It’s Mardi Gras season on the Coast and king cakes are popping up everywhere, from local bakeries to chain stores.
Although New Orleans eateries are offering up king cakes with flavors like fig and goat cheese, Coast bakers are offering up the Carnival favorite in traditional varieties such as strawberry cream cheese and unique flavors such as pulled pork, chocolate almond and praline pecan.
But remember: Mardi Gras Day is Feb. 13 this year, which is much earlier than last year, so your time to enjoy a delicious king cake is limited.
And also remember the most important king cake rule of all: if you get a piece with the plastic baby, it is strongly suggested that you buy the next king cake. While that may not be Napoleonic code, it’s just plain old good manners.
Here are some of the king cakes being offered along South Mississippi during Carnival 2018.
Last year: Anderson’s sticks with its traditional five flavors, and strawberry and cream cheese was very popular.
This year: The five flavors will be available again this year.
Price: Anderson’s makes one size, says Darkel Solo. Plain king cakes are $9.95 each, cream cheese filled are $10.95 and cream cheese and strawberry are $11.95.
Last year: King cakes were sold at the General Store just inside the door on the first floor, making it easy to run in and grab one.
This year: King cakes still are available at the General Store and at The Grill on the second floor. Most popular flavors are cinnamon, strawberry and cream cheese, and they also have raspberry, lemon, cherry and apple cinnamon. Most flavors are available in Bavarian and cream cheese.
Cheeky Monkey Cake Co.
Last year: Jennifer Noble said Cheeky Monkey’s king cakes are notably different because their filling flavors are baked into the batter. There are many flavors, but the most unique (and popular) cakes from last year was the pulled-pork king cake with a tasty barbecue sauce, a bacon king cake with a maple–cream cheese filling, a PB&J king cake and a banana, honey and bacon king cake inspired by Elvis Presley. But Noble said these cakes are special-order only.
This year: Noble said king cake pull-aparts are new at Cheeky Monkey in 2018. It’s a half dozen king cake cupcakes. The new item is $15 per half dozen.
Price: Regular-size king cakes are $18 each, Noble said, and the special order cakes are $20.
Last year: This is the Long Beach-based bakery’s first year selling king cakes on the Coast.
This year: Owner Brooke Rester said Dolce is offering four types king cakes: a traditional, a strawberry cheese cake, praline cream cheese and a sticky bun king cake topped with caramel and pecans.
Price: King cakes are $22 and $25.
Electrik Maid Bake Shop
Last year: This iconic Biloxi shop has been around longer than most of us, and its classic king cakes come with many filling flavors. The most popular king cake last year was the strawberry-filled or blueberry-filled.
This year: Electrik Maid employees said customers should try their signature king cake that’s stuffed with pecans, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and cream cheese. The shop is also known for its king cake bites and alligator-shaped king cakes.
Price: $11.50 for a small king cake, $18.00 for a large king cake or alligator king cake, $9 per dozen king cake bites.
Fleur De Lis Gourmet Bakery
Last year: Fleur De Lis Bakery in Gulfport sold more pecan praline with cream cheese king cakes than any other flavor during the 2017 Carnival season.
This year: The bakery, known for its French-inspired cakes and pastries, is aiming for authenticity this year. It won’t be making king cakes but instead the French version of the treat, called pithivier. It’s a puff pastry traditionally filled with almond cream, but the bakery will offer a variety of flavors.
Price: A pithivier of any flavor will cost $35.
Hollywood Gulf Coast
Last year: Cinnamon, strawberry and cream cheese king cakes were the most popular varieties.
This year: Those flavors are still favorites, along with apple cinnamon, pineapple, lemon and blueberry. King cakes are sold at Celebrity Grill and at the Gift Shop and most flavors are available with Bavarian cream or cream cheese.
Island View Casino
This year: Island View Casino chefs are making 10-inch king cakes in traditional, lemon, blueberry and cream cheese filled. Find them at The Coffee Shop through Feb. 13.
Price: $14, or king cake cupcakes for $6
Last year: The iconic East Biloxi pastry and sandwich shop has several fillings for their king cakes, including all of the fillings used int their popular turnovers — guava and cream cheese-filled king cake, anyone?
This year: Specialty flavors for 2018 include praline pecan and chocolate, almond and coconut.
Price: King cakes start at $15.99
Last year: The Gulfport bakery offers several varieties of king cake, but the strawberry cream cheese king cake is its best seller.
This year: Owner Melissa Fischer isn’t changing anything this year; she said she’ll continue to offer 20 flavors. Her cakes are braided and hand rolled. Melissa’s will ship cakes anywhere in the Unites States.
Price: Plain cakes start at $17.95, single fillings are $19.95 and double fillings are $21.95.
Palace Casino Bakery and Cafe
Last year: The most popular king cakes were filled with strawberries and cream cheese. Other customer favorites were blueberry cream cheese, cherry, apple and praline.
This year: The Palace is making its amazing millionaire king cakes with chocolate, caramel and pecans. Strawberry cream cheese is always one of the most popular, along with chocolate Bavarian cream, lemon and cherry, and they also offer caramel, strawberry and maple icing plus bananas Foster king cake.
Price: Varies based on king cake
Paul’s Pastry Shop
Last year: In 1972, the iconic king cake bakery in Picayune was the first to fill king cakes with something other than cinnamon. Paul’s Pastry is now synonymous with king cakes and its most popular seller was berry deluxe. It’s filled with blueberry, strawberry raspberry and blackberry in four separate quarters, and all of the fillings are over cream cheese. Paul’s is also known for its pecan praline cake, which combines cream cheese, maple and brown sugar.
This year: The new flavor of 2018 is a Mississippi mud king cake, stuffed with walnuts and a chocolate filling. Paul’s also ships Mardi Gras specialties nationwide, and its cakes are sold locally at its Picayune store and at stores across the Coast.
Price: $8.99 to $24.99
Last year: Lee Lee Williams said the most popular king cake last year was a blueberry cream cheese, even though it’s the highest priced cake she has. All of the king cakes are made from scratch daily, but you better hurry because Quality is only open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. — or until they sell out (which they do on a regular basis.)
This year: Quality Bakery king cakes are being delivered around the Coast. You can find them at Vogel’s on Highway 49 in Gulfport, Nic-Nac Grocery on Three Rivers Road, the Sawmill Family Restaurant in Wiggins and Cafe 1310 in Gulfport.
Price: King cakes start at $20.
Sweet Tooth Bakery
Last year: The Gautier bakery custom makes king cakes, so it’s whatever the customer wants. However, the cream cheese with fresh-made fruit fillings were very popular.
This year: Made-to-order king cakes, so it’s all about what the customer wants.
Price: King cakes start at $25.
We tried reaching as many bakeries as we could, and we know there can be more spots on this list that offer king cakes to die for. Do you own a bakery offering king cakes? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your shop added to the list online.
Other places to get king cake
- Tato-Nut in Ocean Springs does a king cake doughnut
- The Greenhouse on Porter offers king cakes
- Cakes by Tina offers king cakes