Living in New Orleans, you are expected to know the best King Cake in New Orleans. And the only way to know that is to taste a slice or two of King Cake from every Bakery in New Orleans.
King Cake season in New Orleans is taken very seriously. Like me, many die-hards will claim that you cannot even touch King Cake until January 6 – Kings Day.
But there are many things you need to know about King Cakes in New Orleans other than ordering a King Cake. You need to know which King Cakes are the best, which King Cakes are for delivery, and which King Cakes can be shipped.
From the Maurice’s Bakery Ponchatoula King Cake, covered in strawberries to the King Cake Desserts and treats, you are about to find out everything you need to know about the best King Cakes in New Orleans.
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Some King Cake and King Cake items were gifted to me and are denoted with asterisks by each vendor.
Already know a lot about king cake? Skip down to read my King Cake Reviews.
King Cake Tradition and History
For those that live outside of New Orleans, you may not have heard of King Cake. King Cake is associated with many different countries and festivals revolving around the Epiphany and pre-Lenten celebrations, but in New Orleans, it is synonymous with everything Mardi Gras.
The Carnival Season officially begins each year on January 6th – Twelfth Night. Twelfth Night is the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of Carnival.
The day that newborn baby Jesus first met the Three Wise Men and accepted their three gifts and the official end to the Christmas season.
In the simplest terms, New Orleans King Cake is an oval-shaped dessert that is a cross between a coffee cake and a French Pastry, with an extra flair of purple, green, and gold icing.
Some bakeries twist on the traditional King Cake by adding unique fillings and flavors to the King Cake.
For an extra history lesson – the three colors of Mardi Gras Purple for Justice, Green for Faith, and Gold for Power, represent the jeweled crowns honoring the wise men who visit Jesus.
That choking hazard plastic baby? He portrays Jesus.
What does it mean when you get the baby in the King Cake?
There is a small plastic baby inside of each King Cake. This baby represents baby Jesus.
Tradition has it that the person who gets the baby needs to purchase the next King Cake at the next gathering. Some people say that the person who gets the baby is crowned King or Queen for the day!
King Cake Delivery
Have you ever showed up to the office party and realized there wasn’t anything to snack on? Has that ever happen to you during Carnival Season?
Whether you forgot to bring a King Cake to work or a party, or just stuck in an office cube with a sugar craving, getting a King Cake delivered to you is super easy!
You can look at Uber Eats or Waitr to purchase King cakes from various bakeries, but what is better than keeping it local?
D’Livery Nola, the newest locally owned and operated delivery app in New Orleans, delivers Brennan’s King Cakes straight to your door! All you have to do is click, order, and bam- the King Cake arrives fresh.
While you are at it, you can look at all of the delicious restaurants to order lunch to go with all of that sweet.
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Ship King Cakes from New Orleans
If you live out of town or have out of town family and friends who are just missing New Orleans – you can always ship a King Cake from New Orleans! Many bakeries will ship a King Cake straight to you or your loved ones’ house!
Shipping a King Cake from New Orleans can be a bit expensive; think about it, it’s a $16-25 King Cake (and extra goodies) shipping for $50+.
When suggesting King Cakes to ship From New Orleans to my friends and family, I always recommend Haydel’s Cream Cheese. It is one of the classic king cake flavors.
Haydel’s King Cakes seem to ship the best. The Cream Cheese Haydel’s is perfect for sharing with a large group of people, and it comes with a super cute collectible porcelain doll – my favorite family tradition from Mardi Gras.
Bringing a King Cake Through MSY
If you genuinely want a King cake, you CAN purchase one and bring it through as your carry on.
Just be careful. Usually, TSA doesn’t care what type of king cake you bring through, but the filled ones (my favorite) are suspect for screening and confiscation.
My suggestion for king cake purchase at the airport is Nola Brand (can’t go wrong with your typical New Orleans King cake!)
There are so many king cakes to choose from while you are in the New Orleans Airport!
King Cake Party
In New Orleans, we do find a reason to party about everything. King Cake parties aren’t any different.
