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The very BEST King Cake?

Which bakery makes the very best King Cake?
To be honest, I use to love McKenzie's very plain, almost dry, coffeecake-style King Cake. Some of the newer ones are wretchedly excessive with cream cheese and frosting piled on top of fillings.
I suppose this is all a matter of taste...

I need BAKERY cakes, not restaurants. It would be great if the bakery would ship, but I can pick it up. Don't need one of those Mardi Gras "packages" where they throw in beads, doubloons, coffee and other stuff. I need just the cake.
NOLA and North Shore, East to Waveland.


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  1. I used to get my king cakes from Good Children's Bakery in Violet (don't know if it is still there since Katrina). Or at Haydel's on Airline(?). I haven't been back to New orleans for years, so the quality and taste of these places may have changed.

    5 Replies
    1. re: SumoSizeMe

      I second Randazzo's Good Childrens'. AWESOME king-cake.

      1. re: hungry penguin

        * * * * * EXCELLENT KING CAKE * * * * *
        The owners reopenned in Covington as Nonna Randazzo's. They have the best anywhere. http://www.nonnaskingcakes.com/
        You can order on-line and they deliver. They lost their home during Katrina and relocated to the northshore. The bakery in now located on Hwy 190 in Covington.

      2. re: SumoSizeMe

        I scream Randazzos. They are consistent and taste wonderful. I shipped them to friends post Katrina to show we were coming back.
        And my kids love Randazzos.
        Gone, McKenzies. The imitation Randzaos cake was very good.

        1. re: Mandeville refugee

          The best King Cake is a homemade one.
          Here is a link to several recipes.

        2. re: SumoSizeMe

          Nona finally reopened in chalmette on Paris Rd.

        3. Frances Bakery on 801 Veterans Hwy. Moist cake, surpassingly rich fillings.

          1. My favorite king cake doesn't come from New Orleans. Ambrosia Bakery in Baton Rouge makes a deliciously decadent ZULU King Cake - Dark chocolate icing, coconut & cream cheese filling. The best I've had. Rich, but not a sugary sweet as the ones with multicolored icing. mmmmm.... I think I'll pick one up this week! I'm fairly certain they ship these.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LBHamp

              Amen- Ambrosia even makes my 'Yat Mom happy.

            2. My parents send me a Cake from Haydel's every year. They do come with all the parade stuff (cups, beads etc.) But they are very good and except for the one year the post man delivered it on it's side making everything smush together they have always arrived fresh and very nice.

              The cafe I worked for in the city ordered all theirs from McKenzies; Haydels is noticeable denser and has more filling. If you order the cheese or the plain they are not as stuffed as the fruit ones.

              1. I like the king cakes from Maurice's French Pastries. Jean-Luc makes a lot of different varieties like so many places, so I usually stick to the plain. They ship, and I've used them to ship cakes to friends around the country. They recently moved their location out of Fat City to Napoleon and Transcontinental.

                1. The best King Cake is at Randazzo's in Metairie near Lakeside Shopping Center. They are opened only Christmas through Mardi Gras. Another good choice is Antoine's who sice Katrina have moved to the West Bank. If you want a true French King Cake Galette de Rois-Le Boulangerie Bakery on Magazine is the ticket.

                  1. Haydel's is the best I've had. On Jefferson Hwy.

                    1. my favorite is haydel's also. on the northshore, try krummel's mandeville bake shop. almost as good as haydel's. by the way, goodchildren's relocated to covington after katrina under the name nonna randazzo's because of a legal dispute. same owners, same recipe.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: charve1

                        If Krummel's is the one I think it is, it's got a great King Cake. Small strip mall? For a long time the only sign they had only said "Bakery"? We had no idea what the name was but kept going back because they had everything from good multi-grain loaves to pastries and pies. Then the terrific, simple King Cakes showed up along with some more elaborate versions.
                        I really prefer the plainer ones, without all the cream cheese and glop. That cream cheese stuff is a pretty recent innovation - notice I didn't use the word "improvement." But then I still remember when the Baby was china instead of plastic.

                        1. re: charve1

                          I have to agree, Krummels has one of the best king cakes we've ever had. We drive from the New Orleans to the North Shore to get them. Plus if you liked the McKenzies style king cake, they have those also. I heard that for the first several years that they were actually making the McKenzie style for Tastee.
                          Over here in N.O. we usually go to Haydels
                          I'm not a fan of filled King Cakes, so we usually get the regular one.....nothing like warm king cake and cold milk for breakfast

                        2. I just love the King Cakes baked by Julie Anne's Bakery in Shreveport. The Pralines and Cream is to die for. I am having three sent to me as we speak to St Louis, MO for our Mardi Gras.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Lemp1

                            I agree with this! Was just in NoLA and tried the cream-chesse from both Haydel's and Manny Randazzo's, and it's the one from Julie Anne's I'm having shipped out.

