} until glaze/icing is the desired consistency. Add more milk if it gets too thick.
  • Top cake with icing and sprinkle with colored sugar.


this is just as good with plain white sugar icing, drizzle or glaze!
Keyword cinnamon cake, colored icing, crescent rolls, easy king cake, Fat Tuesday, King cake, Mardi Gras

We will be celebrating all through February so stop by any time!


I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Between Naps on the Porch

The Dedicated House

Coastal Charm

The Scoop

A Stroll Thru Life

The Gunny Sack

Memories by the Mile

The Style Sisters

Easy Life

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Love Bakes Good Cakes

Foodie Friday

It All Started with Paint

Will Cook for Smiles

Seasonal Sunday

23 Responses to “Party Panache, Gearing up for Mardi Gras!”
  1. lulu says:

    With Mardi Gras being a big deal here as well and yellow, green and purple being the favored colors, I’m embarrassed to tell you I’ve never gotten, made or eaten a king’s cake!

    • You are a fabulous cook Linda, you should make one! King cake never appealed to me either but I think you’ll love it, it’s great for breakfast, full of cinnamon~


  2. Whoa! March 4th this year?!??!?! That’s late!!! I didn’t realize it was going to be that late! Well, that’s kind of a relief! It’s usually all up on top of Valentine’s Day.

    I make Mardi Gras a big deal here. A lot of people in Kansas City celebrate it, and the businesses sure cash in on it! You can’t go in a grocery store or bakery without seeing tons of King cakes all piled up! No parades here that I’m aware of (KC is famous for their St. Patrick’s Day parade since we have lots and lots of Irish people here), but people celebrate just the same with food & fun. Oh, and I actually did the decor for a Krewe here a couple of years ago for a big fundraiser they did. It was a ton of work, but it turned out great.

    I never considered making a King cake from crescent rolls! I have fashioned one using cinnamon roll dough, though, and it was delicious. I’m not very good with making yeast products, so I’m willing to try whatever ready-made options available!

    I love all the decor posted from around Fairhope! The door wreaths really intrigue me. I’ve never put a Mardi Gras door wreath up, but this year I just might! It will really be fun to make…I hope! 🙂

  3. Jenna, Your hand painted plate and glasses are lovely. I know your friend is proud of them.

    I have just learned about a king’s cake recently and I liked your more detailed explanation. I might try your recipe for King’s Cake.

  4. Rosie says:

    Gosh, being raised in the northeast and living in So. CA, I never knew that Madri Gras was such an extensive holiday. I knew there was a parade and celebrations in New Orleans, but didn’t know that there were house decorations and food traditions in the surrounding areas as well. How fun! Your painted plates and glasses are beautiful, and sure to be appreciated. Enjoy the festive holiday. It’s a great way to welcome spring! Rosie

    • Thanks Rosie, I grew up in the Northeast and Southern Cal! Moved to Alabama when I married a Southern boy and it is such a fun place to live, we celebrate everything! Thanks for your visit, we’re expecting snow today!!

  5. I have this on my bucket list to celebrate this holiday in style in New Orleans someday. You have me sighing….remembering I still haven’t made it there☺ Love the kings cake.

  6. laurie says:

    Jenna, it all looks like so much fun. How lucky that your friend had such a talented friend to paint the platter and stems for her. They turned out great! What a great recipe for the King Cake. Thank you for sharing it.

    I loved all of the clever ideas on your wine tasting table and was happy to post it on my blog. I’m glad it was ok with you. laurie

  7. hollybertone says:

    Hi Jenna – I totally forgot that you live in that area and was like… whoa Mardi Gras already but I know you all celebrate that holiday like it’s no one’s business. I’ve always been intrigued by Mardi Gras and it seems like such a fun holiday to celebrate. Can’t wait to see more from you! Hugs, Holly

  8. How fun! I love all of the great decorations-party on:@)

  9. Nancy says:

    What a wonderful recipe! Oh my, what fun traditions and I’m looking forward to checking in to see what else you have in store for us in February!

  10. Mary says:

    Laissez les bons temps rouler Jenna! Love how easy the cake is and what temptations there must be at the grocery store if there is a tree up in celebration! Your friend must be thrilled with her festive glasses & platter!

  11. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life says:

    Oh my so fun. I love all of the decor and beads, the cakes look fabulous too. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  12. Love the platter and thanks for sharing that recipe.


  13. Wow, I am so surprised to find out the meanings of some of the celebration. I had no idea! Your cake looks tasty too! Thanks for posting on the Four Seasons Blog Hop! Sandra from Scrumptilicious 4 You!

  14. Bev says:

    Love this recipe, and I will definitely be trying it! I have made one out of frozen bread dough that is really good also.

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