King Cake parties are precisely what you think – every person signs up for a King Cake from designated bakeries and brings that cake to the party.
Everyone takes a slice of each cake to try the best of the season.
King Cake Parties are one of the best ways to try many King Cakes without going broke or gaining too much weight!
King Cake at the Office
One of the best things about King Cake – Carnival Season – is that even the team’s scroogiest person brings a King Cake!
With longer seasons, King Cakes start getting more and more, and people drive further to bring in the King Cake.
Someone on your team lives in New Orleans East – they better bring Dong Phuong. They live in Jefferson – Haydel’s! If they are a Randazzo’s fan – well, this could go any way with Nonna, Manny, or Claudia’s.
Someone got the baby and forgot it was their turn to bring the King Cake? Yeah, that is going to be a grocery store, King Cake. I hated on Grocery Store King Cakes, but I have found a few that I love.
Some offices come up with their own rules for Carnival, including King Cake only on Monday-Wednesday-Fridays. Other people don’t care about the rules, and that’s when we have 2-3 King Cakes in the office just for a small number of people.
My favorite thing to do with office King Cake is making friends with people on other teams (My building has about 400 people in it) and go from team to team eating the best King Cakes!!
Do you want to make your own king cake?
Baking is not my forte – I am much better at eating. But there are many local bloggers out there that make delicious king cakes! One super tasty looking one is this Soft & Fluffy Mardi Gras King Cake by Maria.
Maria takes the idea of the delicious Dong Phoung King Cake, which sells out super early every year, and makes it her own!
The recipe for the dough and icing are her own, but she uses the unique style of shaping the dough to form this King Cake!
You can make this king cake with a mixer or by hand – but it might just take a little while longer!
Visiting the King Cake Hub
New location! 636 Broad Street
In 2019, a new way to buy King Cake was created – the King Cake Hub.
The King Cake Hub is a temporary pop up in one of New Orleans’s favorite mid-city spots – Broad Theater!
Instead of running around and buying King Cakes from all of the bakeries in New Orleans, you can stop and pick up some classic favorites from the King Cake Hub.
My first ever trip to the King Cake Hub was at their last location – the Mortuary- and I got a delicious king cake from Bywater Bakery.
Since that first trip, I have gone multiple times and purchased quite a few king cakes from this central hub! They are open from 8 am – 6 pm daily.
Where to Buy the The Best King Cake in New Orleans
There are so many places to buy King Cake in New Orleans that is hard to try all of them! I’ve been compiling this list over the last few years to bring the yummiest and prettiest King Cakes to my readers.
Each bakery or business I review, I will tell you the address, how much it cost, and if they ship.
This is not an extensive list. Trust me, if I could eat all of the King Cake in the city during one Carnival Season, I would!
This blog post will be continuously updated (once a week during Mardi Gras), so please stay tuned to see new updates!
If your favorite King Cake has not been reviewed, please leave a comment below and let me know where I should go next!
Three options $22-26.45 each
You can get this King Cake from Ralph’s on the Park, Cafe Noma, King Cake hub, Langensteins or Congregation Coffee.
*This King Cake was gifted to me by D’Livery Nola and Brennan’s.
Brennan’s does ship king cakes, and they do local delivery through D’Livery.
For the first time in 75 years, Brennan’s is not only making one but three King Cakes! Yes, you heard me, right!
Brennan’s makes this foodie blogger happy by offering a Traditional brioche, King Cake, A Pink Parade Strawberry Cream Cheese King Cake, and the Chocolate Black and Gold King cake.
I was able to taste the Chocolate Black and Gold Brioche King Cake early and was pleasantly surprised by the taste! Brioche King Cakes are one of my favorite styles, and I am a huge chocolate fan.
The brioche dough has a layer of whipped chocolate ganache topped with crumbled chocolate sable cookies and a zig-zag of chocolate frosting.
