If you’ve ever been to Mara’s Homemade—the cozy, Syosset-based restaurant that serves some of the island’s best Cajun and Creole cuisine—in early February, you’ll have seen the proof: The restaurant’s long bar completely covered (and highly stacked) with private-order King Cakes.
Made by the restaurant’s chef-owner, Mara Levi, in the restaurant’s back kitchen, Mara’s King Cakes have an almost cult-like following of fans—and rightfully so. The ring-shaped cakes are delicious, made of a sweet, yeasty dough with a glaze topping decorated with purple-, green-, and gold-colored sugar. Inside each cake is—as the tradition dictates—a small plastic baby (to many, Baby Jesus himself), symbolizing luck and prosperity to whomever finds it in their slice of the good stuff.
King Cakes carry a lot of history, and date back over 300 years. They are prepared historically in France, the United Kingdom, a host of Spanish-speaking countries, and most notably in New Orleans here in the US. In some of these places, the cakes are associated with the Feast of the Epiphany following Christmas, but most commonly—at least in New Orleans—the cakes are associated with Mardi Gras. (So much so, in fact, that hundreds of thousands of King Cakes are consumed during the Carnival season in New Orleans alone.)
Luckily for Mara Levi, the call for King Cakes on Long Island is not quite so loud—but still, every winter, hundreds of local residents call Mara’s Homemade to place their private orders, and Mara and her chef-son, Joshua, retire to the kitchen to bake.
Want to taste their King Cake—Long Island’s best—for yourself? Call Mara’s Homemade to place your order: 516-682-9200.
And get there early to pick yours up, if only so you can stay and enjoy the restaurant’s legendary crawfish-stuffed bread. We promise you won’t regret it.