UPDATED for the 2018 Carnival Season!
If you are not from New Orleans, January 6th might just be an ordinary day, or perhaps you know it as the Epiphany or King’s Day. But for us New Orleanians, January 6th marks the start of something spectacular….CARNIVAL! The parades, floats, marching bands, traditions and throws are all great fun, but my favorite part of Carnival is the KING CAKE!
King’s Day (January 6th) is celebrated as the date the gift-bearing kings visited the baby Jesus. The King Cake is baked in honor of the three kings and the baby (plastic, porcelain or gold) placed inside the cake symbolizes the baby Jesus. Originally, these oval cakes were a simple ring of dough with a small amount of decoration. Today’s King Cakes are much more festive! After the rich Danish dough is braided and baked, the “baby” is inserted. The top of the ring or oval cake is then covered with delicious sugar toppings in the traditional Mardi Gras colors: purple, green and gold.
In New Orleans, King Cake parties are held throughout the Carnival Season (generally on Friday). The person who receives the slice of cake with the baby inside is asked to continue the festivities by hosting the next King Cake party.
If you are looking to be a part of this NOLA tradition, I thought I would help you find some of the BEST places to buy King Cake (and I should know because over the course of my 42 years, I have tasted a LOT of King Cake!).
5 (tie). Party Palace: Typically, I have seen these King Cakes in PJ’s Coffee stores, but now you can order these thick, heavy on the icing cakes online, too!
5 (tie). Marguerite Cakes: If chocolate is what you love, Marguerite offers a Brownie Delight cake that is truly spectacular. Their traditional King Cake (in my opinion) has a hint of almond flavoring making this cake different than the rest.
5 (tie). Caluda’s King Cake: With the Saints heading to the playoffs, the Caluda’s Saints Cake would make the perfect addition to any tailgate party!
4. Gambino’s: While Gambino’s is known for their Doberche Cakes, they make a mean King Cake, too! These King Cakes can be stuffed with cream cheese, pecan praline, raspberry, peach, pineapple, blueberry, strawberry, lemon, apple, cherry or chocolate brownie! I recommend the cream cheese! Gambino’s offers some great packages to give out-of-towners a real Carnival experience.
4. (tie) Haydel’s: In September, Haydel’s created a World’s Record for the largest King Cake ever made… it actually circled the New Orleans SuperDome! This Carnival, they are celebrating by offering the World Record King Cake Care Package which includes one large Traditional or Filled King Cake plus Haydel’s own Mambo Beat Mardi Gras Magazine, a king cake history scroll, one pack of Haydel’s Coffee and Chicory, Haydel’s Specialty Bead Pack, this year’s handcrafted Porcelain Collectible (while supplies last), Mardi Gras CD, Mardi Gras poster and a World Record Edition Mardi Gras cup. Follow Haydel’s on Twitter so you don’t miss any special deals!
3. Nonna Randazzo’s (Covington): Not on the Southshore? No problem! Try out this Northshore favorite! Closer to Baton Rouge? Try the Zulu King Cake (pictured below) at Ambrosia’s Bakery!
2. Randazzo’s: Making King Cakes since 1965, Randazzo’s is the favorite of many locals. The line remains out of the door, through the parking lot and down the street which means they are doing something right! From now through Mardi Gras Eve (known as Lundi Gras), you can have a King Cake shipped just about anywhere!
2. Sucre: Even though I was born and raised in New Orleans, I was just introduced to the Sucre King Cake a few years ago for a product review. This is by far the prettiest King Cake I have ever seen….and one of the tastiest. For only $20, you can own a slice of heaven! I absolutely cannot wait to get one this year. In fact, I loved it so much, I shipped a few of these to friends last year so I wouldn’t be the only one to love Sucre!
1. Don Phuong’s Oriental Bakery: My new favorite for 2018! I am a sucker for cream cheese icing and this King Cake does it perfectly. This bakery is located in New Orleans East but I have found a few places in Lakeview (Pizza NOLA) and Metairie (Pho NOLA) that carry the cakes for those who don’t want to travel (even though it’s totally worth the trip).
Check out these related posts:
How to host a Mardi Gras Party
Bake Your Own Traditional New Orleans King Cake
Happy King’s Day! Where are you going to get your King Cake?
18 thoughts on “Top Five Places to Get King Cake in New Orleans”
I’ve never had it before but it sure does look yummy!
oh yeah- Sucre rocks it old-school!
Great post! AND a huge topic of debate down yonder here in the NOLA area!
We will be in new Orleans this week and will try one!
Wonderful post and thanks for bringing me back home again. I love king cake and especially when I find the baby. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
King cake is such a fun tradition, someday I will experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans!
one year Iwalked inside of Haydel”s and order a plain King Cake and ended up with a fourteen karat gold baby in it It was the first time in my life I ever won any thing The baby was worth five hundred dollars so I have enjoyed haydels king cakes for many years
Lovely review… except it’s doberge cake, not doberche. 🙂
Yum!! Great choices! I can’t wait to get my first King Cake of the season in!!
grew up on randazzos king cakes. I live in Texas now and have been back home every year for Mardi gras, I usually bring a few back home, love love love it!
Antiones kingcake is delicious and is located on Severn Avenue in Metairie.
We just went to a place out here that has King Cake only during Mardi Gras. My husband is on a big kick ever since coming back from New Orleans.
I’m in NOLA now and I would love to try a king cake, by chance does either of those places name them throughout the year for those who can’t make Mardi Grad? I would LOVE to try one while I’m here
If you like a dry king cake #2 Sucre’ is ok, it’s pretty but again it’s dry, BUT if you like a moist tasty King Cake then you must have one of the Randazzo’s #2 or #3, simply put — they are the best !