It’s not Carnival season in Louisiana without king cake. The sweet dessert is filled with a cinnamon-sugar dough, and the outside is layered with purple, green, and gold icing — the traditional colors of Mardi Gras. Inside every cake is a plastic baby, which is a symbol of luck and prosperity (although whoever gets the slice with the baby has to provide the cake for the next year).
Today, you can find king cakes pretty much anywhere in the US from Epiphany in early January up to Mardi Gras in March. That means even if you don’t get the chance to go to New Orleans and hit Bourbon Street’s best bars to celebrate — and cure the inevitable hangover with the best brunches in New Orleans — you can still get a taste of the party when it comes to cake eating. For the best of the best in king cakes, however, nowhere does it like Louisiana. These are the best king cake bakeries in Louisiana to try this Carnival season, many of which ship worldwide.