4037 Jefferson Hwy, plus pop-up locations
Cream Cheese Filling – $20.50
Where I purchased: Trailer at 2431 Metairie Rd
Haydels does ship King Cakes
King Cake season doesn’t start until I’ve had a slice (or six) of Haydel’s King Cake. My favorite is with the cream cheese filling, but any Haydel’s King Cake will honestly make me happy.
Haydel’s icing is on point. It is a mixture of the delicious white icing super fine purple, green, and gold sugar.
The filling is rimmed around the top underneath the colorful sugar instead of having it as an actual filling. I always pick Cream Cheese as my King Cake filling.
Haydel’s King Cakes are moist, never dry! There is nothing I hate more than a dry King Cake.
It is a bit on the sweet side, but I love sugar almost as much as I love traveling!
Another reason why this King Cake is so special to me is the little porcelain doll in every King Cake.
Just a warning – the collectible doll is not the plastic baby that needs to be placed inside the cake. Don’t worry; the baby is there too!
Just note that this “choking hazard” is already inside of the cake, so eat carefully. So don’t try to put the doll inside of the cake – it is a keepsake!
2020’s porcelain doll is the Montgomery-Grace Mansion, also known as “The Rex House,” a Mardi Gras Landmark that was destroyed in 2019.
3624 Dauphine St
Where I purchased: King Cake Hub
Carnival aka plain $19.70
Bywater Bakery does ship King Cakes
The King Cake Hub’s beauty is that if they are out of one type of King Cake, you can quickly get another one! At the last minute, I had to make a choice, and I went with the Carnival King Cake by Bywater Bakery.
I am so glad that I decided to go with the Bywater Bakery Carnival King Cake. This cake was plain, not dry, and had the perfect amount of white icing and granulated sugar.
You can tell that the Bywater Bakery took some creative license with their King Cake because the first bite, I could taste a spice with a kick!
I still haven’t identified what that spice is. Is it cardamom, ginger? I’m not sure.
Another plus from ByWater Bakery that makes me oddly excited is that I was happy to see that ByWater Bakery put the King Cake’s, metallic baby.
439 Terry Pkwy
Where I purchased: King Cake Hub
Cream Cheese $21
Hi Do does not ship King Cakes
I was first introduced to Hi-Do King Cake at an office King Cake party many years ago.
I knew I wanted to bring this West Bank Tradition to my family during this tasting because they had never tried it.
If you are not from here, and you hear someone refer to a King Cake tasting like McKenzie’s Bakery’s King Cake, you know you’ve hit gold! That is exactly the comments that I’ve heard about Hi-Do Bakeries.
Since I am a fan of cream cheese, and I knew the cake was already going to be delicious, I opted for the cream cheese filling so I could compare it to my all-time favorite Haydel’s.
14207 Chef Menteur Hwy, plus limited grocery stores
Cream Cheese Filling – $18
Where I purchased: Dong Phuong’s
Dong Phuong does ship king cakes, early in the season, and you can pick them up at authorized distributors like Zuppardo’s in Metairie.
For the past few years, Dong Phuong was what everyone talked about when it came to King Cake.
This not-so-sweet, flaky non-traditional king cake has taken New Orleans by storm.
After a quick road trip out to New Orleans East, I was finally able to find out why everyone goes crazy about Dong Phuong’s King cake.
This Vietnamese spin on a French pastry truly showcases how New Orleans is a melting pot. Their king cake is made with Brioche dough and has a cream cheese-based icing!
Even though Dong Phuong King Cake won’t put you in a sugar coma, everyone goes crazy over these cakes at carnival time.
Shipping King Cakes from New Orleans is available, but they typically run out quickly in the season. The King Cake comes in a few different King Cake flavors: cream cheese, pecan, strawberry, almond, and coconut.
We purchased and tasted the cream cheese King cake and were first shocked about how not sweet yet satisfying this king is to the taste buds.
Starting with only 100 king cakes in 2008, 11 years later, Dong Phuong is making over 30,000 for the carnival season and growing!