                          2. I am by no means a connoisseur of king cakes, but got one at the Laurel St. Bakery yesterday and thought it was great. The dough was tougher than I'm used to and not very sweet, it was almost like eating challah with frosting on top.

                            1. My vote is for Haydel's. UPS delivered my traditional King Cake yesterday and my husband and I can't stop eating it! Its very moist and the frosting on top is perfect - not too thick, but not too thin either. Luckily its cold here in Chicage because my husband set the box on its side after he took it from our delivery man, but it was perfect after I opened it (the cold did some good for us for once)!

                              I've ordered from Randazzo's before, and while their King Cake is good, its a little more sloppy and not as moist and tasty as Haydel's.

                              Haydel's Bakery
                              4037 Jefferson Highway
                              New Orleans, LA 70121
                              (I tried ordering online but it didn't work so I had to call directly)

                              1. I've never had a king cake before and would love to surprise my husband with one. I'm leaning towards Haydel's because people from various walks of life have recommended them but I am harder pressed when it comes to flavors. We are not chocolate people. Do most people get the cream cheese filled?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                  Janet, I posted the original question because I wanted to see what was out there. I grew up in NOLA and lived on KC from King's Day to Mardi Gras. I always liked the traditional one and I think Haydel's is probably the closest although a few other places offer that same unfilled, coffee cake-style ring.
                                  Cream cheese did not exist in the South when I was growing up the way it does now - other than Creole Cream Cheese which is altogether different - so the filled cakes and chocolate cakes and all the other elaborate renditions are a development of the past couple of decades. I personally hate them. Too sweet for me and don't mess with my traditions!! To me it's part of the Super-Sizing School of Eating. The Traditional Cake was just fine but others like the new style. Enough that they have become the most common and the traditional is hard to find. To each his own.

                                2. Janet, I would go with the traditional, you can't go wrong. I've never tried the filled ones though, only because they sound way too rich and I already know the traditional is great so I didnt want to make a mistake by ordering something else. Also if its being shipped, I would have to think the traditional will hold up better. If you order from Haydel's today you'll have it on Friday! Another cool thing Haydel's does is send a miniature porcelain king cake doll, nice little touch. Their 2007 edition of the dolls is 'Mardi Gras in the Wake of Katrina.' Enjoy!

                                  1. Hi there MakingSense.
                                    I too am a McKenzie lover!!!! Plain Brioge (sp?) dough with purple, green and gold fine sugar on the top! Now all of these variations just totally go against tradition. Heck, they are simply big filled danishes with Mardi Gras colored sugar on top!

                                    Remember Gambino's and their squarish KC with rock sugar on top? That was yummy too!

                                    Okay here is the deal: You are right about Krummel's - technically it is "Mandeville Bake Shop" (I live here in MVille now) and their cakes are so so - the plain ones.

                                    Tastee Donuts bought the recipe in the last two years or so for the MCKENZIE's cakes!!! I had several and they were great. I haven't had one this year so not sure if they're still doing them.

                                    In Mandeville, we have Rouse's Supermarket and their King Cakes are the closest I've found to MKenz. Remember McKenz cinammon rolls? Rouse has plain cinammon KCs with icing and sugar on the top but the icing is like McKenz cin roll icing. Yummy. They probably do mail order! Get a few and freeze them. I did that every year with McKenz b/c I had moved to Baton Rouge and would come to NOLA and get 4-5 large ones and freeze them.

                                    Good luck!!!!

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: ReneC

                                      ReneC, do the names stella, v.j, rex, beth, connie mean anything to you? If so, I think I know you---very well.

                                      As for King Cakes, in the 'olden days'---when I was young---they were brioche, a cakey bread type thing. none of the children really enjoyed them. not sweet enuf, i guess. also, there was no doll of any kind, only a bean in the cake. If you got the piece of cake with the bean, you were king or queen, and you gave the party the next weekend. that custom continued thru Carnival season---a King Cake Party every weekend.. (it was NEVER called mardi gras until about 1968 when the travel indusry decided to advertise it; ergo, mardi gras. that's when CARNIVAL was lost to city residents because it became a tourist attraction. as a matter of fact, we didn't even call Tuesday "Mardi Gras"---we called it CARNIVAL DAY!!

                                      1. re: pb1418

                                        And our Mamas told us if we got that damned bean to swallow it! Because we could NOT have that party at our house the next weekend! Of course we didn't swallow it and Mama let us have the party.
                                        The best was to be in two KC party groups so you had a party Friday and Saturday nights for all of Carnival season.
                                        I always loved King Cake! Still do to this day. And I miss McKenzie's How does anyone have a cocktail party without those little pattie shells?

