Worst New Orleans King Cakes

It’s Carnival time again in New Orleans, folks. I don’t care much for parades. I don’t care much for peeing in port-a-lets. I don’t care much for overpriced street food. I only care about one thing: King Cake.

I figured if I’m going to do a post about my five favorite king cakes, I might as well do a post about my least favorite king cakes. As I said before, I’ve had a lot of king cakes. I’ve had a lot of great king cakes. I’ve also had a lot of bad king cakes. This list might be surprising to you, but after reading my reasoning I think you’ll agree with me. Except for maybe about McKenzie’s. There’s just no accounting for taste, am I right?

Below are New Orleans five worst king cakes (in my not so humble opinion).

5. Sucré

Yeah yeah, I know. I’m supposed to LOVE Sucre’s king cakes. Well, I don’t. I think if Sucre had spent less time making their king cakes look like artwork and more time making a good king cake it wouldn’t end up on my worst king cake list. They taste ok, but they’re just too pretentious, which is why they end up on my worst king cake list.

4. CCs Coffee House

It’s really an oversized Danish. It’s not terrible, but it’s not really a king cake. My biggest complaint is the lack of cinnamon, and an over emphasis on vanilla. The flavors really fall short of what I look for in a king cake.

3. Whole Foods

A king cake is not a granola bar. Get your shit together.

I’m all about healthy, all natural food. But this is a god damn king cake, Whole Foods. A king cake is not a granola bar. Get your shit together.

I had a raspberry filled king cake recently. I don’t know what did it, but the cake was like a wet sponge. It wasn’t moist, it was soaking wet. They have obviously tried to shy away from fake colored sugar crystals. It was clear they used regular sugar, adding food coloring to it. The cake had about a quarter inch thick layer of wet, half dissolved sugar on top. I had to scrape it all off, and it was painful to eat.

On a positive note, the filling was really good.

2. Robert’s Fresh market

It surprised me how much I disliked Robert’s Fresh market king Cake. I expected this king cake to be very good, as most of the deserts I’ve had from Robert’s were good. Unfortunately their king cake was terrible.

It was hard to choose between Robert’s Fresh Market and McKenzie’s for least favorite king cake. I hate them equally for the same reasons: They’re both terrible.

Both Robert’s and McKenzie’s are as dry as a popcorn fart. If you’re not familiar, a popcorn fart is fairly dry. Both opt for topping their cakes with only sugar, instead of the milk based white icing found on every other king cake I enjoy eating. Neither uses very much cinnamon, which is something I think is an important flavor in a good king cake. Did I mention they were both terrible?

We’ve had a half eaten Robert’s king cake sitting in our office kitchen for over a week. No one has bothered to finish it.

1. McKenzie’s

Shut up. You don’t like McKenzie’s king cakes. You only remember liking McKenzie’s king cakes. You only remember them being good, because you were 7 years old and you didn’t know any better. If you have found one recently, and if the recipe is still the same as it was 20 years ago, and you enjoyed it, then I don’t know what to tell you. You’re obviously not good at eating.

In grammar school, a parent would bring one of those 3 foot long McKenzie’s king cakes every Friday during Carnival season. One was enough for the entire class. Do you remember those giant king cakes? For some reason they put a maraschino cherry on each end. I still don’t get it. I digress.

I hated king cake days when I was a kid and it turns out the culprit was McKenzie’s king cakes. McKenzie’s made me hate king cakes, and I’ll never forgive them for that.

update 2/20/15

I found a picture with the cherries. It just doesn’t make sense.


  1. I love McKenzie king cakes!!! Yes, I grew up eating them as a child, and to me they epitomize what a true New Orleans king cake is. Now I live in North Louisiana and every king cake has a thick layer of gooey white icing on top. Icing has no business on a king cake. McKenzies is where it’s at. Cute little sprinkles and cherries, doesn’t get better than that!! These saccharine gooey abominations must truly be the creations of Yanks who tasted king cakes and decided the traditional cake was “not good enough”. I love my traditional New Orleans king cake, now and forever!!

  2. My maw maw used to buy the king cakes with the cherries when I was a kid. I loved the cherry area.

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