King Cakes aren't even limited to the New Orleans Carnival season anymore, but for New Orleanians is truly only a King Cake during Carnivaltime, from 12th Night or Kings Day to Mardi Gras Day. There are more places than ever to get a King Cake too. Here' a list of local New Orleans bakeries with the best King Cakes along with detailed descriptions of the varied and delicious offerings by each under the name "King Cake", for your consideration when shopping in New Orleans or even on-line.
Antoine's Famous Cakes & Pastries
The family business offers traditional cinnamon King Cake and a signature Pecan Praline version as well as filled King Cakes with Cream Cheese, Apple, Lemon, or Strawberry.
The Royal King Cake has all four fillings, each in a quarter of the cake. It's perfect way to settle disputes over what type of King Cake to order or for those who just love them all and can't decide.
The Randazzo King Cakes were created in 1965 at the family's old Chalmette bakery. I wonder how many people left home early to pick one up on the way to work over the years. I think it was especially prized because of its off-the-beaten-track location.
Now, the current Randazzo generation has a King Cake only business with a storefront at 3515 N. Hullen in Metairie. Randazzo also ships King Cakes, of all kinds for all occasions, via UPS, often the package includes beads and a go cup.
The storefront shop opens its doors in Mid-December with Christmas King Cakes leading right into the traditional King Cake season.
Those Christmas King Cakes are just the beginning of the different "Seasonal King Cakes". The colored sugar atop the icing, and sometimes the icing color itself, varies with the Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine, LSU, Saints and other cakes.
There are even different shapes available: The LSU Tiger tail, the Valentine Heart, the Christmas Candy Cane, and the Fleur de Lis.
Haydel's King Cakes are braided Danish dough with cinnamon. They are topped with fondant icing and colored sugar. Haydel also offers their traditional King Cake with fillings as well as a Da Parish version with the dominating thick white icing similar to Randazzo's cakes.
King Cake packages, that may include collectable premium babies, music, and more, are available for over night delivery.
If you are looking for a King Cake alternative that's just as sweet, Haydel's has created the Cajun Kringle, a flaky, buttery pastry with a praline filling, caramel icing and pecans.
The King Cake babies from Haydel's are a unique collectable that come out each year. The porcelain babies come with King Cake orders and some from past years are still available for purchase at Haydel's website. Past version include a variety of Mardi Gras parade people, historic New Orleans characters, bead dogs, a frozen Charlotte baby, and even a Katrina trailer float.
Haydel's, which is a full service bakery, is located at 4037 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson.
Hi Do BakeryHi Do Bakery has braided ring King Cakes as well as a popular Fleur de Lis shaped King Cake and by special order other unique shapes like crab and crawfish King Cakes.
The two-foot black and gold Fleur de Lis King Cakes are sure to be in big demand this year as the Saints continue their winning ways.
Hi Do King Cakes have a sugar glaze - not icing - and colored sugar on top. A variety of filled cakes are also available, and "Queen Cakes" include multiple filings in one cake
o Hi Do is a storefront bakery that also supplies French bread to many restaurants in New Orleans.
Hi Do is located at 441 Terry Parkway in Gretna on the West Bank. It's a short straight trip from the Terry Parkway Exit off the Crescent City Connection Mississippi River Bridge if you come from the East Bank.
Gambino's traditional King Cakes have icing and three sections of colored sugar - purple, green and gold of course - the Mardi Gras colors.
The King Cakes are also available in perhaps the largest variety of fillings including fruit flavors: Apple, Blueberry, Strawberry, Cherry, Lemon, Peach, Pineapple, Raspberry, as well as these decadent fillings: Cream Cheese, Chocolate Cream Cheese, and Pecan Praline. How to decide? When you do, you can even get a double-filled King Cake hee.
New Orleans area Gambino's Bakery shops are located at 4821 Veterans Blvd. in Metairie on the East Bank and 300 LaPalco Blvd. in Gretna on the West Bank. There are also Gambino's venues in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, Louisiana.