                                        1. re: pb1418

                                          Of course! How about "Chet"? Beans? and Carnival? Before my time. Thank goodness SOMETHING is before my time!
                                          -- ALSO, Rouse's DOES ship KCs. Their website is Rouses.com and I am eating a piece of their KC as I type this!!! YUMMMMMMMM

                                          1. re: pb1418

                                            Absolutely, agreed. I plan on making a bunch of my own this year. I grew up eating the McKenzie's plain sugar and brioche King Cakes and occasionally the one laced with cinnamon. I've never been able to stomach the heavy, super sweet ones.

                                        2. The best King Cake I have ever had comes from the Cajun Pecan House in Cut Off, LA. Down on the bayou! Their cinnamon pecan King Cake is absolutely heavenly. You can seriously gorge yourself on this one and not be able to help it! Shipping charges are outrageous, though. I wanted to have one shipped and the cake was $30 for a large and the shipping was another $20! Seems like someone's skimming off the shipping charge.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: pinotgirl

                                            Agreed. This King Cake is awesome, but unfortunately I live far away and the shipping charges are brutal. But those king cakes sure are good.....

                                          2. The very best king I found, even though i havent tried haydel's..YET..., was at Calandro's Supermarket! They have a bananas foster king cake!! omgooodnesss the best moist slice of heaven I have ever had, and they bake them fresh daily!! What it is is banana creme and rum mixed for the filling and then they have a caramel walnut icing on top, it is to die for!!! I almost ate the whole thing, and im a health nut too! ha

                                            1. Tastee Donuts has been selling McKenzie's king cakes for the last couple of years. They are terrific. They also do McKenzie's buttermilk drops (soooo good!) and their cinnamon rolls too. They are supposed to be adding more McKenzie's products too.

                                              1. I am proud to say I have the definitive answer on this topic!! At least from 15 people's perspectives : ) Last year my family decided to go on the quest to finally solve the age old question of who has the Best King Cake in the area. My husband loves King Cake and I was pregnant so we were obviously up to sampling many different styles and bakeries. Our journey took us down to Springfield where we heard they had the very best King Cake (our source was incorrect), over to Hammond to the Berry Patch, over to Mandeville Bakery, and then to Nonna Randazzo's Bakery in Covington. The next day we went to the South Shore and got King Cakes from Randazzo's, Maurices, and Haydel's. At each place we got a plain King Cake and then from Haydel's we got a Cajun Kringle (Praline) and at a few others we got different fillings. We then assembled multiple friends and family and had a taste off. My family are from out of state, but my husbands family are born and raised New Orleanians. Now, I will go into this saying that we had a favorite from past years and that was Randazzo's hands down. We did not tell anyone where any of the cakes came from. It was unanimously voted Randazzo's. It was the moistest by far, the icing evenly covered the cake and there were ample amounts of it, and the width of the cake was perfect. Also it did not leave that taste/feeling on the back of your throat when too much cinnamon is used. Coming in not even a close second was Haydel's plain, and Haydel's Cajun Kringle was third. I guess it serves to reason that a place that is only open from Jan. 2 until Lundi Gras, and only makes King Cakes would put out a superior product. Now, we do not have to wonder who makes the best cake anymore, and we will be buying all of our King Cakes from Randazzo's this year. My parents who live in Oklahoma are already asking us to have these cakes shipped to them next year.

                                                When they come back into town in January we are going to next solve the age old question of who makes the best Roast Beef Po-Boy (thanks to the RBP tour thread on this board). I am not pregnant this year, so I don't really have an excuse to eat a lot, but who cares right? : )

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: mtleahy

                                                  Ah, but your definitive answer is not mine. I'm old fashioned; I don't like icing on my king cake at all, just colored sugar. It is very hard to find a REAL old-style brioche king cake not smothered in white icing (which is purchased in 5-gallon buckets and made w/HFCS) or stuffed with goopy fillings, so I've resorted to making my own, just like we used to do when I was a kid in the not-so-long-ago '70s.

                                                  1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                    What's your recipe? I've made the one out of Jambalaya (that yellow cookbook from the NO Jr. League) and was pretty happy with it. The lemon and orange zest in the dough really made it for me. But I wasn't raised here. :)

                                                    1. re: JGrey

                                                      I've cobbled together my own, stealing from various sources. It's basically an extra-sweet brioche with a few spices dusted on the dough ropes before you braid it. Most of the recipe comes from Peter Reichart's "rich man's brioche" recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice. I do fold in some toasted pecans, too.

