Naperville’s Fiene’s Bakery bakes up king cakes for Fat Tuesday

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Fat Tuesday is just around the corner, and one Naperville bakery is prepping a delicious Mardi Gras favorite to help celebrate. Fiene’s Bakery at 1603 N. Aurora Rd, Ste. 101-103 is offering up king cakes for sale for the second year in a row.

“We always like to experiment with new recipes, so we thought it would be fun. We heard people were looking for king cake, so we decided to, to make up a recipe and work on it until it was perfect so that we could sell the best king cake we could,” said Fiene’s manager, Emily Dominguez.

What exactly is a king cake?

Typically an oval or circle-shaped cake, it’s decorated with bright icing or sprinkles in the colors of Mardi Gras, making it resemble a king’s crown. At Fiene’s it’s made with a yeasted dough.

“It’s great because there’s just so much butter in the dough and butter makes everything good. Then we put a lot of cinnamon sugar in it and top it off with the beautiful frosting and the colored sugar as well,” said Fiene’s Bakery owner Meghan Fiene. 

Historically, the cake took hold as a celebration for Epiphany on January 6, which for Christians marks the arrival of the three kings delivering gifts to baby Jesus. But now, from that day through Fat Tuesday, it’s become a celebratory dessert for fans of Mardi Gras.

The tradition of a hidden surprise inside

Each cake typically comes with a surprise: a tiny baby figurine hidden somewhere inside. Some say whoever finds it becomes king for the day…while others say it comes with an obligation.

“I believe the tradition is that that person has to buy the cake the next year,” said Fiene.

But for safety’s sake, at Fiene’s, it comes on the side.

“The customers can choose if they want to hide it in the cake, if they just want to put it on the top, whatever they feel is fitting,” said Fiene. 

It’s a tasty treat bringing a bit of New Orleans to Naperville just in time for Fat Tuesday. 

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