Eating a king cake before or after Carnival is sacrilege here in New Orleans, which is why you can bet we indulge from Twelfth Night (Jan. 6) through Mardi Gras Day. We’re getting y’all ready for the season with our roundup of All Things King Cake. Without further ado, here’s our list, whether you crave something classic, creative, savory, or sippable. Happy carnival, y’all!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Antoine’s Famous Cakes — Venture over to the West Bank or Metry and get yourself one of our favorite classic King Cakes at Antoine’s. They also offer custom king cakes, and deliver. Yup, you don’t even have to leave your house to get your King Cake fix. 1300 Stumpf Blvd. and 3030 Severn Avenue.
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 St.
Haydel’s Bakery — Their original cake comes in a variety of shapes and colors, but you can order special Christmas and Saints-themed king cakes as well. 4037 Jefferson Hwy.
Dong Phuong — These king cakes were so popular last year, you were lucky if you got your hands on one. (The lines were hours long). Choose from classic cinnamon, cream cheese, strawberry, coconut, or pecan this Mardi Gras season. Order online here. 14207 Chef Menteur Hwy.
Caluda’s King Cake— With unique flavors such as chocolate chip cookie dough, bananas foster, and Oreo cream cheese rotating each week during the Mardi Gras season, you’ll have the chance to sink your teeth into something new over and over again. Trust us, you’ll be back at this shop more than once this Carnival season. 1536 River Oaks Rd.
Green Fork — As far as “healthy” goes when put in front of the words “king cake,” there aren’t many options. Luckily at Green Fork, their vegan and gluten-free king cakes are here to save the day. Pick up a King Cake Muffin for more mindful portion sizes. 1400 Prytania St.
Bywater Bakery — This bakery offers eight different flavors of king cake. Flavors include a Creole cream cheese-filled cake, a chantilly-filled cake, and a cinnamon-apple variety. 3624 Dauphine St.
Sucré — Edible glitter lends a glossy finish to these king cakes, available for purchase in Metairie, Uptown, or in the French Quarter. Pick up some Mardi Gras macarons while you’re there. 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., 622 A Conti St. and 3025 Magazine St.
Sweet Savor’s Bakery — This Gentilly bakery has all the classics, including traditional and filled king cakes. Try apple, cherry, cream cheese, or bavarian cream-filled king cakes throughout the season. 5242 Elysian Fields Ave.
Shake Sugary — It’s sugar overload at this bakery in the Bywater, and Mardi Gras is no different. Stop in for their chocolate chip pecan, cherry chocolate, raspberry lemon, and classic king cakes, as well as vegan and gluten-free options, this Carnival season. 3304 St Claude Ave.
Laurel Street Bakery — Indulge in just a slice of Laurel Street Bakery’s king cake, or splurge for the whole thing. Either way, you’re in for a treat. 2701 S Broad St.
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 St.
Beyond cinnamon or cream-filled, these cakes are big on unique flavors.
Willa Jean — This year’s specialty king cake at Willa Jean is the Caramel Crunch King Cake. This cake is almost too beautiful to eat with its perfect cream cheese frosting petals. Orders must be placed online 48 hours in advance, and then picked up on location. 611 O’Keefe Ave.
Cochon Butcher — At Cochon, you’ll find both classic king cakes and innovative flavors. Their “Elvis” variety is a perennial favorite with peanut butter, banana, and house-cured bacon topped with marshmallow available by the slice. For the full king cake, place your order 24 hours ahead. 930 Tchoupitoulas St.
Gracious Bakery — This year, Gracious Bakery features Valrhona Chocolate in their specialty cakes and flavors include cinnamon with fancy Sprinkles and pecan praline. Their Queen Cakes have frangipan filling. Also, new this year are colorful Parti Gras Doberge bites and, for the traditionalists, the Galette des Rois impresses with their custom porcelain feve. 2854 St. Charles Ave., 1000 S. Jefferson Pkwy., and 4930 Prytania St.
District: Donuts.Sliders.Brews — This shop known for its outrageous donuts is back with a king cake that lives up to its reputation. Their king cake is a croissant cake lightly filled with cream cheese and finished with salted caramel and pearl embellishments. Yum! Multiple locations
NOCCA — Once again, NOCCA’s Culinary Arts department is offering its take on this seasonal, sugary treat with the Satsuma Almond King Cake. Layers of flaky puff pastry with rich almond paste and cream cheese, with a bright, refreshing, citrus filling and satsumas supplied by Press Street Gardens. These king cakes are perfect for serving at parties, gifting, or for enjoying at home with family. You can pick one up at the King Cake Hub in Mid-City. 4800 Canal St.