                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                        Yeah, the sweet brioche dough works for me. SAF makes a yeast specifically for sweet doughs, and that works very well for King cake. King Arthur flour online has a good dough recipe, though they offer a cream-cheese filling to go with it (I skip that). But I do add a touch of almond oil to the melted butter to help keep the baked dough moist. One good point about the King Arthur recipe is that it also uses a wonderful extract called Fiori di Sicilia to flavor the brioche (I make my own version of that by using equal parts Nielsen-Massey Tahitian vanilla extract, orange extract, and almond extract -- it adds the most delicious frangrance and the taste complements the buttery flavor of the dough beautifully). Fiori di Sicilia can be bought online from King Arthur flour.

                                                        1. re: lindygal

                                                          You know, I bought a bottle of fiore di Sicilia, and I decided I can't stand the stuff!

                                                  2. re: mtleahy

                                                    Exactly what I would have done, but you missed Zoe's, Rouses, Antoines, Hi-de-ho, Laurel St, Duong Phong, Cake Cafe, and Sucre!

                                                    1. re: mtleahy

                                                      Which Randazzo's is the one you recommend? There seem to be several branches. I'm ordering to New York, so want one that can deliver overnight.

                                                    2. The story and recipe of a King Cake

                                                      The story of the king cake begins, like the story of Mardi Gras itself, with the pagans. They had a celebration where a young man from the village was chosen to be treated like a king for a whole year. He was not denied during his reign, but after the year was over he became a human sacrifice to the gods. To eliminate this pagan custom, the Christian Church encouraged an observance calling for the preparation of a king cake containing a bean; whoever received the slice with the bean became king for a week and was allowed to choose a queen to reign with him. This took the place of the sacrificial pagan rite.
                                                      The King Cake tradition is believed to have been brought to New Orleans, Louisiana, from France in the 1870's. It evolved from the Twelfth Night or Epiphany pastry made by those early settlers. They added their own touches with the Spanish custom of choosing Twelfth Night royalty.
                                                      In European countries, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. The celebration, called Epiphany, Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night, is a time of exchanging gifts and feasting. All over the world people gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. One of the most popular customs is still the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings..."A King's Cake" or Gateau de Roi.
                                                      A King Cake's ring shape, too, is significant, as some believe it symbolizes the unity of all Christians, and others believe it aptly resembles a king's crown.
                                                      A dried bean was originally hidden inside the cake but was replaced by coins, peas, pecans, rubber dolls, porcelain dolls, and in recent years plastic dolls. Starting around the 1930s, a tiny naked baby (Frozen Charlotte) was used instead of the bean or pea. The baby can be pink, brown, or golden. Some people believe that the baby represents the baby Jesus because Twelfth Night was when the three kings found the baby in Bethlehem.
                                                      Tradition has it that the person who finds the baby in the king cake is the next queen or king, he or she receives a year of good luck, is treated as royalty for that day and must host the next king cake party.
                                                      King Cake season lasts throughout Mardi Gras from the feast of the Epiphany until Mardi Gras Day.
                                                      The royal colors of purple, green and gold on the cake honors the three kings who visited the Christ child on the Epiphany. Purple represents Justice. Green stands for Faith. Gold signifies Power.
                                                      The three colors appeared in 1872 on a Krewe of Rex carnival flag especially designed for the visiting Grand Duke of Russia. He came to New Orleans just for the carnival, and the universal colors remain his legacy.

                                                      Yield: 12 servings
                                                      Prep Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
                                                      Cooking Time: 30 minutes

                                                      Ingredients: Cake

                                                      • ½ cup warm water (100° to 110° F)
                                                      • 2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
                                                      • 2 teaspoons white sugar
                                                      • 4-5 cups bread flour
                                                      • ½ cup sugar
                                                      • 2 teaspoons salt
                                                      • 1½ teaspoons ground nutmeg
                                                      • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
                                                      • ½ cup warm milk (105° to 115° F)
                                                      • ½ cup melted butter – cooled
                                                      • 5 egg yolks
                                                      • 1 teaspoon anise extract
                                                      • - vegetable oil/shortening
                                                      • 1 plastic baby toy

                                                      Ingredients: Glaze (Yield: 1½ cups)

                                                      • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
                                                      • 1 teaspoons almond extract
                                                      • 2-3 Tablespoons water

                                                      Ingredients: Decoration

                                                      • - Purple, green and gold sugar sprinkles


                                                      1. Dissolve yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in ½ cup warm water in a small bowl. Mix well and let stand in a warm place 10 minutes.
                                                      2. Combine 4 cups flour, ½ cup sugar, salt, nutmeg and grated lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
                                                      3. Add warm milk, melted butter, egg yolks, anise and yeast mixture to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until it lightly comes together, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and climbs slightly up the dough hook.
                                                      4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead in remaining flour until dough is no longer sticky. Continue kneading until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
                                                      5. Place in a well-greased bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set in a warm (85°), draft-free place, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.

