New Orleans Celebrates the Return of Carnival Season With King-Cake-Inspired Treats

Celebrate Carnival season by indulging in one of these festive treats

This cinnamon dough-flavored soda from Abita is available from January to May only.

In New Orleans, the end of the Christmas season marks the beginning of a new season: Carnival. Jan. 6 represents what New Orleanians call Kings Day or Twelfth Night — a date that some branches of Christianity recognize as the coming of the Epiphany, which concludes the 12 days of Christmas. In New Orleans, this day is most commonly associated with the beginning of the long-awaited Mardi Gras season!


Mardi Gras would not be as popular as it is without some of the many unique traditions that come with it. Along with a plethora of parades and other celebrations, the consumption of the king cake is one of the most common and well-known carnival customs. With every bakery in the city churning out its own version of the king cake, there is no lack of the sugar-coated treat. In fact, there seems to be a king cake for every taste — sweet, savory, filled, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, or even “adult” king cakes filled with a boozy concoction. Everyone seems to have their own opinion on which cake is best, and who are we to tell you whether you are right or wrong? What we are really impressed with, though, is the amount of king-cake-inspired creations popping up throughout New Orleans. Here is a list of items to help you have your cake without eating it too.

King Cake beignets - Bayou Bar at the Pontchatrain Hotel


Mardi Foie king cake - Kingfish


King Cake Frey Shake - Frey Smoked Meat Co.


“Pour Me Something Mister” snowball - Snola Metairie and Snola Uptown


King Cake ice cream – Creole Creamery


Mardi Gras King Cake coffee – Community Coffee


King Cake soda – Abita Brewery


King Cake burger – Food Drunk Food Truck


Doberge King Cake – Debbie Does Doberge at Bakery Bar


King Cake doughnuts – District Donuts, Sliders & Brews


King Cake shake – Atomic Burger


King Cake bread pudding – Emeril’s Nola


King Cake smoothie – Smoothie King


King Cake bread pudding tart – Sucre


King Cake Martini- Trinity 



Carnival season will be over in a flash, and you do not want to miss out on this festive time of year. What are you waiting for? Go grab one (or a few) of these unique treats today! And as the locals say, “Laissez le bon temps rouler!”