125 Commercial Square, Slidell, plus one pop up location in Metairie
Cream Cheese Filling – $20
Where I purchased: Pop up in Metairie; newest address Pop up in Metairie 3017 Veterans Memorial Blvd. Suite B. Metairie, La 70002
You can preorder and ship king cakes from Marguerite’s
Not ever wanting to travel far (there is a king cake on every corner), I stumbled upon Marguerite’s pop up shop on Veterans after one of my coworkers told me about it!
With the home base in Slidell, Marguerite’s is one of the best traditional king cakes you can get! They have a delicious Mckenzie style king cake, exciting fillings, and just delicious recipes.
When walking into the pop-up, you will notice that there are just boxes and boxes of different King cakes available for buying.
We opted for a cream cheese king cake – because that is my favorite one – and loved it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the surprise of the almond frosting. It tasted like I was eating a King cake and petit four at the same time.
La Petite Sophie Patisserie
9047 Jefferson Hwy
Brioche Galette des Rois
*This King Cake was gifted to me by La Petite Sophie Patisserie
La Petite Sophie Patisserie does not ship King Cakes
Once you are a few weeks into King Cake Season, you get sick of eating the sticky sweet King Cake that New Orleans has gotten used to eating.
Luckily for us, Southern France makes a brioche galette des rois that isn’t too sweet but hits the spot. Luckily for us, La Petite Sophie Patisserie in River Ridge has brought this version of King Cake to New Orleans.
In true Carnival Tradition, the King cake has purple, green, and gold candied fruits. The purple is candied sour cherries, green is candied Angelica, and gold is candied orange and lemon zests. The King Cake is then covered with Swedish Pearl Sugar and glazed with a light Satsuma and orange blossom.
The first bite of this Galette will blow you away and prove to you that you do not need to be overly sweet to be a great King Cake.
These King Cakes come in two different sizes – Large and Small. The Small is perfect for feeding a small family for a delicious breakfast treat!
Our family is made up of three people, and we were able to eat the cake over two days without feeling overly stuffed. La Petite Sophie Patisserie has three other King Cake styles, so if you have a larger family, you can easily buy a few different styles.
Cake Cafe – NOCCA
Three options $36
You can get this King Cake from the King Cake Hub, French Truck Coffee, and Press Street Station.
This King Cake cannot be shipped.
When Cake Cafe closed in 2020, I was super bummed because their Apple and Goat Cheese King Cake was one of my favorites.
This year, I was able to try the French Truck Cafe au Lait King Cake brought to you by the Cake Cafe and NOCCA.
There are many reasons why I love this King Cake – it gave Cake Cafe a second shot, proceeds from this king cake helps support NOCCA’s Culinary Arts department, its beautiful and it is delicious!
This king cake is sweet, without being overpoweringly sweet. It is still considered traditional with the purple, green, and gold icing, but the flavors will move it to the nontraditional spot.
While you are in town do not snooze on this either the Goat Cheese or the Cafe Au Lait is perfect.
Also, new in 2021, the king cake comes with two baby Jesus! I really love the ability to pick which plastic baby Jesus to put in your king cake.
Grocery Store King Cakes
Dorignac’s Food Center
710 Veterans Blvd
Where I purchased: Dorignac’s $20
Dorignacs does not ship King Cakes
If you are the super traditional type who likes pre-Katrina McKenzie’s King Cake, then Dorignac’s is one of the cakes you want to try!
With a light dusting of sugar, minimal filling to not overpower the pastry, the Dorignac’s King Cake is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
Now I know I said to avoid Grocery Store King Cakes, but that’s reserved for the dried out King Cakes. If someone showed up with this King Cake at work, I would be pleasantly surprised!
Zuppardos Family Supermarket
5010 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Blueberry Lemon Chantilly King Cake
Where I purchased: Zuppardos $30
Zuppardos does not ship King Cakes
Again. I went against my advice and got a Grocery Store, King Cake.
Who am I, and where did the grocery store snob go? I can tell you this; you do not want to sneeze at the road trip to Metairie to grab a slice of this Blueberry Lemon Chantilly King Cake From Zuppardos.
