Find that baby! Where to buy king cake in the Austin area
There's one surefire way to celebrate Mardi Gras this year safely -- we're looking at you, king cake. The holiday's famed dessert is often enjoyed between crowded parades and gatherings. While the coronavirus pandemic will no doubt cut back on this year's fanfare, a delicious slice of cake is still on the menu.
Across Austin, there are bakeries and restaurants kind enough to whip up the delicacy around this time of year.
Laissez le bon temps rouler!
The Pflugerville bakery has seven types of king cakes available for purchase, ranging from bananas foster to gluten free to lemon curd. (402 Geyser Ave., Pflugerville, TX 78660; 512-465-2879)
In addition to its classic Cajun entrees, Cypress Grill is offering traditional and cream cheese-filled king cakes from Gambino’s Bakery. Customers can pre-order a cake for pickup via phone or buy one in store. (4404 West William Cannon Ste L, Austin, Texas 78749; 512-358-7474)
King cake fans can join Easy Tiger’s pre-order list to get their dessert, which features a plastic tiger instead of a baby, from Feb. 8-16. Patrons across Austin, Cedar Park and Round Rock can opt for delivery or curbside pickup. (The original location at 709 E. Sixth St. is now closed. Current locations are at 3508 S. Lamar Blvd. and at the Linc, 6406 Interstate 35 North. An East Austin location is expected to open at 1501 E. Seventh St. in February; 512-614-4972)
Gluten free king cake is served by the slice at Gati with a special prize. Anyone who finds the baby is treated to a free scoop of ice cream. Patrons can also order a whole cake if they’d like a bit more sugar for themselves. (1512 Holly Street, Austin, Texas 78702; 512-220-1077)
Little Ola’s Biscuits at Olamaie
For those in need of a smaller king cake, Little Ola’s Biscuits at Olamaie has a 7 inch cake filled with brown sugar-spiced cream cheese that serves six people. Orders can be made through their online portal. (1610 San Antonio St., Austin, Texas 78701; 512-474-2796)
This Southern diner sells a cream cheese king cake through their website. (4827 East Cesar Chavez St., Austin, TX 78702; 512-531-9033)
Stuffed Cajun Meat Market
The Stuffed Cajun Meat Market offers five king cake flavors: traditional, cream cheese, cherry, lemon and Bavarian cream. (12226 RR 620 North, Austin, TX 78750; 512-918-1600)
Patrons can place their orders for traditional king cakes via website or phone. Cakes will be ready for pickup from Feb. 10-13. (4508 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 78756; 512-467-0102)
Want to know a little more about the history behind Mardi Gras' famed confection?
In 1870, the French brought king cake to New Orleans, Louisiana, a cinnamony dessert shaped into an oval, coated in icing and decorated with purple, gold and green sprinkles. Purple represents justice; the green and gold symbolize faith and power, respectively. To this very day, bakers place a small plastic baby inside of the cake in a surprise location. Whoever is lucky enough to find the baby in their slice of king cake is obligated to buy the cake for the next Mardi Gras party.
This Feb. 16, there won’t be raging crowds of folks dressed in jester hats and striped shirts. The trees will be free of beads hanging from their branches. Cajuns who have since moved to the Lone Star State know what it’s like to be without the fanfare that comes with the annual tradition in New Orleans. You'd be hard-pressed to find a Mardi Gras parade in Texas that rivals those in its neighboring state.
Luckily, king cakes aren’t limited to southeast Louisiana. Good luck finding the baby!