                                                      Hint: A closed unlit gas oven is an excellent draft-free place. The heat from the pilot provides adequate warmth for proper rising. With an electric oven, turn to 150° for about 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and open the door for 3 minutes. Place the bowl of dough in the oven and quickly close the door. This will give you an approximate temperature of 85°, just right for even and fairly quick rising.

                                                      6. Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
                                                      7. Shape dough into a cylinder 30 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. Place dough roll on a lightly greased baking sheet.
                                                      8. Bring ends together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal.
                                                      9. Place a well-greased 2 pound coffee can in the center of the ring to maintain the shape during baking.
                                                      10. Press the plastic baby toy into the ring from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough.
                                                      11. Cover the ring with a towel and place in a warm, draft free place. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
                                                      12. Preheat the oven 350° F.
                                                      13. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
                                                      14. After baking remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool.
                                                      15. After baking remove the coffee can immediately. Allow the cake to cool.
                                                      16. Cut the cake into individual pieces and serve.

                                                      Ça c'est bon!!!

                                                      1. I'm solidly in the McKenzie's corner. Just a plain brioche cake with colored sugar, no icing. The big ones were rectangular and had a cherry at either end and sprinkles around the cherry instead of sugar. Man. Those are the only cakes that taste like Mardi Gras to me. And Tastee Donuts does a pretty darn good job of recreating the original Not exactly the same, but the same flavor and texture. I tried the Tastee version for the first time last year. I would say the only differences are the sugar (Tastee's seemed more powdery and dry than I recall with the McKenzie's version) and the sizes (I think they only sold one size, whereas McKenzie's had multiple sizes.

                                                        There aren't many of us who prefer the plain old McKenzie's cake to any other king cake, but if you're one of us, I would strongly suggest checking out Tastee Donuts' version come carnival time.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: Shiloh

                                                          I am with the traditionalists here who dislike filled king cakes, even though you risk getting a dry one. Filling usually pushes you over the edge into diabetic-coma type sweetness.

                                                          Having grown up with the younger generation of Haydels, I'm a blind loyalist to products originating from the bakery at 4037 Jefferson Highway.

                                                          One word of semi-warning. A Cajun Kringle from Haydels, though good, and shaped like a king cake, is not the same thing.

                                                          For Celeste and State Street, who make their own, my admiration for you is only increased. My mom tried this once when I was a child, the outcome was not at all like a king cake, and we never went back.

                                                          1. re: jamy

                                                            I'm surprised no one has mentioned Antoine's- it used to be on Frerret near Napoleon, now it's on the West Bank somewhere but they sell their cakes at the little Crepe shop on Broadway.

                                                            For traditional, no icing cakes- try O'Delice on Magazine. It was VERY VERY Good. Too expensive for me to buy for a party again, but I would buy it again for a smaller group of people that I like.

                                                          2. re: Shiloh

                                                            There are so many king cakes today, but none remind me of growing up in New Orleans(the Westbank). In grammar school we always had the plain king cakes from McKenzies. The were decorated with purple, green and gold sugar and multicolored sprinkles with a cherry. I can remember how excited we would be to have king cake and hopefully find the baby in our piece of cake. Oh how I long for a piece of that wonderful king cake!! Many people like the filled king cakes with all the fancy flavors, but all they amount to is a wonderful dessert to go with a cup of coffee.

                                                            I will try the Tastee Donut version, but I will have to make a special trip to NO for that. I hope it's worth the drive. I'm glad to see that there are others out there who miss the plain McKenzie king cake.

                                                            I've lived in quite a few cities and Tastee Donuts are the best donuts I've ever had! Growing up, we used to go there every Saturday morning for breakfast. That is the one thing I miss since my parents left New Orleans. Breakfast on Saturday mornings at her house is just not the same.

                                                            1. re: lil red

                                                              I miss McKenzie's king cakes too. Not too sugary like some others. The Sweet Car in the Intercontinental Hotel makes a fine king cake. It's croissant-like, if they still have the same pastry chef.

                                                              1. re: lil red

                                                                Lil Red, what part of the WB?
                                                                Have you been to Coffee & in Marrero?
                                                                They have much better donuts than Tastee, esp when they are just made.
                                                                I also remember those McKenzies King Cakes and always wanted the piece with the cherry. I did like them, but I like the current versions now too.

                                                                1. re: Isabella

                                                                  Oh my goodness I too went for the cherry piece which was usually gone if I didn't get there in time...Just heard from an old-school New Orleanian that her fave is the apple flavor from Winnnnnnnnnn-Dixie - "The Beef (& now King Cake) People"!

