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Arts & Culture

King Cake Season Has Arrived!

With the start of the Mardi Gras season on Twelfth Night, King Cake season starts in New Orleans, with Haydel’s and Randazzo’s bakeries leading the pack.

"Da Parish" king cake from Haydel's Bakery. Photo Credit:
"Da Parish" king cake from Haydel's Bakery. (Photo Credit:

The reason the first week of January is so wonderful and exciting is because January 6 marks the beginning of 2011 carnival season. The Mardi Gras balls begin, we get  a chance to dance the night away in fabulous Mardi Gras sparkling gowns as we celebrate all the krewes of New Orleans. Then as we get even closer to Mardi Gras, the parades begin! The beautiful themed floats, creatively stunning krewe costumes and float throws will get us all excited. I promise not to push anyone for a pair of teal long beads. I can’t forget one of the most important things of carnival season, king cake. The yummy beautiful purple, yellow and green cake will surely light up anyone’s eyes.

King cake is a delightful cinnamon filled dough shaped cake in a circle with colored sugars. King cake represents the three kings who brought gifts to the Christ child on the Twelfth night. In each cake a plastic baby is baked inside which determines who will be next to purchase a king cake.

The Randazzo Family preparing a king cake. (Photo Credit:

Throughout New Orleans there are so many choices for king cake to suit your taste buds. We all need to begin our quest to find the perfect king cake. To help start your list, two of the most famous king cake creators have to be Randazzo King Cakes and Haydel’s Bakery. Randazzo has served Louisiana since 1965 when the family opened HiLan Bakery in Chalmette, Louisiana. Randazzo freshly baked king cakes just may make you start second lining in the middle of the street. With 10 types of king cakes oozing greatness you won’t go hungry. I have my eye on the Royal king cake filled with cream cheese, apple, lemon and strawberry filling. The pecan praline king cake will definitely also call your name.

Haydel’s is a favorite of mine is a wonderful bakery that has served New Orleans for over three generations. Haydel’s Bakery is also the home to the World’s Largest King Cake! David Haydel is the only baker in Louisiana that is internationally certified Craftsman and Master Baker, how can you not want to try their king cakes? Haydel’s Bakery has over five king cakes, I have my eyes on a German chocolate filling.

The king cake braiding process. (Photo Credit:

For those of you looking to make your own king cake, here is a simple recipe created by Emeril Lagasse to get you started. Just try not to eat all of your colored sugar beforehand.

Starting tomorrow, get your fill of the  wonderful yummy king cakes around town. Indulge in the season and even collect you a few plastic babies. And don’t forget to let us know your favorite king cake in the comment section!

King Cake Season
January 6, 2011 –  March 8, 2011