When it comes to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras tradition, there is one dessert that towers above the rest – King Cake. It’s a circular pastry, in which a tiny plastic baby is hidden inside. Whoever finds the baby is declared the “king” or “queen” for the day and must buy the next cake. New Orleans is blessed with a wealth of bakeries producing this beloved treat, but there are three that stand out above the rest – Gambino’s, Manny Randazzo’s, and Haydel’s Bakery. Let’s take a look at each of their King Cakes and see how they compare.
Gambino’s Bakery King Cake
Gambino’s has been baking King Cakes since 1949, and their creations are a key part of the New Orleans Mardi Gras experience. Here are some of the highlights of their King Cake:
– The dough is light and fluffy, with a slightly sweet taste.
– The filling is generous, with plenty of cinnamon and sugar.
– The icing is thick and creamy, with a classic sugary taste that isn’t overly sweet.
– The colored sugar granules are particularly large, and give the cake a crunchy texture along with a burst of bright color.
Manny Randazzo’s King Cake
Manny Randazzo’s is a family-owned bakery that has been serving NOLA since 1965. Their King Cake is a favorite among locals, and it’s easy to see why:
– The dough is denser than Gambino’s, with a more complex flavor. It’s almost like a sweet bread, with a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon.
– The filling is more restrained than Gambino’s, but still nicely balanced. It leans more towards the cinnamon side than the sugar side.
– The icing is thin but not sparse, and has a nice buttery flavor that pairs well with the dough.
– Their King Cake is notable for having more of a crescent shape than a perfect circle, which sets it apart from other offerings in the city.
Haydel’s Bakery King Cake
Haydel’s Bakery began selling King Cakes in 1949, and they’re now a beloved fixture of the New Orleans culinary scene. Their take on this classic treat is equally impressive:
– The dough is a slightly sweet and tender brioche, with a rich and buttery flavor.
– The filling is composed of a cinnamon cream cheese mixture that’s flavorful and indulgent without being overpowering.
– The icing is generous, with a glossy sheen and a subtle vanilla flavor.
– Haydel’s uses more traditional Mardi Gras colors in their cake, with green, purple, and gold colored sugar adorning the top.
In conclusion, each of these bakeries produces an outstanding King Cake in its own way. While they have their differences, they all share a commitment to quality and a passion for this beloved Mardi Gras dessert.
Summary of Differences:
– Gambino’s has fluffy, slightly sweet dough; Manny Randazzo’s has dense, sweet-bread like dough; and Haydel’s uses buttery, tender brioche dough.
– Gambino’s has generous, cinnamon and sugar filling; Manny Randazzo’s is more restrained, leaning towards cinnamon; and Haydel’s uses a creamy cinnamon cream cheese filling.
– Gambino’s has thick and creamy icing while Manny Randazzo’s has a thin icing with a buttery flavor; and Haydel’s has generous, glossy icing with a subtle vanilla flavor.
– Gambino’s uses larger colored sugar granules, Manny Randazzo’s has a crescent shape, and Haydel’s uses more traditional Mardi Gras colors.