Come one, come all. Festival season is upon us and we all know what that means – the annual rise of the infamous king cake. When most of us think of this classic Mardi Gras treat, our minds jump straight to the traditional cinnamon brioche topped with green, purple and gold icing; however, if you explore NOLA, a whole new world of king cake surprises awaits you.
As restaurants and bakeries put their own creative twist on this festival season delicacy, it makes you wonder what really even counts as king cake anymore. On the other hand, though, if it tastes, smells, or even resembles king cake, who really cares?
King Cake Donut from District Donuts Sliders Brew
The traditional king cake has officially been transformed into a donut by the help of District Donuts Sliders Brew. This coffee and donut shop has created a cinnamon-cardamom cream cheese-filled donut topped with carnival-colored frosting and orange zest to give it that zippy acidic kick.
King Cake Monkey Bread from Emeril’s
The modern upscale New Orleans restaurant Emeril’s has found a way to turn king cake into monkey bread. Flavors change weekly and include bananas foster, pralines ‘n cream, cafe brulot, brand milk punch, and chocolate strawberry. You can’t go wrong no matter what week you go, but be sure to stop in before this limited edition dessert is no longer offered.
King Cake Sundae from Coquette
The pastry-like traditional king cake dessert takes a new turn, thanks to the help of Coquette, which has successfully created a delectable king cake sundae. It’s hard to beat fried brioche balls with carnival colored sugar accompanied by scoops of strawberry, cinnamon, and cream cheese ice cream.
King Cake Macaroon from Sucré
Would you ever picture king cake in macaroon form? Neither would I, but it actually exists. Be sure to stop by Sucré where they are making their signature macaroons in the classic carnival colors of purple, green, and gold.
King Cake Burger from Food Drunk Food Truck
If you attended King Cake Festival last year at the Super Dome, there was no way you could have missed the one and only king cake burger. Sweet, yet savory, this angus brisket burger topped with cheddar cheese on a purple, green and gold brioche bun topped with icing is a must-have. Never will you be able to taste something like this anywhere else but the Food Drunk Food Truck.
King Cake Crepe from Toast
Just when you thought king cake couldn’t get any crazier, Toast breaks out a king cake crepe that is sweet, sugary heaven in dough form. This dessert served for brunch is a light, airy treat stuffed with a classic cinnamon filling surrounded by maple syrup and Mardi Gras-colored sprinkles.
King Cake Milkshake from Charcoals Gourmet Burger Bar
Charcoals Gourmet Burger Bar took the king cake milkshake to a whole new level. Rather than using the real rich flavors of the king cake itself, they have incorporated king cake-flavored vodka into their ice cream-rich dessert. There’s nothing better than a nice buzz and the sweet taste of king cake.
King Cake Latte from Rivista
Rivista has found a way to infuse the sweet flavors of king cake into a latte. This is certainly a go-to on a cold day during the festival season.
Just because my list stops here, doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of other king cake delights waiting to be discovered. In the upcoming weeks, attend the annual King Cake Festival on January 31 and discover even more twists on the original New Orleans dessert.