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A Running Guide to This Season’s Best King Cake Pop-Ups

Brown butter-glazed, passionfruit honey sweet cream, and strawberry panna cotta Chantilly

Mae’s Bakeshop king cake monkey bread.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

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As is the new norm the last few years, king cake options for Carnival 2023 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 traditional 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 for 2023, from vegan and gluten-free to ice cream cakes and monkey bread.

Some of the below options require preorders, some can be picked up daily, and many are available to order and pick up on a weekly basis. 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.


NOCCA/Official

Cake Cafe

New Orleanians love Cake Cafe’s signature king cake — a slightly dense, almost doughnut-like cake with a tart and sweet goat cheese and apple filling, streaked on top with thick green, gold, and purple icing. Though Cake Cafe is no more, its beloved king cake is still available each Carnival season, at King Cake Hub and NOCCA — order online through NOCCA’s site for a designated pickup date. There are also gluten-free, dairy-free versions.

Creme Confectionary

Creme Confectionary

Nicole Bonneval Maurer’s Creme Confectionary is beloved for its gluten-free king cake, finally bringing a tasty way for the gluten-intolerant to partake during Carnival. With six — that’s right, six — varieties of king cake this year, you can pick them up at Haydel’s Bake Shop on Magazine Street, Grounded Coffee Cafe on Jefferson Highway, and Birds Nest Cafe on Spanish Fort Boulevard, as well as Lafreniere and Harahan Farmers Markets, weekly (call the retail locations directly to check availability). Finally, shipping to anywhere in the country is available this year through the website. Follow Maurer on social media for up-to-date info.

King Cake Connection

This year at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum is Carnival pop-up King Cake Connection, a hub for Black-owned bakers and more. Open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the pop-up offers the opportunity to pick up the cinnamon brown sugar cream cheese and sweet potato cream cheese king cakes from chef Rena Ray, aka S.S. Sweets. To preorder, email info@kingcakeconnection.com.

Lagniappe Baking Co.

Lagniappe Baking Co.

Kaitlin Guerin’s intricate pastries and cakes are as beautiful as they are delicious. She will be making at least two types of king cakes this year: a spiced citrus galettes des rois for January and the beloved sourdough brioche for February, available for preorder and pickup on designated dates throughout the season.

La Vie En Rose

While this sweet cafe is currently closed, you can still get Kirby Jones’s special king cakes at Rabbit’s Foot, the new “modern bodega” on Prytania Street, Thursday through Sunday. Choose from almond frangipane-filled, the pretty traditional cream cheese, Don Creole (crawfish king cake), and a rose queen cake (or galette de rois).

Mae’s Bakeshop’s king cake monkey bread
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Mae’s Bakeshop

Mae’s Bakeshop is former Emeril’s pastry chef Jeremy Fogg’s bakery dream come to life. His beloved king cake monkey bread, a shareable, pull-apart version of the classic topped with icing, edible Mardi Gras beads, and a bananas Foster sauce for dipping is available to order online for delivery Friday, Saturday, and Sunday between 5 and 9 p.m. through Lundi Gras.

Muddy Cat Bakery

This new cat on the scene has a beautiful, delicious cake, a twisted and looped brioche resembling babka glazed with one of three delectable flavors: brown butter, orange, or cream cheese. It even comes with an adorable purple cat. Orders open every Monday and close Fridays; to order, message Muddy Cat on Instagram or email muddycatbakery@gmail.com, Pickup is Sunday at Kajuns Pub between 4 and 6 p.m.

Nolita King Cakes

Martha Gilreath founded Nolita two Mardi Gras ago with delivery king cakes, but their availability continues to expand. Gilreath will be popping up throughout the season at spots like Port Orleans Brewery, but you can also find these Thursday through Monday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Chicory House in the Rink shopping center or at King Cake Hub Thursday through Tuesday. They are excellent; simple but delicious and topped with a perfectly runny glaze and thick sugar crystals in deep, pretty colors.

Not Too Fancy Bakery

Not Too Fancy Bakery

Calvin Virgil’s salted caramel and candied pecan king cake has absolutely 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. This year, 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.

Blackberry nutmeg sweet cream king cake.
Passion Flour Baked Goods

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, Undergrowth Coffee, and other locations. King cake flavors like blackberry nutmeg sweet cream, passionfruit honey sweet cream, and a chocolate Frangelico hazelnut French king cake can be ordered online to pick up at the Crescent City Farmers Market on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. Follow on Instagram for availability and updates.


A 2021 Rahm Haus king cake.
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Rahm Haus

The creative king cakes Rahm Haus debuts each year never cease to amaze. This year (so far), there has been a rainbow cookie ice cream king cake, a strawberry “panna cotta” Chantilly king cake, and a “traditional” cream-less citrus king cake. Throughout the season, you can place an order online for pickup at Courtyard Brewery on Saturdays and Sundays. If you can’t go all in on one of these amazing but pricey cakes, Courtyard is hosting a King Cake Feast By the Slice on Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m. through February 9.


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