11 King Cakes You Can Buy Online for Mardi Gras

The best King Cake delivery options available right now.

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January 24, 2024

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Mardi Gras, a holiday centered on one last day of feasting before fasting for Lent, is a time for celebration, parades and good eats — and that includes the iconic King Cake. The Mardi Gras carnival season officially kicked off on January 6 and concludes on Fat Tuesday, which falls on February 21 this year, so now is the time to stock up on beads and get your treats secured. Whether you're familiar with this festive pastry or want to a new mid-winter tradition to celebrate with your family, here are 11 King Cakes you can shop online.

What is a King Cake?

This cake, which has been around for hundreds of years and actually got its start in the Middle Ages, has religious roots in many countries and is associated with the Epiphany, known as Three Kings Day. A King Cake is similar to a cinnamon roll mixed with coffee cake. The base is typically made with a brioche-like cinnamon dough that gets braided together and shaped into a circle. Then, it gets covered with white icing and purple, green and gold colored sugar. The three colors of the king cake are significant and refer back to the the three wise men and their gifts. These royal colors of purple, green and gold represent justice, growth and prosperity, respectively. Many King Cakes are filled with cream cheese or fruit jams, but the traditional version is unfilled.

What's the History of the King Cake Baby?

A key part of a King Cake is the figurine hidden inside. In the past, this could have been a coin, a pea or a bean, but today it's more commonly a tiny plastic baby. According to NPR, this custom came about due to a traveling salesman who convinced a New Orlean's bakery to bake small porcelain dolls he was selling into the cakes instead of beans or jewelry. This took off and became a ubiquitous symbol of Mardi Gras. Now, whoever gets the baby in their piece of cake is declared king for the day and, according to Manny Randazzo's bakery, is bound by Mardi Gras custom to host the next party.

King Cakes made their way to New Orleans via French immigrants to Louisiana in the 1870s, and they're now an unofficial symbol for NOLA's infamous Mardi Gras celebrations. But if you don't live in the French Quarter, you're in luck — there are plenty of ways to get a King Cake delivered to your door. Here are 11 cakes you can shop online right now … and we recommend serving with some homemade no-churn King Cake ice cream.

$82.95
Goldbelly

If you can't decide which King Cake variety you want to try this year, add this 2-pack from Gambino's to your Goldbelly shopping cart. Choose from Traditional, Cream Cheese, Praline, Strawberry and more. The cakes will arrive with a package of icing and the iconic trio of green, purple and gold colored sugars, so you can decorate your own King Cake at home.

$74.95
Goldbelly

This French bakery in New Orleans has received plenty of accolades over the years, and their King Cakes have a unique, sparkly look. Each one is airbrushed by hand in the traditional purple, green, and gold colors then dusted with edible glitter for even more shimmer.

$69.95
Goldbelly

Although this pudding strays from the traditional King Cake consistency, it certainly doesn't sacrifice the flavor (or the King Cake Baby!) This bread pudding from Commander's Palace is made of custard-soaked brioche bread, along with toasted cinnamon, praline liquor and colorful coated sugars. Despite this mouth-watering dessert, Commander's Palace of New Orleans is best known for its turtle soup, seafood gumbo and garlic bread, and has won seven James Beard Foundation Awards.

$32.99
Lilah's King Cakes

This Shreveport Bakery churns out King Cakes in more than 20 flavors (including unique options like Tiramisu and Maple Bacon!), but we especially love that they have gluten free and vegan options.

$66.75
Haydel's Bakery

This traditional take on the classic King Cake skips the icing and sticks to a colorful sugar topping. We love this Mardi Gras package from Haydel's because it includes a package of French Market coffee and Mardi Gras beads … perfect for a sweet breakfast on Fat Tuesday.

$85.95
Goldbelly

This four-pack of mini King Cakes from Maurice French Pastries is perfect for handing out to friends or putting in your freezer to enjoy all year long. Each mini cake serves four people, and this package is shipped with colorful beaded Mardi Gras necklaces, doubloons and the iconic plastic king cake baby.

$69.95
Goldbelly

Looking for a non-traditional take on the classic King Cake? This version uses Dutch Monkey's much-loved glazed doughnut recipe as the base and comes with a container of icing and the trio of colored sprinkles, so you can decorate it at home.

$22.95
Caluda's King Cake

Caluda's offers another 'old-school' King Cake option that skips the icing and filling. Instead, this cake is made with cinnamon-filled danish dough and baked with colored sugars on top instead of adding them after they bake. The result? A moist, delicious and vibrant cake.

$57.99
Cannata's

At Cannata's, an 80-year old New Orleans bakery with Italian roots, you can keep it traditional or get creative with your King Cake. They offer fun flavors including Amaretto cream cheese, lemon gooey butter, red velvet and so many more. With your order, you'll even score some gear to celebrate Mardi Gras at home — a mask, beads, crown and gold champagne cups.

$69
Poupart Bakery

This French bakery in Lafayette, Louisiana offers the truly traditional King Cake — a round puff pastry with almond filling. They recommend heating it in the oven and serving it warm with a cup of cafe au lait!

$79.95
Goldbelly

Dong Phuong is the oldest Vietnamese bakery in New Orleans, and they're a James Beard American Classic Award winner. Though they have traditional Vietnamese goodies like Banh Mi and Mooncakes, they make six flavors of King Cakes every year when Mardi Gras rolls around. Get on the Goldbelly waitlist so you can order one once they're back in stock.

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