                                                            2. I'm a traditionalist. The problem with randazzo's and these cream filled King Cakes (or King's Cake) is that they are GOOD. King Cake (with the exception of Haydel's) is supposed to taste only slightly better than the corrugated cardboard it comes on so that you MUST wash it down with coffee which, of course, has been dripped in your little enamel pot on the stove. It goes without saying that the "king cakes" one sees at football tailgate parties are anathema. It is just plain wrong to have it before Jan 6.
                                                              The Cajun Kringle at Haydel's has made me a slave.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: hazelhurst

                                                                I agree with you totally, hazelhurst. It should be against the law to see them /sell them before Jan. 6. For sure, it must be a sin!
                                                                That's as bad as someplace in Oregon having them in Lent!

                                                              2. i can't wait till it is king cake season. this year i will have to get a king cake shipped up here. really miss the king cakes. mckenzie's really were the best.

                                                                9 Replies
                                                                1. re: vttp926

                                                                  The best King Cake in louisiana is at pouparts in Lafayette. The Bavarian Cream is the best ever!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                  1. re: louis evans IV

                                                                    I so love pouparts... their breads are so wonderful.

                                                                    1. re: malenky

                                                                      The chocolate-dipped florentines are tasty, too.

                                                                      1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                        I haven't had their napoleons in a while, but I remember them fondly.

                                                                    2. re: louis evans IV

                                                                      louis evans
                                                                      Thanks for the mention of Pouparts. I was in Lafayette on a boudin run a couple days ago and stopped in to the bakeshop to have a look see and buy a King Cake.


                                                                      I walked down the massive, crammed to the gills, pastry cases just pointing and shooting at what looked good.

                                                                      It took 2 trips to the Ford to get all my goods stored for the ride back to Austin.

                                                                      The Bavarian Cream, the Florentines, the fudge, the turtle cookies, the mini pecan pies...the list goes on-everything has been perfectly prepared and of utmost deliciousness.

                                                                      The good folks of Lafayette have a true treasure in this little shop.

                                                                      Haven't tried the King Cake yet but it's a pretty one.

                                                                      Hell, I haven't even tried any of the boudin I got from Johnson's or Best Stop.

                                                                      I've been too busy wolfing down all my sweet treats.

                                                                      Anyone with a sweet tooth who finds themselves near Lafayette should make a Pouparts run.

                                                                      1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                                        I'd be interested in knowing what you thought of the Best Stop boudin. Is that all your purchased there?

                                                                        1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                                          My Poupart's King Cake had been silent in the freezer for lo these many weeks til 2 days ago.

                                                                          We wrestled it out, put it in a 200 degree oven for 12 minutes and [on Hazelhurst's recommendation] washed it down with a big pot of good coffee.

                                                                          Although it's certainly possible there's a commercial version better than this one [cinnamon pecan] I would have to try it to be convinced.

                                                                          Thank god Pouparts is an 800 mile round trip or I'd weigh 300lbs. Everything that came out of their case was splendid.

                                                                          1. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                                            Their savory take-and-bake stuff is good, too. Poupart's is one of the things I miss about living in lafayette.

                                                                          2. re: scrumptiouschef

                                                                            The Napoleans are my fave. Also like the chocolate-filled eclairs.

                                                                      2. I REALLLY crave the old McKenzie's cakes (and meringue cookies and turtles) we had king cake every friday from 1st-7th grade I think!!

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: lennyzenith

                                                                          Somebody told me (can't remember who) that the Tastee Doughnuts near Transcontinental & West Esplanade has the old-fashioned, McKenzie's king cakes. Tastee also sells "buttermilk drops" and their version of the turtle cookies.

                                                                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                            is it king cake season already? my little sister is waiting for the day so we can order.

                                                                            1. re: vttp926

                                                                              Twelfth Night (January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, the traditional start of the carnival season) was a few days ago. Order away.

                                                                              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                And we have scant weeks to enjoy it....carnival day is less than a month away. See ya on Da Avenue (I'll be second-lining the Marines)

                                                                          2. re: lennyzenith

                                                                            Wow, I remember having this fight with my backyard neighboor when I was a kid, and I guess it is just what you grow up with in house. She was all about McKenzie's; we were a Gambino's family. (Haven't had one in years, but back in the 70's, it was my world) No filling, just moist, cinnamony and sweet. Gotta love a town where you can argue about a seasonal cake for decades. Every attempt as adults we have made to bake our own was a study in multicolor doorstops.

                                                                          3. La Boulangerie makes a wonderful "French" kingcake. Think pithiver/almond paste filling.

                                                                            1. Antoine's just off West Bank Expressway on Stumpf, across from the back of the Home Depot. Wonderfully consistent, well made, reasonably priced cakes. They have the slightest hint of orange or satsuma that really sets them above everything else (particularly since Randazzo's Goodchildren Bakery in Chalmette has not reopened-they were the standard, no doubt). Maybe a little too much icing, but it comes off easily, if you don't want it. These guys took a pretty bad hit to their Freret St. location from Katrina flooding--the landlord never re-habed the building, so they're limited to the Gretna location for now. Well worth the trip across the river. If you're stuck in Metairie world, the branch of the Randazzo's family that operates there puts out a close but not quite the same version of the Goodchildren cake. If you didn't really savor the cakes from the original Randazzo's, you won't know the difference and either Antoine's or Manny Randazzo's should make you plenty happy.

