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Southeast Louisiana king cake bakeries battle for bragging rights in King of Cake challenge

Thirty-two bakeries face off in the hot king cake debate this Carnival
Thirty-two bakeries battle for bragging rights in our second annual NOLA Weekend King of Cake...
Thirty-two bakeries battle for bragging rights in our second annual NOLA Weekend King of Cake challenge.
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 3:05 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (NOLA WEEKEND) - It’s the biggest debate during the sweetest time of the year: What’s your favorite king cake?

We’re giving you the chance to weigh in. NOLA Weekend’s King of Cake challenge is back!

Last year’s winner was Nonna Randazzo’s Bakery, but this year, we have some newcomers in the mix that will level up the competition.

Sugary and sweet king cake layers steeped in family tradition: that’s what keeps the doors swinging open at Nonna Randazzo’s Bakery.

“Keeping the king cake and the Randazzo name up where it should be is so important to us,” Nonna Randazzo’s co-owner Joel Randazzo Forjet said.

It’s only fitting that a name known as New Orleans king cake royalty was crowned as last year’s champ.

“We were glad that our customers in the greater New Orleans area and everyone that was voting pulled us through,” Forjet said.

VOTE NOW: NOLA Weekend’s King of Cake Bracket Challenge

With the comeback of king cake season, it’s back to the drawing board. Thirty-two bakeries face off for bragging rights in this year’s bracket challenge. And the rise of newer bakers, like Brennan’s Restaurant, make the battle even sweeter.

“Yeah, it’s exciting to see where we land up,” Brennan’s bakery manager Patrick Brennan said.

This marks only the second year since the iconic French Quarter restaurant jumped into the king cake game. But for the first time, they’re giving their famous dessert a Carnival twist.

“Last year, everybody and their brother asked me, ‘Why don’t you do a Bananas Foster king cake,’” Brennan said.

To perfect the recipe, Brennan’s culinary team pulled inspiration from the past, hoping to make it taste just like the real deal.

“We filled it with our Russian buttercream, which is butter, sweetened condensed milk, banana flavoring and vanilla,” Brennan said. “So that hits your banana part of the Bananas Foster.”

Another crave-worthy creation might seem a little outside of the box, but it’s gaining more attention this season. With this unique treat, Nor-Joe Imports in Metairie serves a delicious slice of New Orleans culture.

“We’re blending the Mardi Gras culture of New Orleans with the Italian culture of the cannoli, and it’s literally a blend of those two things together that make the cannoli king cake,” Nor-Joe Imports owner Mark Subervielle said.

And though each king cake has its own fan base, our city’s sweet tradition still reigns supreme.

“I think that we need to tie our culture and our events to food,” Subervielle said. And I think king cake represents that across the city anyway.”

You can vote all season long at Nolaweekend.com/kingofcake until we crown the winner on Lundi Gras.