Photo Credit: Michelle Schrank [flickr]

Photo Credit: Michelle Schrank [flickr]

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THE PROS

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Alex Harrel

Chef and owner of Angeline in New Orleans.

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Ruby Bloch

Pastry chef for LeBlanc+Smith in New Orleans.

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Chef Martha Wiggins

Chef at Sylvain in New Orleans.
 

What makes a great king cake?

"I like king cakes that are freshly baked with a light dough. I don't like them too sweet, so the best ones aren't covered with icing and a ton of colored sugar. I'm okay with both filled and un-filled cakes. Some of my favorites are the cakes that are a bit more unique that you don't see everywhere."
- Chef Alex Harrell

"What I am looking for in a king cake is fresh, soft dough and bright flavors. Beyond that, I love when people try new flavors and techniques."
- Pastry Chef Ruby Bloch

Why is there a baby in my cake?

"The person who gets the baby must buy the king cake next year."
- Chef Martha Wiggins

"There are so many different takes on what the baby means. I like learning about family traditions concerning the baby, but being from the northeast, I don't have any of my own."
- Pastry Chef Ruby Bloch


Photograph courtesy of Dorignac's

Photograph courtesy of Dorignac's

KING CAKE RECOMMENDATIONS

Restaurants

Mardi Foie King Cake | Photograph courtesy of Kingfish

Mardi Foie King Cake | Photograph courtesy of Kingfish

Kingfish

This restaurant has a special Mardi Gras menu with their own unique take on a king cake, which is a duck fat brioche filled with foie gras cream cheese.

"Nathan Richard's Foie Gras King Cake is so unique. He is using foie gras fat in the dough and the icing."
- Chef Alex Harrell

337 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70125
T: 504.598.5005 | www.kingfishneworleans.com


Bakeries

Dong Phuong

This Vietnamese bakery tops many people's list as one of the best and most unusual king cakes in the city. They come in one size, but many flavors. It's $18 for cinnamon and $20 for cream cheese, blueberry, or strawberry. You can also find them at Pizza Nola.

"This is a little off the beaten path, but they're my favorite because the dough and icing are much lighter than others. Also, the icing isn't as sweet, so you don't feel like your weighed down after you eat it. It's my go-to breakfast on Mardi Gras to have with some strong coffee."
- Chef Alex Harrell

"This bakery is legit. Everything they produce is fresh and not crazy sweet. They make king cakes in several different flavors, so you can mix it up a bit and see what you like."
- Chef Martha Wiggins

14207 Chef Menteur Highway, New Orleans, LA 70129
T: 504.872.0731 (to order cakes) | dpbanhmi.com

Photograph courtesy of New Orleans Cake Cafe

Photograph courtesy of New Orleans Cake Cafe

New Orleans Cake Cafe

Their cakes are large and serve up to 18 people. You can opt for traditional ($23) or try one of their signature cakes ($27) filled with boudin, apple goat cheese, raspberry cream cheese, or pecan cream cheese.

"I love their apple goat cheese king cheese. I'm a sucker for anything with apple and cinnamon, then the goat cheese adds a sharpness. It's not overly sweet and it's amazing."
- Chef Alex Harrell

"My favorite is the boudin-stuffed king cake. I love the uniqueness of the boudin -- it's sweet and savory."
- Pastry Chef Ruby Bloch

"They have a really light dough and a few savory flavors, so it's a good place to mix it up a little."
- Chef Martha Wiggins

2440 Chartres Street, New Orleans, Louisiana
T: 504.943.0010 | nolacakes.com

Photograph courtesy of Boulangerie New Orleans

Photograph courtesy of Boulangerie New Orleans

La Boulangerie New Orleans

This is a neighborhood bakery and café where you can buy house-made pastries or stop in for a sandwich and a coffee. Their nine inch king cakes cost $30 and come in cinnamon cream cheese, strawberry mascarpone; and chocolate pecan flavors.

"They do a more a traditional French gateau riz, which is more in-line with what a traditional king cake was without the icing and colored sugar."
- Chef Alex Harrell

4600 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
T: 504.269.3777 |
laboulangerienola.com

Photographs courtesy of Nonna Randazzo's

Photographs courtesy of Nonna Randazzo's

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Nonna Randazzo's

This is an old world style Italian bakery carrying on their traditional family king cake recipe. The cakes come in medium (12" x 16") or large (15" x 20"). Go with the classic or get them filled with cream cheese, strawberry cream cheese, or pecan praline. The prices range from $55.95 to $69.95.

"Randazzo's has my favorite classic take on a king cake. They're soft, flavorful, and not cloyingly sweet."
- Pastry Chef Ruby Bloch

Multiple Locations:
- 2033 North Highway190, Suite F, Covington. LA 70433 | T: 985.893.1488
- 22022 Marshall Road, Mandeville, LA 70433 | T: 985.8982444
- 925 East Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette, LA 70043 | T:504.684.0090

www.nonnaskingcakes.com

Baby and pastry chef inside of king cakes | Photographs courtesy of Bywater Bakery

Baby and pastry chef inside of king cakes | Photographs courtesy of Bywater Bakery

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Bywater Bakery

Their cakes range from $16 to $22 and run the gamut of flavors including plain, Creole Cream Cheese, Ponchatoula Strawberry, Berry Chantilly, and Pecan Praline, to name a few.

"This place just opened and it's a block from my house. Their brioche is on point and the location is key."
- Pastry Chef Ruby Bloch

3624 Dauphine Street, Bywater, New Orleans, LA 70117
T: 504.336.3336 | 
www.bywaterbakery.com

Photograph courtesy of  Dorignac's

Photograph courtesy of  Dorignac's

Dorignac's

They have a multitude of flavors, from strawberry to praline to chocolate. The cakes come in small and medium and are priced from $46.99 to $61.99.

"Dorignac's takes a more traditional approach to king cake. They make a ton of different flavors and has a range from sweet to sugar free."
- Chef Martha Wiggins

710 Vetereans Boulevard, Metairie, LA 70005
T: 504.834.8216 | dorignacs.com


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