Best King Cake in Louisiana

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One of things I look forward to each year during Carnival season is the chance to enjoy afternoons of coffee and King Cake. King Cake is a sticky, coffee-cake type of pastry braided into a ring and drissled with with colored icing and sugar. Sometimes it is made with cinnamon and today it is more commonly found with various fillings such as cream cheese, blueberry, or even pecans and pralines. King Cake can be found in bakeries and grocery stores around Louisiana after January 6, Twelfth Night or King’s Day.

King Cake is available through the Carnival or Mardi Gras season and is a staple in offices, school parties, and gatherings throughout this time of year. Similar to the traditional Twelfth Cake in the UK, it contains an item inside. Twelfth Cake contained a golden bean, with the recipient being declared the Bean King or Lord of Misrule. In Louisiana King Cake’s a baby is placed inside (to symbolize Baby Jesus) and whoever get the baby is responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next gathering.

King Cake may be readily available to those of us who reside in Louisiana and other places in the Southern US, but ?where can one find the best King Cake and how can it be enjoyed in others areas of North America? I’ve put together a list of places where I’ve sampled the King Cake and/or ordered it for friends. I’ve included links where I can. Let me know if you order one and what you think about it.

Carter’s Supermarket, Denham Springs, LA – A coworker lives near this grocery store and we’ll all chip in to get her to buy one on the way to work. My favorite is the Turtle King Cake and this has to be the best King Cake I’ve ever eaten. Ever. Plus, this goodie is less than $15. Instore only

Leblanc’s Food Store, Zachary, LA – This is where I do most of my grocery shopping and I hover around the bakery area with my buggy, waiting until they put fresh King Cakes out on the shelf. I usually purchase the traditional cinnamon because my kids aren’t keen on the filled kind. Now, when they make a few with chocolate filling, get out my way because I will run you over trying to get to it. $6-12

Marguerite's King Cake and Community CoffeeMarguerite’s – Community Coffee is offering a Mardi Gras celebration pack that includes a King Cake, coffee, and some history of Mardi Gras. The company sent me a cream cheese cake because they’re awesome like that. It was delivered by FedEx while I was at work. My kids knew it was a King Cake and all household package rules went out the window as they tore into the box and began to feast on it. Fortunately, my son snapped a picture with his iPhone before the the pastry disappeared. Most of the cake was gone, as the kids ended up having their friends come by for a snack. They did leave me a bit of it and I have to admit, it was delicous (I’m eating it for breakfast as I type this). FedEx next day Cake & Coffee $46

Gambino’s Bakery, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA – This is the place where I enjoyed King Cakes as a kid. My mom would bring home a traditional cake for my brother and I, while she would get a special filled cake for my dad. We weren’t allowed to touch his cake (but I did anyway). They started getting pricier as the years went by and I’ll get one from here if I happen to be in the area. I did ship a King Cake from here a few years ago and it arrived fresh and intact. Medium Single Filled Cake Shipped $48.55

Ambrosia Bakery, Baton Rouge, LA – This is one of my favorite bakeries in Baton Rouge and they recently moved to a larger bakery to accommodate all the orders that come into the store. I love to get the chocolate chip cream cheese King Cake from this bakery, but they also offer a Pecan Praline King Cake. The cakes come in three sizes and can be ordered online for instore pickup or next day delivery. Regular Pecan Praline instore $15.25 delivered $50.25

Haydel’s Bakery, Jefferson, LA – I ordered a cake from Greater New Orleans’ area Haydel’s last year and sent it to a few friends. This year Haydel’s is offering a limited number of their 50th anniversary King Cake packages that includes a King Cake, Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide, a King Cake history scroll, a pack of their chicory coffee, a 50th anniversary bead pack, a handcrafted porcelain collectible, a Mardi Gras CD, poster, and cup. You can have your own Mardi Gras party in your office. Visit the website for some music to get you in the Carnival mood. UPS Next Day Air $49.49

Mardi Gras King Cake by Back to the Cutting Board

Manny Randazzo’s, Metairie, LA – Manny Randazzo’s makes King Cakes that I haven’t tried, but foodies I know in New Orleans rave about this place. Apparently this is THE place to get a King Cake. I may order one to try this season. You can order one online, complete with Mardi Gras goodies. Traditional cake starts at $44.95 shipped.

