King cake season: Where to buy creative king cakes this Carnival

From adult-filled to cookie dough, see the most unique king cakes we could find this Carnival.

The start of Carnival season brings along a parade of king cakes. Many king cake lovers stick to their traditional favorites. However, many local bakeries are launching new, exciting creations that put an interesting spin on the New Orleans tradition.

If you're ready to walk on the wild side of king cakes, here's where you can dare to try these over-the-top versions.

Vegan Adult Filled King Cakes | Breads on Oak

The king cakes at Breads on Oak are both organic and vegan. Even the Mardi Gras colors on top are made of natural plant-based ingredients, with an almond in lieu of a plastic baby. Aside from their plain and filled varieties, this bakery takes king cakes up a notch with their “spirited” adult king cakes. The adult filled options include Bourbon Tiramisu, Champagne Orange Almond Cream, Strawberry Rum Cheese Cake and Bourbon Praline Pecan. Breads on Oak king cakes range from $20 – $30. Photo courtesy: Breads on Oak

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"Elvis" King Cake | Cochon Butcher

Cochon Butcher’s “Elvis” king cake pays homage to the late pop icon’s birthday on Jan. 8. Just like the “King of Rock and Roll,” this king cake doesn’t play by the rules. It comes filled with peanut butter and banana. Then, the cake is topped with house-cured bacon, marshmallow and traditional Mardi Gras sprinkles. Cochon also makes a clever swap for a tiny plastic pig with their king cake instead of the traditional baby. Cochon sells the “Elvis” daily by the slice or as a large special order cake for $40 with a required 24-hours notice. Photo courtesy: Cochon Butcher

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Caramel Crunch King Cake | Willa Jean

Last year, Willa Jean debuted a king cake with several folded layers of rich chocolate topped with pieces of chocolate, painted with gold honeycomb designs. This year they are out with a Caramel Crunch King Cake with cinnamon and a cream cheese glaze. Photo courtesy: Willa Jean

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Soft Pretzel King Cake | La Boulangerie

La Boulangerie on Magazine Street debuts a soft pretzel king cake this Carnival season.  The pretzel is topped with purple, green and gold salt and served with a side of whole grain mustard. The bakery will also be selling a Galette des Rois which is a traditional French puff pastry filled with almond cream. Traditional king cakes are available as well. Photo courtesy: La Boulangerie

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Boudin King Cake | New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery

Over in the Marigny, New Orleans Cake Cafe & Bakery serves up a bite-sized king cake with a Cajun twist. This interesting option mixes sweet and savory. It comes stuffed with boudin and topped with crisp, candied bacon. A generous drizzle of local cane syrup from Three Brothers Farm tops it off. If you’re looking for more adventure, the spot also serves an apple goat cheese cake. Photo courtesy: Cake Cafe & Bakery

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Pecan Praline King Cake | Gracious Bakery + Cafe

Gracious Bakery + Cafe is rolling out a few new king cake flavors this Carnival season.  In addition to their cinnamon cake, their French galette and their almond filled “queen cake,” they are also dishing out a Pecan Praline cake filled with brown candied nuts. If nuts aren’t your thing, then try the Chocolate King Cake which is a brioche bread filled with chocolate cream and chocolate chips.  Photo courtesy: Gracious Bakery + Cafe

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Crawfish King Cake | Cartozzo's Bakery

Take a bite out of a crawfish king cake from the krewe at Cartozzo’s Bakery — one of the pioneers of savory king cakes in New Orleans. This king cake packs a signature crawfish filling in a golden brioche bread. Then, the cake finished off with a topping of purple, green and gold dyed parmesan cheese. The krewe also offers a Muffuletta king cake. Photo courtesy: Cartozzo’s Bakery

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Cinnamon Babka King Cake | Shaya

Shaya is back for a second season with its Cinnamon Babka King Cake topped with a sea salt caramel glaze. The king cake was designed with a rich, spicy blend to complement the similarities between king cake and babka. In lieu of a baby, Shaya provides customers with pomegranates to be stuck into the cake. These king cakes are only offered from January 6 to Feb. 12. Customers can order by phone or on the website and pick-up in store. Photo courtesy: Shaya

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King Cake Doberge | The Bakery Bar

The Bakery Bar is bringing you seven layers of goodness this Carnival season with their King Cake Doberge. It’s layers of cinnamon cake with a pudding of your choice (they suggest cream cheese), topped with a cream cheese fondant and Mardi Gras colored sugar. If you don’t need an entire cake, you can buy it by the slice or in the form of a salty ball.  Photo courtesy: Debbie Does Doberge Facebook

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Chocolate King Cake | Bittersweet Confections

Chocolate lovers rejoice!  This freshly baked cinnamon dough from Bittersweet Confections comes filled with chocolate cream cheese and drizzled with chocolate icing.  Photo courtesy: Bittersweet Confections

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Photo courtesy: Bywater Bakery

Chantilly King Cake | Bywater Bakery

Bywater Bakery produces eight different types of king cake including the Chantilly King Cake which is filled with Chantilly cream and fresh berries. Another popular choice is the Bouille King Cake which is a traditional king cake stuffed with Cajun Bouille cream.  Photo courtesy: Bywater Bakery

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Photo courtesy: Caluda's

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough | Caluda's

Caluda’s in Harahan is delivering five flavors of the week this Mardi Gras season. Week one features the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough King Cake, followed by White Chocolate Bread Pudding Raspberry, then Maple Bacon Praline, Bananas Foster and last but not least, Oreo Cream Cheese.  Photo courtesy: Caluda’s

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Bourbon Street King Cake | Maurice's French Pastries

Maurice’s French Pastries has four specialty king cakes that are sure to please someone this year.  There’s the Bourbon Street which is a creamy chocolate custard flavored with bourbon, toasted pecans and Chantilly cream. You can also try the Poncthatoula strawberry cake, the Woodland Plantation praline cream cake flavored with Southern Comfort and the General Foster, their version of a bananas foster king cake.  Photo courtesy: Maurice French Pastries

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Cuccidati King Cake | District Donuts

The popular donut shop on Magazine Street took inspiration from the Italian fig cookie for their king cake this year.  It’s a cinnamon brioche dough stuffed with fig, walnut, raisin, date, orange and spices.  It’s topped with a vanilla bean glaze and Mardi Gras sprinkles.  Photo courtesy: District Donuts

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