At first glance, you would think that there are too many flavors on this King Cake, but that is where you are entirely wrong.
There is something about the delicate flavor of blueberry, the lemon curd filling, and yummy whipped topping that ties all the flavors together for this super non-traditional, surprising grocery store King Cake.
I’ve even had one friend tell me he has to apologize to his friends and family for mistreating them by allowing them to eat any other King Cake.
You can also get a similar version of this King Cake at the King Cake Hub.
Sweet King Cakes – a Step above Traditional
Maurice’s French Pastries
3501 Hessmer and 4949 W. Napoleon
Ponchatoula Jean-Luc’s Specialty King Cake $40
Where I purchased: Maurice’s Hessmer
Maurice’s does ship King Cake
Maurice’s French Pastries is one of my all-time favorite places to get pastries.
This goes back all the way when my Paw-paw was still alive and would bring me here to buy cream puffs, napoleons, and eclairs.
Seriously if you find yourself in the Metairie area, you need to stop.
Now, this Ponchatoula King Cake is on point. At first, you think – ok, it’s full of cream and strawberries. What’s the big deal?
Each King Cake from Maurice’s is made of delicious brioche bread with cinnamon sugar, white glaze icing topped with the finest purple, green, and gold sugar.
The Ponchatoula King Cake takes it one step further.
Take that same delicious brioche bread King Cake filled with Bavarian cream, fresh strawberries, chantilly cream, and toasted almonds.
That is just one of the four specialty King Cakes offered by Maurice’s.
The other Cakes are Bourbon Street – filled with creamy chocolate custard, Woodland Plantation – filled with Bavarian praline cream, and General Foster -filled with sauteed bananas fosters.
Now I know what you are thinking – does all of that specialty filling cover-up for a mediocre cake?
I can honestly say no! The brioche bread King Cake has to be one of my favorites – hands down.
The Ponchatoula King Cake is essentially a cream puff that exploded and added strawberries and almonds.
611 O’Keefe Avenue
Carmel Crunch King cake – $36
You can only pre-order and pick up a Willa Jean King Cake
Where I purchased: One slice from Willa Jean’s $7
As you can imagine, all of this research makes you a tad sick of sugar; however, at the last minute, I decided that I NEEDED to try Willa Jean’s Carmel Crunch King Cake.
The thing is, if you want a full king cake for your family or party, you need to order it 48 hours in advance!
Do you know how hard that is? Since I never got around to ordering the full King Cake, I snagged the prettiest slice offered in house.
Each day, Willa Jean cuts up a few king cakes and allows patrons to buy a slice for $7. Seven dollars may seem like a lot for King cake but, after I cut this huge slice in half, it was plenty for my mom and me to split.
Willa Jean is having a large contender with Maurice’s French Pastry and becoming one of my favorite non-traditional king cakes. Even after sitting in a box on my desk for an entire day, this slice of king cake was still super fresh.
The Carmel Crunch King Cake comes with a cinnamon swirl and cream cheese glaze. You do not want to snooze on getting a slice or a whole cake!
Savory King Cakes
The Elvis – Sold by the slice or $40 for a whole King Cake
*This King Cake was gifted to me by Cochon Butcher
You have to pre-order The Elivs 24 hours in advance
If The King, Elvis, could have his own King Cake, it would probably have Peanut Butter, Bananas, Marsmellow topping, and Bacon? Yup, The people over at Butcher think so!
The Elvis is a non-traditional King Cake that I can get behind. Not super sweet, but also not 100% savory, this King Cake is the perfect treat to bring to a Superbowl or King Cake Party!
If you don’t want the splurge for the whole cake, you can always get a slice at Butcher -but beware – limited quantities are available! There is something about the peanut butter, banana, bacon mixture that makes you realize this King Cake is elevated just above the rest.
Oh, and before I forget – the plastic baby is replaced with the cutest little piglet. Out of all of the King Cake Babies I’ve had throughout the years, I’ve made sure to keep this one!
