Fat Tuesday king cakes keep Anchorage bakery busy
King cakes are considered a Mardi Gras must-have at House of Bread in Anchorage. It’s one of the few bakeries in town where Alaskans can find the Fat Tuesday treat.
“The purple represents justice, the green sprinkles represent faith and our gold represents power and that is very traditional for Mardi Gras,” manager Carson Baldiviez said, explaining the cake’s signature colors.
The bakery planned ahead this year, taking as many pre-orders as it could. Bakers began at midnight to ensure all Baldiviez and his crew had to do on Tuesday was frost and sprinkle.
“It was really hard to find this many colored sprinkles in town,” he laughed, adding that they’d go through about 50 pounds of sprinkles altogether.
Baldiviez said they made about 500 cakes leading up to the Catholic holiday, when people traditionally splurge on rich foods before fasting for Lent.
“January and February are pretty slow in the restaurant industry in Anchorage, so Mardi Gras’ a good party to have before we move into Easter and the other holidays,” he explained.
People from New Orleans, like customer Kelin Colberg, were thrilled to find their hometown treat in the Last Frontier.
“We tried to have them shipped up and we actually couldn’t,” Colberg said. “The bakeries thought that perhaps FedEx didn’t deliver to Alaska.”
She said king cake is a sweet staple of her family’s Fat Tuesday tradition.
“It’s something unique, culturally, that is part of my family and we want to continue that, preserve it, share it with my kids,” Colberg said. “My oldest child is in Sweden this year and he baked king cake there for his Swedish family.”