Mardi Gras is February 13—that’s today—and nothing puts the fat in Tuesday quite like a sugary slice of King Cake. Made of cinnamon-scented sweet brioche dough, the cakes are traditionally braided, sometimes filled (with cream cheese, pudding, or fruit), and adorned in sugar stripes of green, gold, and purple that represent faith, power, and justice. The treat is a New Orleans tradition beloved as much for its buttery crumb, as for the element of chance in every bite: If you find a trinket in your slice, you’re the host of next year’s king cake party.
But perhaps you’re so busy decorating your mask and polishing your Hurricane glasses, you don’t have time to bake a King Cake yourself? Never fear: These bakeries make the favorite cakes of NOLA locals—and they all deliver nationwide (until supplies last). Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Paul’s Pastry: Located not in Louisiana but just across the border in Picayune, Mississippi, Paul’s ships unadorned King Cakes ($55.95–$65.95) with frosting and colored sugar on the side so you can decorate to taste.
Manny Randazzo King Cakes: Every Randazzo cousin and his sister seems to have opened a bakery with the family name, but this is the original. Cakes are made of braided brioche; the pecan praline version is a local favorite ($53.95–$85.95).
Haydel’s and Gambino’s: The rivalry between these two bakeries could have inspired the Montagues and Capulets. Haydel’s loyalists love the praline pecan version ($47–$59), while Gambino’s fans recommend the classic plain ($15.50–$49.50).
Sucré: In the true spirit of carnival, King Cakes here are made only during the Mardi Gras season, from Epiphany (January 6) to Fat Monday (this year, February 12). Their confections—which shimmer with iridescent icing—are sweetened with raw cane sugar and filled with creole cream cheese ($24).