Cake Palace, Baton Rouge, LA – A twitter friend says that Cake Palace has the best King Cakes in Baton Rouge. I have heard that it is a good place for breakfast as well. They don’t offer online shipping, but if you’re in the area, stop in and get one. No price was available online.  No longer in business.

Walmart, Anywhere in Louisiana – You can’t get a King Cake shipped from here, but if you are in Louisiana, chances are there will be a variety of sizes and flavors available at the front of the store near the bakery area. If I happen to be shopping there, I’ll add a King Cake to my basket. Check the date to make sure it was freshly made. $8-12

Baum’s Pastries, Baton Rouge, LA – This is the place where I get petit fours and goodies for LSU games. They also sell King Cakes in the store but they aren’t listed on their website or for shipping. The King Cakes are always fresh and they run out by the end of the day. $15-20.

Where do you get your King Cakes?

Comments

  1. you apparently never had meche’s donuts (lafayette) king cake. ;)

    lemon filled. there is nothing better.

  2. Yum!!! At the last place I worked, everytime Mardi Gras came around one of my co-workers would bring back a Gambino’s King cake from their trip…so tasty!
    .-= Jen@TwoKidsandaMap´s last blog ..Junior Museum of Bay County – Panama City, Florida =-.

  3. This sounds similar to many other things which were originally to use up the stuff you weren’t allowed to eat during Lent … like our pancakes, only much more tasty!

    How does it keep? How does it travel? Can you bring some next time you visit UK?

  4. Leah – I haven’t had Meche’s yet, but now you make me want to take a day trip to Lafayette!

    Jen – Your family should come for Mardi Gras and pick on up.

    Keith – If the TSA will let me carry one of those things through security, I will hand deliver one to you when I get back across the pond.
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Best King Cake in Louisiana =-.

  5. I’ve only had King Cake once in my life…but now I apparently need to make a trip to Baton Rouge! It all looks and sounds so yummy! Shannon – have you ever made one yourself?
    .-= Sherry Ott´s last blog ..Photo of the Week – New Zealand =-.

  6. When I was in the high school French club, we had a King Cake fundraiser. I had green, gold, and purple sugar all over myself by the time the day of baking was over. It was fun, but I’m not much of a pastry chef. I just like to eat ;P
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Best King Cake in Louisiana =-.

  7. What an indulgent sounding cake – gloriously rich and calorific.
    .-= Mark H´s last blog ..Père Lachaise Cemetery (Paris, France) =-.

  8. Oh yum! I’ve never tasted a King cake. Wish there was a Louisiana road trip in my near future.
    .-= Donna Hull´s last blog ..Take This Rotten Book Along On Your Next Baby Boomer Trip =-.

  9. Oak Point Grocery in Central and Watson have a really good King cake also. They come in a variety of flavors but like Shannon, my kids prefer the plain one. Still very good!!

  10. You can’t go wrong with a blueberry-filled king cake from Paul’s Pastry Shop in Picayune, Miss.!
    .-= Karon Warren´s last blog ..Georgia Aquarium: Planning Your Visit =-.

  11. Oh! You are officially making my mouth water. I have just got to get to Louisiana one of these days.
    .-= Barbara at Hole in the Donut Travels´s last blog ..Music Without Borders – the World’s Most Fascinating Music Stories on PBS =-.

  12. Paul Rice says:

    Shannon,

    I have to put in my vote for Manny Randazzo’s as our favorite. Cake Palace and Jay’s Donuts (Baton Rouge) are also favorites. Ralph’s Supermarket (Baton Rouge and Gonzales) are usually good – get a bad one every now and then.

  13. Dominica McCants says:

    Hi Shannon, worked for Marguerite for ll years in Kenner and in Metairie…best King Cakes and other cakes too…..love Marguerite…she is in Slidell now….

