Traveling through New Orleans for the best vegan king cakes

Carnival season is upon us, and with it comes a variety of party-specific fun. One such delight is the king cake, a New Orleans staple this time of year which, in its simplest definition, is a ringed pastry topped with colorful sprinkles containing a small plastic baby hidden inside. inside. Beyond this basic definition comes a vast array of preferences and specificities that differ based on personal tastes and regionality. Some people prefer the standard royal cake, which has cinnamon baked into the batter and purple, gold, and green sprinkles on top. While others may opt for king cakes filled with cream cheese, fruit or chocolate. Whatever flavor or style you prefer, and whether you buy your royal cake from a beloved little bakery or the local grocery store, they’re pretty hard to beat.

Part of the fun of navigating your way through a royal cake is the fact that they aren’t available all year round, or shouldn’t be. Kingcake season begins on Twelfth Night (12 days after Christmas), also called Epiphany, and ends shortly after Mardi Gras Day (AKA, Fat Tuesday) which is the eve of Lent. If you finish the remaining slices of your cake after Ash Wednesday, we won’t judge you. But you may get an eye or two from New Orleans natives if you’re seen eating king cake beyond this week. I’m just saying.’

Related: We tasted 10 vegan butters in the name of science

About a year ago, a combination of having a dog I fell obsessively in love with and watching a terrifying documentary about modern animal agriculture called “Dominion” led me to convert to veganism. Well, I guess now I should say “Cold Tofurky”. This rapid change compelled me to find vegan substitutes for everyday foods, as well as seasonal items like king cake. The need to continue living the snack attack lifestyle I’m used to enabling me to do a lot of investigative taste tastings as to where to find the best vegan king cakes here at New -Orléans, where I live and where many are on vacation at this time of year for Mardi Gras. Glad to share my findings with you here. Let the good times roll, foodie vegan friends!

Loaves On Oak

Located at 8640 Oak St in New Orleans, Breads On Oak offers organic, plant-based foods that are deliciously addictive. During carnival season, they bake a variety of vegan king cakes offering flavor for every palate. The standard vegan royal cake flavors they offer include:

  • Traditional unfilled (cinnamon)
  • bavarian cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Pecan Praline
  • Chocolate tiramisu
  • Almond Cream

They also offer “adult” flavors, which have a little extra kick. These flavors include:

  • Strawberry Rum Cream Cheese
  • Almond Cream with Brandy Berries
  • Pecan Praline Bourbon
  • Baileys and cream

I can’t speak to the “adult” flavors, but I’ve tried most of the standard flavors and they are amazing. If being able to say “you would never know they were vegan” is a selling point, you can definitely say that about these cakes. To top it all off, they offer online ordering/delivery of their cakes, and an option for a “mystery slice” which led me to try a new favorite, their Royal Chocolate Tiramisu Cake. I just stopped writing this to pick up my phone and order some mystery slices for home, but they’re closed today. Sad! Well, let’s continue. Let’s talk more about cakes!

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Falaya Bakery

This 100% vegan and plant-based shop provides vegan king cakes and other vegan treats like cookies, and even jambalaya via online ordering and local delivery in New Orleans, or from a number of locations. local places they make drops like the New Orleans Food Cooperative and the Mandeville Trailhead Market. The vegan king cake flavors they offer include:

  • Traditional cinnamon
  • Cream cheese
  • Almond
  • Foster bananas
  • Caramel drizzle

I’ve only tried the traditional and cream cheese flavors as they seem to be the most widely available, but I’m still keeping an eye out for others. I can’t think of a better review here than to say that I put on real pants, real shoes, and left the house for the sole purpose of getting a few slices of their co-op cake. It’s an instant mood lift, and their cakes have never let me down. Well, apart from the days when they are sold out!

Slop’s House

In a recent interview with Gambit, House of Slop owner Kora Jansen explained the backstory behind her vegan shop’s unusual name.

“It started with making savory food. My partner and I cooked together a lot during the pandemic. That was before I started selling food. So I made this soup which was really tasty, a soup cabbage and sausage with a vegan sausage that I seasoned with fennel and paprika and all sorts of goodies, but (the soup was) really splashy We used to joke that it made that sloping sound when you pour it into a bowl, and it took off like the House of Slop.

House of Slop specializes in vegan comfort food, and I’ve been making special trips for months to a local cafe here in New Orleans called Pagoda that carries their vegan donuts, which are the best vegan donuts I’ve ever had . When she started posting about her king cakes on Instagram, I made a special order for a full size cream cheese king cake, which she personally delivered to my house. Let me tell you, that cake didn’t last long. This is a beloved local pop-up and delivery option that I hope and pray will one day open a brick and mortar store. Kora’s stuff is almost too good. The vegan king cake flavors offered by House of Slop include:

  • Traditional
  • Cinnamon Pecan
  • Cream cheese
  • Strawberry
  • Blueberry
  • Matcha Traditional
  • Lemon icecream

So this is it. A handy list of the best of the best when it comes to vegan king cakes if you live in New Orleans, like me, or if you’re traveling here for Mardi Gras. With the variety in which bakers are now able to make healthy and tasty substitutions for animal by-products, going vegan is easier than you might think. Even in a city like New Orleans where the Mississippi River is half melted butter.

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