As is the new norm the last few years, king cake options for Carnival 2024 are head-spinning, and partakers are cleaning out bakery cases and preorder slots all over town. In addition to the many amazing king cakes at New Orleans bakeries, there are tons of king cake pop-ups to be found at farmers' markets, for pickup or delivery, or carried by coffee shops. Here’s how to get your hands on king cakes from the city’s best independent bakers this year, from vegan and gluten-free to macaron king cakes and galette de rois.
Some of the below options require preorders, some can be picked up at King Cake Hub or King Cake Connection, and many are available to order and pick up weekly. Follow the pop-ups’ social media pages for updates on availability.
Did we miss an amazing king cake pop-up this year? Let us know.
10 Cent Baking
10 Cent Baking is from baker Gillian White, specializing in layered cakes extravagantly adorned with flowers, fruit, and swirls of colorful frosting — wedding-worthy cakes. For Carnival 2024, White is again selling her pistachio-cardamom galette de rois, available for preorder and pick up on designated days. Follow on Instagram for drop days or fill out the link online to receive a text before orders open.
Nicole Bonneval Maurer’s Creme Confectionery is beloved for its gluten-free king cake, finally bringing a tasty way for the gluten-intolerant to partake during Carnival. There are traditional, three kinds of filled cakes, a brioche option, and a Chantilly king cake, all of which can be ordered through the website, via Grounded Coffee Cafe on Jefferson Highway, Birds Nest Cafe on Spanish Fort Boulevard, or Catch Seafood Restaurant in Metairie. It’s also popping up at other various locations throughout the season; follow Maurer on social media for up-to-date info.
Kimi Nguyen’s baking operation specializes in “a mixture of French-inspired pastries incorporating Asian styles.” She’s particularly known for her cracked cream puffs — French choux pastry with a craquelin cookie crust and an added cream of varying flavors, seasonal and custom. This year, Kimi Bakes’ king cake cream puffs are available via preorder and at this year’s brand new king cake drive-thru.
Lagniappe Baking Co.
Kaitlin Guerin’s intricate pastries and cakes are as beautiful as they are delicious. For now, Guerin is making her spiced citrus galettes des rois, available for preorder and pickup at Dakar NOLA on designated dates throughout the season. Stay tuned to the Lagniappe Instagram to see if she adds the beloved sourdough brioche later in the season.
La Vie En Rose
Not Too Fancy Bakery
Calvin Virgil’s Not Too Fancy Bakery salted caramel and candied pecan king cake has been one of the most highly sought-after king cakes for the last few years, selling out within minutes of opening orders or at pop-up appearances. Not Too Fancy’s traditional, strawberry cream cheese, and salted caramel king cakes can be ordered through the website for local pickup only in Kenner.
Passion Flour Baked Goods
This local pastry pop-up has gained a following in the last few years, becoming a staple at Crescent City Farmers Market. Its king cake flavors are some of the most inventive and delicious out there: blackberry nutmeg sweet cream, passionfruit honey sweet cream, pistachio cookie butter sweet cream, and cinnamon sugar orange vegan king cakes can be ordered online to pick up at the Crescent City Farmers Market on Thursdays, where slices of each will also be available for purchase without preorder. Follow on Instagram for availability and updates.
The creative king cakes Rahm Haus debuts each year never cease to amaze. This year (so far), there’s a strawberry and whipped white chocolate panna cotta king cake, and a Louisiana citrus cinnamon and miso cream cheese king cake. Throughout the season, you can find Rahm Haus king cakes at various bars once weekly (on January 18 at Bayou Wine & Beer Garden, on January 25 at The Rabbits Hole, etc). and at various other pop-up opportunities. Check the website for weekly dates and follow on Instagram.
Viola’s Heritage Bread
This beloved local breadmaker has returned for Mardi Gras 2024 with Carla Briggs’ sweet potato king cake, a subtle twist on the traditional brioche base that makes a world of difference. Each week will bring a new flavor that builds on that sweet potato base, available for pickup at The Historic New Orleans Collection location of King Cake Connection, the annual hub for king cakes and Mardi Gras-themed desserts and products by Black-owned businesses. You can also order one online for shipping or pickup.
Come Carnival season, this custom macaron maker specializes in macaron-style king cakes. Three sizes are available throughout the season: 3-inch minis at pop-ups around town, 6-inch sizes available for preorder or walk-in at Haydel’s Bakery, and a full-size, 9-inch king cake-a-ron available for direct preorder and pickup in Kenner. Flavors include cinnamon cream cheese, pecan praline, and a traditional, all filled with Italian buttercream. In addition to preorders and the King Cake Drive-Thru, the event schedule is available on Instagram.