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Jan 28, 2014 04:59 AM

Hydrogenated King Cake

Every year about this time of year, I start sampling different king cakes trying to decide which ones I like the best. This year, I have decided to try to determine if there are trans fats in the cakes while ranking my favs. I can hardly believe people are still using hydrogenated oils since they are so bad that the FDA is about to ban them entirely, but so be it. Here's what I have so far:

Please feel free to write in any of you start to look into this, too.

Whole Foods Market - I had the chocolate king cake and it was okay. The cake itself was a little dry, but the chocolate part was yummy. Overall, their king cake just doesn't stand out. However, no trans fats used, so that's good.

Sucré - I find their king cake aesthetically pleasing, but otherwise dry and underwhelming. I called them to find out about whether they used hydrogenated oils. They were very nice and went to some effort to find out for me. However, the answer was surprisingly YES! So, know that if you eat a sucré king cake you are getting some trans fats. Enjoy the heart disease.

Breaux Mart - Believe it or not, they are y favorite this year. We got the cream cheese stuffed, and it was moist, sweet, and divine. I called the store to find out about the hydrogenated factor and they said they were reading the ingredients, and, in fact, there were no hydrogenated oils in their king cake! This is great news because it is cheap and yummy!

Again, if anyone else cares about this topic, please write in and share your thoughts. I'm really interested in what others think about this.

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  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. I think the stress and anxiety about food that would cause someone to make the jump from one slice of Sucre king cake to "enjoy the heart disease" is far more damaging to the ticker than a small piece of pastry.

      14 Replies
      1. re: uptownlibrarian


        Everything in moderation (including moderation).

        1. re: uptownlibrarian

          the problem is even small doses of TFAs cause cellular damage and lead to heart disease. and thanks to labeling loopholes, any serving size of < .5g can be reported as 0g -- so it's entirely conceivable people ingest them on a regular basis not even knowing it.

          no thanks. ill take real food.

          1. re: kibbles

            Oh, Lordy be, I'm not defending all trans fats. I'm merely pointing out that a cream cheese filled pastry loaded with a corn syrup sweetened fondant icing (sold in five gal buckets and used by most bakeries and supermarkets cranking out volume king cakes) is not inherently "better" merely because it lacks trans fats. Or is high fructose corn syrup a real food?

            My fave king cake at the moment is baked by Gracious. Real saturated fat in the form of butter. Probably has eggs, too. And dark chocolate, in small, delicious veins inside the cake.

            1. re: Hungry Celeste

              the FDA found that TFAs are harmful even in small doses, unlike sugar. so yes, TFAs are more harmful in small doses than sugars, even highly processed sugars like HFCS. it's why TFAs are banned in europe, while sugars are not.

              my favorite king cake is by Cake Cafe in the marigny, w/ goat cheese filling and green apple. tho unfortunately he uses shortening in addition to butter to keep it fresher longer. never been a problem w/ us, tho, the cake is so good it's rarely around long enough to worry about shelf-life! so i wish he'd stick to animal fat.

              1. re: kibbles

                Goat cheese?! Good God!

                I'm sure its tasty but....but....well....

                1. re: hazelhurst

                  dont knock it till youve tried it... it's a thing of beauty. as a non-traditional KC (which is ironic since traditional KCs arent even traditional compared to old world style...) it eschews the cinnamon coffee-cake for something more savory. i also like that the sugar icing isnt granular but is drizzled. less gritty which resonates with me.


                  it's also won a few contests. good stuff.


                  1. re: kibbles

                    As I sid I'm sure tmsgood butGod, what a departure.

                    An occasional True Eureapeam one isO KI guess but shouldn't replace Our Own. ut I have argued foryears that by and lage they aren't supposed to be good. That's part of the fun, like Carnival Balls.

                    1. re: hazelhurst

                      Nah. *This* is a (horrifying) departure:


                      Cake Cafe prints money with their KCs. I must have seen 15 of them walk out the door when I was eating lunch there one otherwise slow Monday morning. (And yeah, they're delicious.)

                      1. re: montuori

                        Holy Moly, a muffalatta king cake? And I thought Hillel's Kitchen and the kosher king David cake was the oddest thing I'd seen this Carnival season.
                        I haven't tried it yet. I guess it doesn't come with a baby...ha.

                        1. re: Hungry Celeste

                          A few years ago a fellow in Empire or environs was selling Kosher Oysters. The Chief Rabbi in NOLA told him it didn't work.(He was suspending the things in a cage so they weren't "bottom feeders.")

                      2. re: hazelhurst

                        a European King cake bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the pastry baked in New Orleans.

                        A French "galette du rois" is two layers of puff pastry, with a layer of frangipane or applesauce in between.

                        Don't misread me -- I like them both, but a New Orleans King Cake would still be an anomaly in France -- no matter how much goat cheese you stuck in it.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Horrifying the French is something N.O. is particularly adept at.

                          1. re: montuori

                            I said nothing about horrifying -- if anything, they wouldn't recognize it as a King cake -- especially if it was one of the ones buried in garishly-coloured sugars.

                            They're simply two different creatures.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Can we please not make this a debate on trans-fats and whether they matter? It would be great if people could share their reviews of king cakes they love or loathe (with or without information on whether they contain trans fat), but debating whether the trans fats matters is really the kind of issue that's too huge for local boards, and it's already getting fairly testy.

              1 Reply
              1. Thank you, Chowhound Team. I'm sorry I got offended of being accused of not being from New Orleans (I am from here). Also, thank you to Kibbles for defending me and also for contributing to the conversation about king cakes.

                I had also hoped for a discussion of king cakes. I had just hoped to also discuss the ingredients a little bit.

                So, back to it...

                Manny Randazzo's - this week I revisited an old favorite, Randazzo's. We got the Royal which contains four flavors - apple, cream cheese, lemon, and strawberry each in their own quadrant of the cake. The cake was yummy, but I came to realize that I like the texture and flavor of the Breaux Mart cake better. Also, the Randazzo's cake is more than double the price of the Breaux Mart cake, so that hurts too. Randazzo's prints their ingredients on the bag which is helpful. Unfortunately, they use hydrogenated oils in their cakes.