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The revelry of Mardi Gras is in full force, and it’s time to appreciate one of its most delicious traditions: The King Cake. In many European countries, the Wise Men bringing gifts for the baby Jesus is celebrated annually 12 days after Christmas on January 6th. Called Epiphany or the Twelfth Night, this is a time of celebrating and feasting, and the official commencement of Mardi Gras or Carnival season.

The tiny plastic baby hidden inside each King Cake symbolizes this day, and King Cakes are enjoyed from the Feast of Epiphany (January 6th) until Mardi Gras Day (a moveable date that is always the day before Ash Wednesday and 46 days before Easter). The ring-shaped cake is covered in colored sugars: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. Tradition says that if your slice has the baby in it, you will host the next party and provide the next King Cake. Others say it makes you King or Queen for the day. We have found several fantastic King Cake options available for shipping, whether you found the baby last year or you’re looking to win this year.

6 King Cakes to Order for Mardi Gras Season

Haydel’s | New Orleans, LA
What to order: Cream Cheese King Cake

A favorite among, well, everyone, Haydel’s offers an impressive selection of traditional, filled, colored, and specially shaped king cakes. Made fresh daily, these cakes start with Haydel’s signature danish dough, hand-braided with cinnamon and sugar, baked to perfection, topped with rich icing, and lavishly adorned with purple, green, and gold sugar. The filled flavors range from praline pecan to strawberry cream cheese to German chocolate to brownie chocolate chip.

haydel's king cakes

Shop this beloved New Orleans bakery’s lineup of intriguing shapes and flavors HERE. Image: Haydel’s

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Lilah’s | Shreveport, LA
What to order: Fabulously Flavored King Cake

Lilah’s is known for its impressive variety of King Cake flavors. Apple, bananas foster, Bavarian cream, lemon, cinnamon sugar, Italian cream, tiramisu, and triple berry are some of the dozen-plus flavors coming out of this bakery’s kitchen. Lilah’s also features a flavored (and sometimes specially shaped) King Cake of the Week that will land right on your doorstep. They even offer vegan and gluten-free cakes.

Lilah's Bakery King Cake

Shop exciting and inventive flavors like this chocolate chip-and-cream-filled cake HERE. Image: Lilah’s

Gambino’s Bakery | New Orleans, LA
What to order: Top-Your-Own King Cake Kit

This legendary New Orleans bakery has been serving up King Cakes since 1949. Made with fresh butter and sweet cinnamon, topped with an ample layer of poured fondant, and baked with a gold baby figurine inside, the iconic Gambino’s Bakery King Cake comes with a package of colored sugar so that you and your guests can do the honors of topping your cake in the purple, green, and gold of Mardi Gras.

Gambino's Kit

Shop Gambino’s Top-Your-Own King Cake kit on Goldbelly HERE. Image: Gambino’s on Goldbelly

RELATED: 9 Southern Chocolate Makers We Love

Poupart Bakery | Lafayette, LA
What to order: Traditional French King Cake

This is THE place for the Traditional French King Cake. This one looks a little different than the others, as it’s a round puff pastry with creamy almond filling. This cake is designed to be heated in the oven, served warm, and enjoyed with coffee for breakfast! Both the French style and the traditional King Cake come in two sizes: the regular cake serves about 10 and the large serves about 20.

French King Cake

Poupart Bakery ships their cakes overnight Tuesday through Thursday, so get shopping HERE. Image: Poupart Bakery

Hero Doughnuts & Buns | Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; and Birmingham, AL
What to order: Brioche Bun King Cake

Hero Doughnuts & Buns is currently whipping up brioche bun King Cakes for Mardi Gras! Made with Hero’s signature brioche dough, “OG glaze,” cream cheese frosting, and sprinkles, this one isn’t from Louisiana, but it’s dang delicious. While Hero Doughnuts does not ship their baked goods nationwide, you can pick up or order local delivery from their five bakeries in Atlanta, Birmingham, and Charleston.

Hero Doughnuts

Each King Cake is $30 and feeds 12 to 14 people. Order from your local Hero Doughnuts. Image: Angie Mosier

Caluda’s | Harahan, LA
What to order: Old School King Cake

Caluda’s King Cake is as traditional as it gets and a great bang for your buck! Their “Old School” version of the King Cake pays homage to the original New Orleans style before everyone started using icing and fillings. This one’s made with a simple sweet danish dough and a little butter, cinnamon, and vanilla. The difference is it’s baked with colored sugars already on top instead of icing and sprinkling the cake after it bakes.

Caluda's King Cakes

Even without icing, this one’s still moist and delicious. Shop Caluda’s cakes for just $22 HERE! Image: Caluda’s

Laissez les bons temps rouler and let them eat King Cake!


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