No Mardi Gras celebration is complete without a wreath of plastic beads and a slice of King Cake. These super-sweet cakes are a one-of-a-kind combination of coffee cake and French pastry. You'll know it's King Cake because they are always decorated in Mardi Gras colors of purple, green, and gold and every cake has a plastic baby hidden inside. According to tradition, whoever finds the baby is then crowned as king and tasked with hosting the party next year.
During the celebrations, King Cake can be found all over New Orleans, but it may be harder to find elsewhere. Luckily, there are some amazing bakeries in New Orleans who will happily ship a King Cake right to your door, so you can let the good times roll no matter how far from Bourbon Street you stray.
The Randazzo family name is well-known in New Orleans for great King Cakes, especially the ones with filling. The price of a King Cake from Randazzo's includes the cake, Mardi Gras beads, a cup, and doubloons. Overnight delivery is included in the price, so on the morning of Mardi Gras, you can count on your cake is as fresh as possible.
Joe Gambino's has been making mouths water in New Orleans since the late 1940s when he bought the Beulah Ledner Bakery name and her recipe for her famous dobergecake, a delicious, multilayered confection with buttercream filling and a caramel glaze on top. Of course, being in New Orleans, Gambino's has perfected the art of scrumptious King Cakes, too. Gambino's delivers them with overnight shipping, and each one is made fresh that day.
With a name that doubles up on its kingliness, King King Cakes has been in the business of making great King Cakes and only King Cakes since 1999. Most bakeries only sell the treat during Mardi Gras season, but if you have a craving for a King Cake in July, you can get it from King King Cakes. This bakery ships to all 50 states every day of the year and the package includes beads and a doubloon from the Mardi Gras parade. You can order traditional, cream cheese, chocolate, praline, strawberry, apple, or raspberry. The fruity flavors are particularly nice in the summer. King King Cakes even ships the frosting and sugar in separate containers so the cake does not get damaged during transit.
Haydel's Bakery is a NOLA staple that has been around for three generations and consistently bakes world-class King Cakes, which are available in a variety of packages. You can order just the cake or the whole package, which includes a history scroll, a pack of French Market coffee, and the bakery's specially-branded Mardi Gras beads.
At Cannata's, you can order the traditional type of King Cake or one of the other 60 flavors that run the gamut from apple cinnamon pecan, strawberry cream cheese, praline, pistachio coconut Bavarian, gooey butter snickerdoodle, or salted caramel. If you're looking for unique flavors, this shop has plenty to peruse. A King Cake package includes the cake, a Mardi Gras mask, beads, Champagne cups, and a king's crown.
Bywater Bakery is a new player in New Orlean's King Cake game, having just opened in January of 2017. However, they're already shaking up the tradition. You can choose to order the classic King Cake or go for one of their more modern interpretations like the chantilly, bouille, cheesecake, pineapple passionfruit, or pecan praline King Cake. However, where they really push the envelope is with their savory cakes, which include flavors like Spicy Cajun Boudin Rice, Spinach and Artichoke, and Crawfish!