                                                                              1. I was in N.O. yesterday and went to Tastee Donuts and got a McKenzie K.C. it was good for being a non filled cake.

                                                                                1. Anyone heard of Paul's Pastry Shop in Picayune, just over the State line?

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: gotech

                                                                                    I heard a story about it on NPR, All Things Considered, I want to say. They touted it as the best, though I've never tried it myself.

                                                                                    1. re: gotech

                                                                                      i live in MS and i have had pauls and dont care for it to much. i drive over to NO and get Gambinos.

                                                                                      1. re: gotech

                                                                                        Paul's king cakes are absolutely delicious. They're the best IMHO.


                                                                                        1. re: imanerd

                                                                                          Do you work for them? This is an old thread and Paul's isn't even in New Orleans.

                                                                                          1. re: briox

                                                                                            I think imanerd was answering the question posed by heavy d. "Anyone heard of Paul's Pastry Shop in Picayune, just over the State line?"
                                                                                            He didn't say that Paul's was in New Orleans.

                                                                                        2. re: gotech

                                                                                          DARN good King Cake there. I was reading on down to see is anyone mentioned it. Sorry I just joined the board and was surfing today. Yes, Paul's has a very good king cake.
                                                                                          PEACE OUT!!!

                                                                                        3. Randazzo's Chalmette ain't dere no more...BUT....Nonna Randazzo's on Hwy. 190 on the Northshore has the virtually the exact kingcake the Chalmette bakery was famous for, and it's owned by the granddaughter of the original!
                                                                                          Also...surprisingly Rouses has a great kingcake, not too sweet, lots of cinnammon and just enough icing

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: mt234

                                                                                            The Randazzo's family has a bunch of branches now operating bakeries; don't ask me about the relationships, I can't keep track. Manny Randazzo's, Randazzo's Goodchildren, Nona Randazzo's, Randazzo's Camellia City, etc.

                                                                                            The king cake from Langenstein's is pretty good, too, plain & bready without being dry. Don't know if they're made in house or not.

                                                                                          2. Found a neat info site about Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It has a "Top 5 King Cakes" review section along with how to order from the bakeries online. I like the Manny Randazzo's king cake the best.


                                                                                            1. If you like traditional McKenzie's style king cake with no icing...just sugar...then you'll love the king cake from Hi-Do bakery on the Westbank. I love this little hidden gem. They also make the best french bread you'll ever eat and they sell out every day!

                                                                                              1. Oh my goodness - I'm new to this site & as an expat am lovin all the food discussion - there's not many where I am now who can discuss the finer points of RBs & king cakes. My 1st (as many of us) was McKenzie's & we liked it just fine thank you! And then I discovered (thanks to my bestest friend's family) Randazzo's in Chalmette - that was it for me. We went there b4 every Chalmette parade we went to. Glad they live on after Katrina!

                                                                                                1. Beyond a doubt Gambino's has the best King Cake ever.

                                                                                                  1. Dorignac's grocery on Vet's has traditional brioche-style unfilled king cakes topped with colored sugar only

                                                                                                    1. I agree with VIvi Doom.
                                                                                                      The best King Cake is a homemade one.
                                                                                                      Here is a link to several recipes.

                                                                                                      1. my favorite is Nola Cake's, now in the Marigny. brioche bread, has one filled with savory goat cheese and apples, frosting is drizzled over it like a Jackson Pollock painting. very good, won best in 2009 at the farmer's market contest.


                                                                                                        1. My favorite is not the Louisiana version of king cake but the version made in France called galette des rois. I've never bought one in NO, don't even know if anyone makes them there. Andre's in Houston makes them and they are so delicious.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: texasredtop

                                                                                                            La Boulangerie and Maurice's each make a version of the galette du roi.

                                                                                                            1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                                              You know, come to think of it, I think I have seen them in Maurice's before. I didn't know what it was at the time - so sad for me. I adore them now. We went to the new Maurice's on the south side of I-10 several times before the one in Metairie reopened and they were really pretty rude and had very little to offer at 9:00 AM - we always stop there on our way out of town for a box of goodies for the road. Come to think of it, the one in Metairie had pretty rude service too. They can verbally abuse me all they want as long as I get a couple of napoleons.

                                                                                                              1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                                                                                                Croissant D'Or in the French Quarter also makes them. They are delicious, at least as good as those from Maurice's.