Maurice French Pastries — Jean-Luc’s specialty king cakes are a must-try at Maurice French Pastries. This year’s specialty king cakes include the King Cake Benedict: traditional cinnamon butter brioche filled with hollandaise sauce, fresh poached eggs, crispy bacon and fresh asparagus spears. For a sweet option, try the Pontchatoula King Cake stuffed with Bavarian cream. Pick up a traditional, filled, or French king cake while you’re here. Make sure to call ahead for specialty orders. 3501 Hessmer Ave., Metairie and 4949 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
Breads on Oak — All traditional and filled King Cakes are both organic and vegan at this Uptown bakery. Boasting natural ingredients and coloring, you can indulge without feeling quite so guilty. 8640 Oak St.
New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery — At this quaint neighborhood cafe and bakery, you’ll find king cakes in traditional, apple goat cheese, raspberry cream cheese, and pecan cream cheese, as well as Mini French King Cakes (special order). Be sure to try the boudin king cake, available only on Fridays. 2440 Chartres St.
Shaya — The salted caramel & cinnamon babka king cake is ooey, gooey, and available for pick-up at this uptown restaurant. 4213 Magazine St.
Coffee or cocktails: have your king cake and sip it, too.
King Cake Milkshake at Frey Smoked Meat Co. — This Mid-City eatery prides itself on its barbecue plates and hearty sides, but their seasonal king cake milkshake is a showstopper. It’s quite the daunting treat, and we recommend grabbing a friend – or two – to share this dessert with you (which comes complete with a slice of king cake on top, of course). 4141 Bienville St.
King Cake Bevvy at Bourbon House — The delicious King Cake Bevvy at Bourbon House features a dusting of purple, green, and gold sprinkles to the top of the drink. Order the King Cake pâte à choux, filled with almond-orange-cinnamon pastry cream, almond icing, and tricolor sugar to go along with your drink. 144 Bourbon St.
French Truck Coffee — Lemony, fruity, well-rounded, and creamy are terms used to describe the French Truck Coffee Mardi Gras Blend known as Big Chief. You’re going to need a lot of coffee to get through the carnival season. You can order the blend here. Multiple locations
King Cake Latte at CC’s — Come Carnival season, you’ll find Mardi Gras-inspired drinks taking over at CC’s Coffee House. Try the Mardi Gras Mambo Latte or the King Cake Mochassippi for a frozen treat. Multiple locations
King Cake Protein Velvet Ice at PJ’s Coffee — If you’re looking for a “healthier” option when it comes to king cakes, the King Cake Protein Velvet Ice is for you. If you want to indulge, order the King Cake Latte. New to the PJ’s Coffee Mardi Gras menu this year is the Zulu Coconut Iced Mocha. Multiple locations
King Cake Brews from Abita — Pure, Louisiana cane sugar (lots of it) and artesian spring water are the basis of the King Cake Soda from Abita. The taste is reminiscent of frosting and cinnamon dough. Pick up a six-pack at any local grocery store. Or, if you prefer a brewsky, wait until you get a taste of their malty, full-bodied German Lager. Find the Mardi Gras Bock in grocery stores or online here.
King Cake Snowball at Sno-La Snowball Lounge — Known for their cheesecake-stuffed snowballs, indulge in the King Cake cream snowball at these locations. 8108 Hampson St. and 2311 N. Causeway Blvd., Metairie
Ojen Cocktail at Bombay Club — The Ojen Cocktail is back on the menu to get us into the Mardi Gras spirit. This drink features Legendre Ojen with Peychaud’s bitters and orgeat syrup to creative a deliciously festive concoction. Bonus tip: order this drink and receive a porcelain trinket of a musician. Collect all ten and you’ll have a full New Orleans jazz band, a great memento of the 2019 Mardi Gras season. 830 Conti St.
King Cake Old Fashioned — This drink, available at SoBou, is Mardi Gras in a glass. Crafted with Rougaroux Praline Rum, cinnamon Steen’s cane syrup, and El Guapo Chicory Pecan bitters, this drink puts a spin on the classic cocktail. 310 Chartres St.
Mardi Gras Sidecar — This cocktail is made with fresh lemon juice, brandy, Cointreau, and a lemon twist, and is available all season long at Commander’s Palace. 1403 Washington Ave.