Sugar Daddy Nola
Sugar Daddy Nola
Bacon Pecan Praline – $60
*This King Cake was gifted to me by Sugar Daddy Nola
You can tell that Sugar Daddy is a home baker that takes pride in his creations. When I first got the Bacon Pecan Praline King Cake, my arms almost fell off by how heavy it is!
Now, how does this beautiful monster taste? Well, to get straight to the point, it is excellent.
This King Cake is dense – but in a good way – the filling is delicious, and you can taste the brown sugar tying the pecan, praline, and bacon flavors together. Also – there is no mistake that there will be plenty of bacon on each slice.
My Favorite part of this King Cake? The thick slices of bacon are perfectly cooked and places all over the King Cake that you will not miss out on any flavors, no matter how small a slice you cut!
Sad that you don’t live in Louisiana? No worries – Sugar Daddy ships a lot of his King Cakes out of state!
Pro Tip: a plastic Knife is no contender for this King Cake; you need to have a sharp knife to cut this masterpiece into slices.
Sucre (old ownership)
Where I purchased: 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd
Sugar + Spice with Tabasco; $19.70
UNFORTUNATELY, SUCRE CLOSED IN 2019 BUT THEN REOPENED IN 2020 UNDER NEW OWNERS.
When I heard that Sucre had a new flavor of King Cake for the 2019 season made with my favorite hot sauce, I knew I just had to get my hands on it! Sweet with a little kick, sign me up!
Now, this King Cake is not as sparkly as Sucre’s famous original, but it is just as tasty (or even tastier if I say so myself!).
It doesn’t come with a baby but does have a teeny tiny bottle of Tabasco hot sauce that you can use to drop a little more heat onto the King Cake (or always have a bottle of hot sauce in your purse).
Even though the Sucre King Cake is super delicious, they are on the smaller and more expensive side – so these are a treat your self-type of King Cake!
Every time one of these King Cakes are in the office or a King Cake Party, everyone takes the smallest slice to make sure everyone can get a bite!
King Cake Flavors and Desserts!
Participating locations throughout the city
*These treats were gifted to me by Reginelli’s through an influencer event
Bread Pudding- $5.95
Cocktail – $9.00
Sometimes you are at a restaurant and want the flair of purple, green, and gold and cinnamon’s flavor. This is where King Cake Flavors come in!
Every Mardi Gras Season, Reginelli’s prepares a special Mardi Gras Menu that is sure to leave you satisfied. The menu includes a Bayou Eggplant, smothered in a spicy cream sauce and crawfish tails, a Cajun Crawfish Pizza, topped with alfredo, the holy trinity, and mushrooms.
But the real standouts of the menu is the King Cake Cocktail and the King Cake Bread Pudding!
First, the King Cake Cocktail has Fireball, Rumchatta, and all fixings to make it taste like a King Cake in the glass. Just check out the purple, green, and gold rim!
The King Cake Bread Pudding, perfect for sharing with 2-3 people, is cooked in individual cast-iron skillets, topped with Mardi Gras Sprinkles and whipped cream; what is better than combining King Cake Flavors with a New Orleans Classic of Bread Pudding!
Non-Edible King Cake
Etsy.com and C’Mere
Tiny King Cake Earrings
*These King Cake earrings were gifted to me by Remy Diamond
Tiny food is adorable, but tiny food earrings are so cute. I don’t even know what to say!
During Carnival season, I love wearing purple, green, and gold in sneaky ways, and these King Cake Earrings are perfect.
Remy Diamond is a local artist who has many of her designs at the local shop C’Mere. Here, she creates the tiniest of tiny earrings made of all the best foods.
King Cake in New Orleans
I hope that after reading this blog post you find the perfect King Cake for you and your friends.
If you are looking to spend a few days or the weekend celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans?
Well, you are in luck. After reading my Mardi Gras Tips you will be able to successfully party Mardi Gras 2020 in New Orleans like a local.
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