                                                                                                              2. re: texasredtop

                                                                                                                Got one from Boulangerie this past weekend. Delicious.

                                                                                                                1. re: N.O.Food

                                                                                                                  I won't get the old kind now that I've had the galette du roi. I'm pumping myself up now to make a drive across town tomorrow to pick one up at Andre's. Or two.........

                                                                                                                2. re: texasredtop

                                                                                                                  Traditionally galette des rois is only eaten on 12th Night. King Cake is eaten all during Carnival.

                                                                                                                3. I found a place with really good king cake!!! Barkers Dozen (504) 682-7801 - 7801 E Saint Bernard Hwy, Violet, LA, 70092...... We purchased a cream cheese filled cake... yum yum yum!! While we were there, I picked up a small unfilled king cake and it felt good and heavy, I believe that I will try the unfilled next year!!
                                                                                                                  The large filled was 22.00.. It is the best king cake I have had since randazzos. In fact it is a toss up between the two.

                                                                                                                  1. The Praline King Cake at Haydel's was excellent. The individual King Cake at Antoine's Annex - not so much.

                                                                                                                    1. I have an annual king cake tasting party for my dinner/social group, NOLA Eats. This year's winner was Sucre, with Cake Cafe being the runner-up. I think that per posting guidelines, I am not allowed to link to the exact article, but you can check out my blog (http://nola-eats.com) and read the details.

                                                                                                                      1. I swear by Manny Randazzo's king cakes and order one online each year https://www.randazzokingcake.com/. However, my former company (recognizing I am a native of Louisiana) asked me to coordinate a Mardi Gras party to boost morale. I attempted to order king cakes from Randazzo's but couldn't get the delivery date I needed. I ended up ordering 12 king cakes (plain and filled) from Randazzo's Carmellia City Bakery http://www.kingcakes.com/. The cakes were excellent. The plain king cake had icing and sprinkles. For those who hate that sweet-grainy-crunchy taste from the colored sugar, you will love this not-too-sweet icing and few sprinkles. I still go for Randazzo's (whether it's sister-brother-nephew owned). They make the best! The only difference is one ships using FEDEX and the other ships using DHL.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: sg0302

                                                                                                                          Didn't DHL domestic services end January 30, 2009?

                                                                                                                          1. re: speyerer

                                                                                                                            Could be right. This event was w/my former employer and I have already been with new employer over two years. Thanks for the update.

                                                                                                                        2. If you are ever in Lafayette, LA go to Kellers Bakery. They will also ship you one. If it is not regular King Cake season they will make one as a special order.

                                                                                                                          Very moist. Not too sugary. My favorite is the original but they make plenty of other flavors.


                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: laureli219

                                                                                                                            No doubt Kellers is good. In fact, Lafayette has a number of great bakeries. I want to mention a noteworthy newcomer to the Lafayette king cake scene, Classic Golden Pecans. They do a Praline Pecan Cream Cheese king cake that is really good. They also offer four other flavors, including strawberry, blueberry, chocolate and cream cheese. Their cakes are distinctive in that they don't use pecan pieces, but whole pecan halves in every cake.


                                                                                                                            1. re: pchaney

                                                                                                                              Are the in-store prices the same as online? At $60+, I'm not sure locals would flock in.

                                                                                                                            1. My new fave is Dianne's King Cake, available at Coffee Cottage in Elmwood near Citrus & Hickory. She is from the Randazzo family and makes a helluva king cake.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: whatisagrit

                                                                                                                                Dianne's cakes look great. Somewhat off-topic, but Coffee Cottage used to make savory-dough King Cakes stuffed with spicy Crawfish Etouffee and "iced" with cheese. Hot from the oven, they were insanely delicious. (Sadly, the cakes were discontinued years ago.)

                                                                                                                              2. No question as far as our family-Haydels. Used to love McKenzies, but they are gone. Boo Hoo.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: ichabodsdad

                                                                                                                                  Get the original McKenzies king cake at the Tastee Donuts on Clearview.

                                                                                                                                  1. The very best king cake I've had since McKenzie's comes from a small bakery in Gentilly called "Daddy's Donuts". Don't laugh; these are awesome! Look up the address and give them a try; you'll really be surprised!

                                                                                                                                    1. had a terrific KC the other day at the Buttermilk Drop Cafe on N Dorgenois...$9 I think....

                                                                                                                                      best was that they were filled to order or plain~ and the buttermilk drops were the real deal

                                                                                                                                      1. The Tastee Donuts on Clearview sells McKenzie's original king cake. Tastee bought McKenzies's recipe and too be honest, they tend to be moister than what I remember. They are amazing and NOT a cinnamon roll, stuffed and frosted.

                                                                                                                                        1. Sucre has amazing cakes that all of my recipients across the country loved--10-15 seconds in the microwave makes a delicious treat