Eating a king cake before or after Carnival is sacrilege here in New Orleans, which is why you can bet we really indulge from Twelfth Night right on through until Mardi Gras Day. Without further ado, where to get king cake in New Orleans, whether you crave something classic, creative, savory, or sippable.
Where To Find King Cake in New Orleans
If it ain’t broke…
Haydel’s Bakery — Their original cake comes in a variety of shapes and colors, but you can even get some innovative flavors like the Cajun Kringle with pecan-praline filling. Visit them at 4037 Jefferson Highway in Metairie, or check out their pop-up at Snow Wizard on Magazine Street (4001 Magazine St.) through Feb. 8.
Manny Randazzo King Cakes — Using an original recipe that dates back 50 years, Randazzo’s king cakes are a fan favorite. Pick up a cake (or three) at their outpost in Metairie, 3515 N. Hullen Street.
Sucre — Edible glitter lends a glossy finish to these king cakes, available for purchase on Magazine Street and Conti Street. You can also have them delivered to you (along with any other Sucre products) from the Magazine Street location via United Cabs for a $15 flat delivery fee. More info here — sweet!
Gracious Bakery — Choose from chocolate- or almond-filled cakes at this local bakery for a lighter, airier iteration of the royal dessert. In Gert Town, 1000 S Jefferson Davis Pkwy #100.
La Boulangerie — Arguably the most classic of the bunch, La Boulangerie‘s king cake takes it way back to the original French gallette des rois. No colorful frosting here (although they do offer those, too). Just buttery, flaky puff pastry with dense almond cream. 4600 Magazine Street.
Beyond cinnamon or cream-filled, these cakes are big on unique flavors.
Cochon Butcher — Try all the creative combinations in perfectly sized mini cakes with baby pigs tucked inside. Meyer lemon brings a bright flavor, or sample nutty options like chocolate pecan or almond. But what’s a king cake without The King? Their “Elvis” variety is a perennial favorite with peanut butter, banana, and house-cured bacon topped with marshmallow.
Willa Jean — Filled with fresh banana, salted caramel, and mascarpone then covered in praline glaze and topped with edible gold leaf, this cake is a favorite by the slice at Domenica, a Besh-owned restaurant. And if a slice won’t cut it? Buy the whole damn thing at fellow Besh restaurant Willa Jean, where it’s available for online ordering and in-store pickup. A portion of the proceeds ($1 for every cake sold) will benefit The John Besh Foundation.
The Green Fork — Though the flavors are traditional, the preparations are thoroughly modern and ideal for those with food allergies or dietary restrictions. The king cakes at The Green Fork are both gluten free and vegan…they’re also delicious, we promise.
Shake Sugary — On St. Claude, this bakery turns out handcrafted king cakes in a bevy of flavors. First pick whether you’d like it vegan or traditional, and from there, select flavors like cherry almond and chocolate chip pecan (both vegan) or blueberry cream cheese and savory apple rosemary. The banana Nutella variety is divine (but not vegan).
Coffee, cocktails, or even a smoothie: have your king cake and sip it, too.
King Cake Smoothie at Smoothie King — Don’t worry, you won’t swallow a tiny, plastic baby in this creamy, cold take on the seasonal favorite. The flavor is sweet and a touch cinnamon-y… try one for yourself at local Smoothie King locations.
King Cake Latte at Community Coffee — Get really meta and eat a slice of king cake with a king cake latte, featuring whipped cream, caramel, and brown sugar-cinnamon. Saving calories? Try their king cake coffee blend instead, black. Plenty of locations.
King Cake Soda from Abita — Pure, Louisiana cane sugar (lots of it) and artesian spring water are the basis of this caffeine-free soda from Abita. The taste is reminiscent of frosting and cinnamon dough. Pick up a six-pack at any local grocery store.
King Cake Snowball at Sno-La Snowball Lounge — A year-round snowball stand is a beautiful thing, and so is a cheesecake-stuffed king cake snowball. Get it in Metairie at 2311 N. Causeway Blvd.
King Cake Old Fashioned at SoBou — Rougaroux Praline Rum takes the place of Bourbon in this non-traditional (but so delicious) Old Fashioned. House-made cinnamon syrup, chicory bitters, and gin-soaked raisins sweeten the deal… plus the baby frozen right into the ice cube.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? Neither does this king cake.
Boudin and Bacon King Cake at Cake Cafe — The name kind of says it all. With boudin and bacon, this is a delicious, single-serving breakfast option with enough heft to carry you nicely through a parade or two.
A Cake by Another Name
Sweet samplings ideal for the non-traditionalists.
Doberge King Cake — The New Orleans-style layer cake from Debbie Does Doberge dons a special king cake update during the season. Get it at Toups Meatery, and savor every layer.
King Cake Donut — District Donuts is the place to try a dressed-up donut during Mardi Gras. Pairs well with the shop’s excellent coffee selections.
King Cake Hand Pie — Leave it to District Donuts’ sister shop, District Hand Pie & Coffee Bar, to come up with a portable and totally decadent (it’s fried) version of king cake. Yum.
King Cake Monkey Bread — Emeril’s New Orleans delights diners with King Cake Monkey Bread for lunch and dinner through Feb. 8 (closed for Mardi Gras day). The flavors rotate weekly — think bananas foster one week and pralines ‘n’ cream the next.
King Cake Macarons — Sucre serves up its signature macarons in king cake flavors this time of year.
King Cake Cannoli — Arabella Casa Di Pasta in the Marigny adds new textures to king cake flavors with its crisp on the outside and custard-y on the inside cannoli. No baby, but an elegant dusting of purple, green, and gold sugar will do just fine.
King Cake Croissant — Even lighter and flakier than a traditional king cake, in a convenient, single-serving size. Available at Salon by Sucre.
Because there’s nothing wrong with picking up a king cake when you’re making groceries.
Breaux Mart — This locally owned and operated grocery store on Magazine Street offers different types of king cake, from unfilled to praline-covered. Pick one up as you make your way down the storied street.
Whole Foods Market — Even if it isn’t healthy, you’ll at least feel healthy indulging in this (probably) GMO-free king cake. Locations in Mid-City, Uptown, and Metairie.
Rouse’s Market — An affordable way to please a crowd! Pick up a packaged cake at your nearest Rouse’s, but remember to hide the baby inside before you dig in (it hangs out, totally naked, in the center of the cake to avoid any choking hazards).