King Cake 101: Bake or find the Mardi Gras confection of your dream in 2017

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The colorful Cake Cafe and Bakery goat cheese and apple king cake. (Photo by Todd A. Price, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune) ( )

It's Jan. 6, so that means New Orleanians have king cake on the brain. The traditionalists among us haven't had a slice since Feb. 9, 2016. We're ready.

Because king cake is all anyone wants to talk about today, we have rounded up the sweetest little collection of reporting we've done on this topic.

Dig in!

Find the king cake that suits you

We here at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune have created a searchable guide to around 50 king cake purveyors. Find them by baker or city or choose to see which ones we like best. We also note who ships!

2017 MARDI GRAS KING CAKE GUIDE

How to make a king cake

Food writer Judy Walker takes you through the process of making king cake at home. Is it easy? No. It is, however, cheaper in most cases. Is it worth the effort when there are so very many great ones in bakeries around the city -- many of whom will ship one to your door no matter where you live? Read on and you decide.

JUDY WALKER SHOWS YOU HOW TO MAKE KING CAKE

King cakes didn't always look the way they do today

Want to eat a king cake the way the did in the olden days? We've rounded up a recipe from our archives.

KING CAKE RECIPE OF OLD

How to host a king cake swap party

Imagine a table laden with king cakes from all around the city. You could taste 10, 15, maybe 20 different ones. Sound like heaven? Consider hosting a king cake exchange party like the one Christine Miller has every year.

HOST A KING CAKE EXCHANGE PARTY

Mark your calendar for the King Cake Festival

Another way to taste a lot of king cakes all at the same time is to go to Ohsner King Cake Festival on Jan. 29 in Champion Square. Here is everything you need to know.

EAT AND VOTE FOR BEST OF KING CAKE FEST

Where do king cake babies come from?

Want to start a debate? Ask a few friends why there are plastic babies in king cakes.

WHY IS THERE A BABY IN KING CAKE?

Find out why Carnival starts on Jan. 6

Mardi Gras has a rich history. Doug MacCash notes: "Starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday (Jan. 6), you are free to say "happy Mardi Gras" to the bus driver, in the same way you might start saying "Merry Christmas" on the first day after Thanksgiving." Here's why...

CARNIVAL KNOWLEDGE FOR NEWBIES

King cake without the guilt

Gotta have that king cake flavor, but can't manage the calories. Molly Kimball got creative with some guilt-free swaps. Take a look.

HEALTHIER KING CAKE SWAPS