Full disclosure: I’m not a big cake fan, and even less of a king cake fan. But, I still love eating it. The yearly ritual of that historic cake, the anticipation of wondering who will get the baby, is a tradition that, as a native New Orleanian, I look forward to every year. I never get the baby, no matter how many king cakes I eat, so I still keep eating them. I now live in New York City, and when I can’t make it home for Mardi Gras, my mom sends me a king cake. Luckily, there are a few delicious bakeries outside of New Orleans and throughout the United States that make this delightful pastry for New Orleanians that have strayed.
Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author, and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.
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Little Dom's, Los Angeles. Pastry Chef Ann Kirk
King Cake season officially kicks off on January 6th, a holiday known as " The Epiphany" or " Three Kings Day."
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Dough, Tampa, Fla. Chief Confectioneer Tina Contes:
In case you're all alone in Tampa and don't have anyone to share your cake with, this single-serving King Cake donut will make you feel whole.
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Snooze, an A.M. Eatery (Texas, Ariz., Colo., Calif.):
This King Cake Pancake by Snooze is what you might be after staying up all night on Lundi Gras.
Photo by Sarah Jacober
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Benoit, Manhattan, N.Y. Chef Pierre Monetta:
A classic Galette des Rois, paying homage to New Orleans' French roots.
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Scafuri Bakery, Chicago. Pastry Chef Kelly Lynch:
What better way to feel like royalty on your wedding day that to enjoy a king cake wedding cake?
Photo: Bridget Clauson from Modern Image
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db Bistro Moderne, Miami. Pastry Chef Saeko Nemoto:
Inside the classic Galette des Rois, the French hid a feveTK, and the person who finds it gets to wear the crown and be king for the day.
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Brown's Court Bakery, Charleston, S.C. Head Baker David Schnell and Pastry Chef Carrie Ann Bach:
Purple, green and gold are Mardi Gras official colors. Purple represents justice, green represents faith, gold represents power.
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Bayou Bakery King Cake, Washington D.C. Chef David Guas:
New Orleans is divided between those who like their king cakes plain, and those who like their king cakes filled. This one by Bayou Bakery is filled with Creole Cream Cheese.
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Butter and Scotch, Brooklyn, N.Y.:
The icing on top of this cake is not just the icing—it's made with tequila.
Photo: Molly Landreth & Jenny Riffle
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Busken Bakery, Cincinnati:
…to Mardi Gras doubloons…