Mardi Gras will certainly look different this year but that doesn’t mean we can’t get out the beads, put on some zydeco tunes and enjoy the celebration. And, don’t forget the king cake — another honored Mardi Gras tradition.
King cake is an oval-shaped cinnamon roll with colorful sugary icing, mostly purple, green and gold, which signifies justice, faith and power. The cake is thought to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870 and symbolically represents a jeweled crown honoring the wise men who visited Jesus on the Epiphany. That’s why many cakes have a tiny plastic baby placed alongside the cake. Tradition has it that whoever finds the baby is “king for a day”.
This year Mardi Gras is on Feb. 16, so there is plenty of time to order a king cake from Coastal Louisiana, which knows how to celebrate Mardi Gras.
Here are several local Louisiana bakeries that will ship your king cake in time for Mardi Gras:
Cannata’s King Cakes of Houma is located in “Bayou Country,” traditionally home to one of the largest celebrations in the state. Last year the bakery’s Gooey Butter Snickerdoodle-flavored king cake earned the “People’s Choice Award” in the New Orleans King Cake Festival. Started in 1939 and still family owned, you can choose from almost 40 flavors and more than a dozen package options.
The Cajun Pecan House opened its doors in 1985 and now offers more than 30 varieties of king cake along with 23 different candies, pies, pralines and pastries. The most popular king cake is cinnamon-pecan.
Located in Jefferson Parish, Haydel’s Bakery holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest king cake, when in 2010 they created two giant king cakes that wrapped around the Superdome in New Orleans. They ship fresh king cakes as well as mini king cake 12-packs around the world.
Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery hasn’t changed its king cake recipe in more than 50 years and every piece of dough is carefully kneaded, braided and molded by hand.
Delicious Donuts & Bakery in Lake Charles is known to have the best king cakes in southwest Louisiana, but the bakery is best known for its Boudin King Cake, which is made with a yeast-raised dough and filled with cheese, crawfish, shrimp, imitation crab meat, jalapeños and Cajun seasoning topped with bacon bits, cheese and jalapeños.