King cakes worth driving all over south Louisiana for, according to the ‘225’ staff

Last call, y’all. There are mere hours left to savor those last sacred slices of king cake.

By the time we reach Deep Gras, the king cakes all start to blend together. Was that a grocery store king cake we chased with beer before the Spanish Town Parade? And what was the name of that cottage bakery whose king cake our coworker brought to the office? After nearly six weeks of sugar rushes, it’s understandably all a little fuzzy.

But here are the flavors that stood out to the 225 team this season, near and far.

Dong Phuong Vietnamese Bakery

New Orleans

“It’s been a busy and tasty king cake season! This year, I got lucky and nabbed that Holy Grail of Mardi Gras pastries. Our very own Asian dessert shop Sweet Society is an official Dong Phuong reseller, and that’s where I got mine. Before I describe how good it was, (and it was) I feel like king cakes are sorta like pizza. I’ve never met one I didn’t like (at least a little), but Dong Phuong’s stands out for its layers of tender brioche, and drape of sweet buttercream frosting over the entire cake (including the negative space in the center). What I loved most, however, were the generous clumps of deep, rich cinnamon strewn throughout.”

—Maggie Heyn Richardson, 225 features writer

Calandro’s Supermarket

Baton Rouge

“When it comes to king cake, I’m generally an equal opportunist. If it’s around, I’m going to take a bite. But this year I’ve been trying to understand what I like best in these Louisiana creations, and I think I’ve figured it out: I prefer my king cakes a little more on the simple side and not too, too sweet. This probably explains why Calandro’s king cakes have been a longtime favorite of mine. You can order a plain king cake without filling here that’s still perfectly moist and lets the cinnamon swirls do the talking.”

— Laura Furr Mericas, 225 managing editor

Oak Point Fresh Market

Greenwell Springs + Watson

Oak Point Fresh Market king cakes. Photo by Jennifer Tormo Alvarez

“The social media hype for Oak Point king cakes is starting to rival that of Dong Phuong—but these cakes are a little easier to get your hands on. The grocery store bakes dozens of varieties fresh daily. Stepping into the store and seeing the tables piled high with purple boxes, I have never felt so overwhelmed by the choices. Banana Split, S’mores, Lemon Cream Cheese, Crème Brûlée … are you kidding me? So naturally, I spun the store’s “Wheel of King Cake” and then panic-bought two of them. I took home Oreo, which was stuffed with a cookies-and-cream whipped cream, and Bavarian, which was absolutely oozing with silky pudding-like cream. Next, I want to try the Cookie Butter king cake—is it 2025 yet?”

—Jennifer Tormo Alvarez, 225 editor-in-chief

Nonna Randazzo’s

Mandeville, Covington + Chalmette

Nonna Randazzo’s king cake. Photo by Olivia Deffes

“I feel like I’ve definitely had my fair share of king cake over the years. Enough slices to decide which one I like and which ones I don’t care for. Growing up, I always brought in the beautifully breaded Nonna Randazzo’s king cake from the Northshore bakery when it was my turn to provide for my class’ Friday king cake parties. Because I knew nothing was worse than walking into the classroom and seeing that Walmart king cake box. Living close by the bakery, I indulged in this king cake a lot. When I moved to Baton Rouge, I realized how much I missed the nostalgic, cinnamon-y  taste. When Carnival season rolls around, I get an intense craving for the cake and even make trips home to pick up one or two to share with Baton Rouge friends who are unfamiliar. I’m not too well-versed on the Randazzo family tree, nor am I sure what makes each bakery’s cake different. But, what I do know is that Nonna Randazzo’s braided technique combined with thick, sweet icing makes for a king cake like no other. And, yes, the bakery ships!”

—Oliva Deffes, 225 digital staff writer



“Good king cakes come and go, but great ones are always here to stay. Antoine’s famous cakes are just that: great. Ever since I was a little girl I craved just a bite of this sweet, doughy, perfectly iced king cake. The inside is smeared with a cinnamon swirl even a cinnamon bun can’t compete with. The icing is sweet yet not overpowering with a hint of lemon. The top is colored in the traditional purple, green and gold to mark that the best time of year is finally here. If you wake up before the sun and are able to get your hands on one, it’s a must try.”

—Madelon Davis, 225 contributing writer

Ralph’s Market


Ralph’s Market red velvet king cake. Photo by Collin Richie

“This year, I finally had a chance to sample the famed king cakes from Ascension Parish-based Ralph’s Market. They were sweet and tender with distinct layers, and like another grocery store favorite of mine, Calandro’s, they come in about a million different flavors. I’m usually a plain or cream cheese gal, but this time I went big with Ralph’s Oreo and red velvet. I really liked the texture of these cakes, and while the flavors sound like insulin shots, they were actually nicely balanced.”

—Maggie Heyn Richardson, 225 features writer


Molly’s Rise and Shine

New Orleans

“So much has been written about sweet vs. savory king cakes—but what about a little of both? This year’s king cake from Molly’s Rise and Shine is filled with Lebanese tahini and dulce oat frangipane. It’s brushed with kumquat syrup and layered with cream cheese and cocoa nib halva. And staying true to the breakfast restaurant’s quirky charms, it comes with a tiny dinosaur instead of a plastic baby. I mean, come on. This is a king cake I don’t think I’d feel guilty eating several times a day. Which, ahem, I did. We picked up our box on the way to New Orleans parades this weekend, and it was the kind of thing we immediately had to open in the car and eat with our hands. We got icing all over our outfits and the seats. But really, that’s what Deep Gras is all about.”

—Jennifer Tormo Alvarez, 225 editor-in-chief

Poupart Bakery


Poupart Bakery king cake. Photo by Laura Furr Mericas

“I tried a standard king cake from Poupart at a family gathering a few weeks ago and will definitely be adding this to my list of go-to’s. The Lafayette bakery’s Mardi Gras King Cake almost melts in your mouth, and the brioche dough’s butteriness was the most obvious and delicious flavor I tasted. The icing and sprinkles added just the right amount of subtle sweetness for me. You can snag one locally at Bet-R Neighborhood Market.”

— Laura Furr Mericas, 225 managing editor

“I’ve also been enjoying what I consider my annual favorite: the traditional puff pastry king cake from Poupart Bakery that I pick up from Bet-R. These cakes require a quick trip to the oven before you eat them, but it’s worth the short wait. I love their flaky layers and sweet almond paste filling. They come with a baby, too, along with a gold paper crown.”

—Maggie Heyn Richardson, 225 features writer