Food & Drink

Mail-Order King Cakes

A taste of Mardi Gras delivered

Photo: Courtesy of King Cake Snob

You don’t have to be in New Orleans to get your hands on a piece (or two) of king cake. Bakeries across Louisiana and beyond celebrate carnival season by whipping up the sprinkle-covered pastry by the thousand, many offering creative new takes on the time-honored sweet. Here, we’ve rounded up ten available by mail. Just watch out for the plastic baby.

Haydel’s Bakery
New Orleans, LA

There’s a reason Haydel’s Bakery ships upwards of thirty thousand king cakes annually. The first New Orleans bakery to begin shipping their Mardi Gras treats back in the 1980s, the shop proudly makes its cakes “the old-fashioned way,” hand braiding the dough and icing with care. Fun fact: In 2010, they nabbed the Guinness World Record for world’s largest king cake.

photo: Haydel’s Bakery

Ambrosia Bakery
Baton Rouge, LA

This Baton Rouge bakeshop turns out between three and four hundred king cakes each day. More than a dozen flavor combos are available, but the signature Zulu king cake topped with chocolate fudge and toasted coconut is the real showstopper.

photo: The Ambrosia Bakery

Caluda’s King Cake
Harahan, LA

Pastry chef John Caluda knows his way around a king cake. After all, he’s been perfecting his recipe for more than thirty-five years. With their Danish dough base, butter and cinnamon sugar glaze, and thick slather of icing, Caluda’s cakes come with several filling options—or try their flavor of the week. Every piece of dough is kneaded, braided, and molded by hand.

Courtesy of Caluda’s

Delicious Donuts and Bakery
Lake Charles, LA

Every morning, this beloved Southwest Louisiana spot churns out donuts, cookies, and king cakes, and they don’t just stop with the sweet treats; the bakery is perhaps best known for its Boudin King Cake, which is filled with cheese, crawfish, shrimp, imitation crab meat, jalapeños, and Cajun seasoning, then topped off with bacon bits, cheese, and Mardi Gras trinkets.

Breads on Oak
New Orleans, LA

Yes, an organic king cake does exist. The king cakes at NOLA bakery Breads on Oak are made with organic flours, natural colors, and non-dairy ingredients. But this doesn’t mean they skimp on flavor, with an array of filling options—from traditional cinnamon to bourbon peach praline to a sweet and spicy voodoo cake made with local cayenne and ghost peppers. Just don’t expect a plastic baby—keeping things natural, you’ll find an almond hidden inside instead.

photo: Breads on Oak

Joe Gambino’s Bakery
New Orleans, LA

Available year-round, Joe Gambino’s cakes are known for their array of customizable filling options, from Bavarian cream to strawberry to chocolate cream cheese.

Courtesy of Joe Gambino’s

La Louisiane Bakery
Harahan, LA

It’s always Mardi Gras season at La Louisiane, where the rich brioche king cakes are up for grabs all year. Whether you opt for the old-school recipe, a pecan praline filling, or the popular yellow cake version, don’t expect it to last long.

photo: La Louisiane Bakery

Cajun Pecan House
Cut Off, LA

Since its opening in 1985, Cajun Pecan House has offered an abundance of the Louisiana Cajun Bayou’s most scrumptious treats, from fruitcakes to fudge to pies. They now offer a variety of king cakes seasonally, with their most celebrated flavor being cinnamon-pecan.

photo: Cajun Pecan House

Paul’s Pastry Shop
Picayune, MS

Paul’s has their beloved mail-order cakes down to a science. The pastry arrives on your doorstep in a box with DIY glaze, sprinkles, and other festive surprises, delivering a Mardi Gras party to your kitchen. The cakes are also extraordinarily customizable, with holiday editions and specialty flavors like Berry Deluxe and Mississippi Mud.

Poupart Bakery
Lafayette, LA

For the purists out there, Poupart offers a traditional French-style king cake—that is, a round puff pastry with almond filling, sans the usual sprinkles and icing. The bakery recommends enjoying a slice warm, accompanied by a cup of coffee. Breakfast, anyone?

Courtesy of Poupart’s