Mexican bakery rushes to fill huge demand for King Cake

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Bakery rushes to bake thousands of King Cakes.

The rush is on for a Mexican bakery in Durham with a huge demand for King Cake.

Three Kings Day, or Epiphany, is January 6 and Panaderia Pahuatlan makes and sells thousands of cakes to celebrate.

Surveillance video from last year at the bakery shows dozens of folks clamoring for King Cake.

The baking for Three Kings Day is already underway - weighing dough, rolling it out, stuffing it with a little toy surprise, and decorating before it hits the oven.

The cake is called a "Rosca de Reyes" and it's a big holiday tradition in a lot of Latino countries, especially Mexico. Whoever gets the piece with the little toy hosts the next party.

"We make 1,000 to 1,200 each year," bakery owner Rodrigo Castillo Ortiz said, "and it takes a couple days for us to get ready and have everything set up for those days."

It takes a lot of hands to get these cakes done on time - eight people working all hours, until midnight, at least four days before Three Kings Day.

"I've been baking ever since I'm 9 years old," Castillo Ortiz said. "I have 33 years of experience, and it makes me very proud that I've started from so small and I've worked so hard for this."

It's a tradition passed down from his father in Mexico, one he hopes will keep going - reborn for him in the U.S.

"My bakery started on a stove. It started without having anything to weigh the ingredients. I had to calculate everything," he said.

He built his seven bakery business by hand.

He's baking a giant 5-foot-6 Rosca, inspired by Mexican tradition too, to give back to the community. He's asking folks to come out and share a slice next Monday, January 8 at 4 p.m.

"It gives me a lot of pride to be able to share such a big Rosca that I've made with my own hands," Castillo Ortiz said.
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foodbakingcakemexicansmall businessfoodholidaychristmasdurham county newsDurhamDurham County
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