You don’t have to be super into Mardi Gras to be into king cake. It’s honestly one of the easiest—and tastiest—ways to enjoy Carnival season. No crowds, no beads, no potential DUI’s from over indulging—just sweet, sugary goodness.
The only thing you have to worry about with king cake is getting a good one. And maybe a little sugar induced weight gain or a future diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes—but that’s exactly why Mardi Gras is followed by Lent. So you can have your cake and repent later.
The IN staff decided to indulge and just focus on the first king cake worry—getting our hands on the best one in town. We ordered a variety of sizes and filling flavors from around town and judged them by a set of proven and established criteria.
We based our grading scale on one used by two New Orleans residents and king cake experts, Deborah Centola and Laura Jones. They have an annual tradition of ranking king cakes in the Crescent City—where king cakes are a way of life in a lot of ways. It’s hard to imagine a more rigorous or balanced test: appearance, texture, toppings, sweetness (because as anybody who has ever had a bad king cake can attest, they can become super sweet, super fast), overall flavor, filling choices, and whether or not the baby is baked in or not (a must if you’re following king cake tradition).
So read up and get ready to get your own king cake to celebrate the season. And if you don’t see your favorite locally baked king cake listed, let us know. We’d love to be forced to eat another cake in the name of “research.” Just remember, if you get the baby in your slice, you have to buy the next one. That’s how king cake season works and how the good times roll on.
The Grading Scale:
Appearance, Texture, Toppings, Sweetness, Overall Flavor, Filling, Baby (baked in or out)
- Sluggo’s Vegan King Cake, $26. 101 S. Jefferson St. 791-6501
- Oh Snap! Cream Cheese King Cake, $17. 707 E. Cervantes St. 466-3363
- Nancy’s Raspberry Cream Cheese King Cake, $10. 555 Scenic Hwy. 434-0122
- J’s Bakery Blueberry Cream Cheese King Cake, $11.50. 2014 N. 12th Ave. 432-4180