  14. But if you can’t make it to *south* Louisiana, you can get a grand version of the seasonal pastry at Julie Anne’s Bakery in Shreveport.
    http://www.julieannesbakery.com/

  15. It’s interesting that these king cakes are available all over the world but we don’t have an equivalent in the UK, only Christmas cake which is more for Christmas than for Epiphany. I saw these king cakes in Lisbon too just before Christmas.http://www.heatheronhertravels.com/pasteis-de-belem-lisbon-portugal/
    .-= Heather on her travels´s last blog ..Crab cakes fit for a Princess at the Mandarin Oriental in London =-.

  16. Here is a link to several King Cake recipes:
    http://mrlake.fncinc.net/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3382

  17. being new to Zachary, we tried LeBlancs King Cake. It was not disappointing. We had the turtle variety and loved it. I have purchased a praline one and can’t wait to serve it to my guests from Boston today.
    .-= Dot´s last blog ..New Year’s Eve at Our House =-.

  18. Paul’s Pastry has the very best king cakes…and they do ship.

    http://paulspastry.com/
    .-= Sadie´s last blog ..Applying Background Images Using CSS =-.

  19. This is AWESOME! I was telling Rick that going to New Orleans and shooting a Midlife Road Trip learning to make a King Cake is on my Bucket List!!!

  20. Suzanne Rogers says:

    Alberston’s on Ryan Street in lake Charles have awesome King Cakes.. I drove nearly 800 miles to pick up a dozen for the office.. They don’t ship them.

  21. Your Dad and I like Ambrosia Strawberry Cream Cheese the best, Then Gambino’s, I’ve never had a Meche’s but heard they are great! To be honest I’ve never met a King cake of any flavor I didn’t like. And there is something to be said about just plain old traditional. M-m-m-m-m-m love em all!

  22. Love this!! We grew up with Gambino’s. Love your list! Miss the Cakes. :)

  23. We are going to have a “Mardi Gras Up In Carolina!” here this year! :)

  24. Meche’s Donut King has the best of anything they serve. Their donuts are the best in the universe! I know. I eat donuts everywhere trying to find one that is as good as a Meche’s (Fluffy Fresh in the KC Metro Area is the closest, so far). Eat their king cakes. You won’t be disappointed. Although, I have to say that the Guilbeau Road location is where you should go. I’ve tried the other locations, and their wares are not as consistently tasty!

  25. Have to agree with Joni here. Only the Meche’s on Guilbeau in Lafayette will do for some of the best king cake in the world. Don’t mess with any other location.

    And, they ship them year round!

  26. nedra ware says:

    we’ve had king cakes all the time from every bakery in new orleans and
    have sent lots to friends at christmas, just had 1 this week from slodell
    la from marguerite it was out of this world . that’s where my next order is going, we have been ordering community coffrr every month
    for years and they are the ones who recommended them, do u know
    what it means to miss new orleans, wish napoleon was still painting there!

  27. I love me some King Cake! When are they going to come out with Queen Cake?

  28. I have a question for you all, since you are experienced with the whole King Cake. Has any one heard of a place called Dad’s Donuts. A friend of mines husband is originally from Louisiana, and he said the King Cakes from there were the best, But I can’t seem to find anything about Dad’s Donuts.

  29. Dad’s Donuts is in Gentilly.2050-1 Caton St. I have not had a King Cake but I plan to be in New Orleans in 2 weeks.

  30. Michael Boyle says:

    I drive all the way to a LeBlanc’s to get a king cake. I live in Baton Rouge but no where is as good as the ones from LeBlanc’s. They have even more filling this year than last year. So good! If you are around one you should try them. The turtle and eclair are my two favorite

  31. Zelma Wells says:

    I live in Myrtle Beach, S.C., area, lived in La. for 23 yrs., trying to find a Bakery, etc., that ships King Cake, we received one from the Lafayette area a few yrs., ago but cant recall name. Any suggestions appreciated, of course reasonably priced, Happy Mardi Gras!

  32. Ralph’s has the best in my opinion. The strawberry creamcheese filled is amazing! We’ve tried 3-4 others and they weren’t the same.

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