King Cake Bevvy — This Bourbon House cocktail is back, making our Carnival a little bit sweeter. 144 Bourbon St.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? These are for you.
Boudin King Cake at Cake Cafe — The name says it all. Indulge in this savory version at Cake Cafe this Carnival season. Available on Fridays only. 2440 Chartres St.
Sucré Sugar + Spice King Cake — This king cake starts of sweet and ends with a little spice. The braided, buttery dough is sweetened with cinnamon and sugar, filled with a single-bean Swiss chocolate whipped cream cheese filling, and accented with TABASCO® Habanero Sauce. As a keepsake, you’ll receive a small TABASCO® Sauce bottle in lieu of the traditional baby. Multiple locations
Crawfish King Cake at Cavan — This king cake is not for the faint of heart. Featuring crawfish and caviar, you’ll want to head to Cavan just to try it out. 3607 Magazine St.
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 offers different types of king cake, from unfilled to praline-covered. Pick up a gallon of Blue Bell Mardi Gras King Cake ice cream while you’re there. Locations Uptown and in Metairie
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
Rouses Market — This is aways an affordable way to please a crowd. Pick up a packaged cake at your nearest Rouses, 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).
A Cake by Another Name
Sweet samplings ideal for the non-traditionalists.
Queen Cake — The Queen Cake from Levee Baking Co. is made with a pecan satsuma filling stuffed inside a handmade puff pastry. Instead of the classic baby that you’d find in king cakes, the Queen Cake will feature handmade figurines known as French fèves. Each week, there will be a different fève such as fava bean and moon pie. Get yours at the Crescent City Farmer’s Markets, which you can find here.
Doberge King Cake — The New Orleans-style layer cake from Debbie Does Doberge dons a special king cake update during the season. Order online here and pick it up from Bakery Bar. 1179 Annunciation St.
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. 2258 St Claude Ave.
King Cake Donut — Returning again this Carnival season is the King Cake donut at District Donuts. Pairs well with the shop’s excellent coffee selections. Multiple locations
King Cake Beignets — These buttermilk drop beignets are topped with ginger-whipped frosting, Dixie crystals, and carnival sprinkles from SoBou. 310 Chartres St.
King Cake Pâte à Choux — Bourbon House delights diners with the King Cake Pâte à Choux stuffed with almond-orange-cinnamon pastry cream, topped with almond icing, and crowned with purple, green and gold sugar. 144 Bourbon St.
King Cake Bread Pudding — Indulge in the King Cake Bread Pudding this Carnival season at Tableau. This dish is stuffed with cream cheese and drenched in rum sauce – sounds right up our alley. 616 St. Peter St.
King Cake Gâteau — This dessert at the Palace Café is practically fit for a king (or a queen). With vanilla-orange chiffon cake, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and crème anglaise, this dessert has arrived just in time for Mardi Gras. 605 Canal St.
Tres Leches King Cake — Meril puts a Latin spin on the traditional king cake with its tres leches iteration. Cinnamon sponge cake and whipped cream offer a sublime texture with familiar (and delicious) flavors. 424 Girod St.
King Cake Cinnamon Roll — Available as a specialty dessert throughout Mardi Gras season, Chef Isaac Toups will be serving up a King Cake Cinnamon Roll – warm and gooey house-made cinnamon bun with whip cream, candied pecans, and purple, green, and gold sugared frosting. Get it at Toups South. 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.
Come one, come all
New this year are two spots that feature multiple king cakes for purchase
Pythian Market — This Carnival season, Pythian Market will become a one-stop shop for all things king cake. Diners can choose from Nonna Randazzo’s signature King Cake, Sucré’s stunning shimmery King Cake, or Gracious Bakery’s chocolate-filled King Cakes and almond-flavored Queen Cakes. Additionally, guests can delight in a decadent King Cake Latte and King Cake breakfast sandwich at Edison’s Espresso and Tea Bar, a King Cake-inspired frozen concoction at Pythian’s Bar 1908, and celebratory tacos with carnival slaw at La Cocinita. 234 Loyola Ave.
King Cake Hub — At the King Cake Hub, you’ll find 9+ different king cakes, including some already mentioned in this post, all in one place. Pick up Bywater Bakery’s Chantilly King Cake, Gambino’s Traditional King Cake, Girls Gone Vegan’s Vegan King Cake, and much more. 4800 Canal St.