King Cake in Houston: Where Y’at?

As a Louisiana transplant, I can spot others of my kind immediately. We care about food–probably too much. We generally want to know where to get crawfish, andouille, a good po’boy,… but when January rolls around and everyone else in Houston is settling in with their resolutions, we are in search of King Cake.

What is King Cake?

slice of King Cake on a plate surrounded by Mardi Gras beads and a glass of champagneIf you’re wondering what this “King Cake” nonsense is all about, allow me to explain. King Cakes are made in celebration of Mardi Gras. The brioche cinnamon dough is braided or twisted into a ring shape {usually an oval}. The traditional cake is just the cinnamon dough, baked and covered with white icing and purple, green, and gold sugar. A plastic “baby” is typically hidden in the cake. The tradition dictates that whoever receives the baby {or cuts a piece that exposes any part of the baby} must host the next King Cake party. This is just a fancy way of saying you are on the hook for buying the next King Cake.

Several decades ago, the King Cake evolved a bit. It can now be “stuffed” with cream cheese, any number of fruits, pecan praline, Bavarian cream, etc. There are also some bakeries that sell donut-style King Cakes.

Where Can You Buy King Cake in Houston?

oval shaped King CakeIf you’re driving across the Sabine River into Louisiana, your options greatly expand. But since so many Louisianians now call the Houston-area home, we have plenty of places to procure them locally.

Greater Houston Area

H-E-B: Texas’ greatest grocery store chain makes pretty yummy King Cakes at an affordable price {under $10}. They are not quite traditional, but the cream cheese King Cake at H-E-B is my daughter’s absolute favorite. Other flavors include cinnamon, apple, strawberry, and pineapple.

Whole Foods: If you’re looking for an all-natural, preservative-free King Cake, Whole Foods is the place!

Kroger: Kroger has several sizes and options available {most under $10}. Some Houston-area stores also sell Gambino’s King Cakes fresh from New Orleans.

Buc-ee’s: Buc-ee’s is selling Caluda’s Mini King Cakes in store for $4.99.

Blue Bell: Though it is not a cake, the traditional flavors of King Cake can also be found in Blue Bell’s seasonal flavor, Mardi Gras King Cake Ice Cream. The ice cream is made with cinnamon cake flavored ice cream and contains pastry piece, cream cheese swirl, and colored sprinkles. I have seen it at my local H-E-B. It’s in a purple tub and retails for approximately $6.50.

West Houston

The King Cake Lady: Based in Katy, The King Cake Lady makes delicious, authentic King Cakes. I ordered a cream cheese King Cake from her earlier this year, and it was so fresh and delicious. A medium King Cake is $30, and a large is $40. Flavors include cinnamon, cream cheese, almond, apple cinnamon cream cheese, strawberry cream cheese, cherry cream cheese, raspberry cream cheese, lemon cream cheese, and Nutella.

Proud Pie: OK, so this isn’t exactly King Cake, but IT IS King Cake Pie. It is not a regular menu item, so you have to catch it when it is the “Pie of the Week.” According to Proud Pie, “Our Raspberry Cream Cheese King Cake Pie is a creamy layer of cheesecake batter with fresh raspberry sauce swirled in and baked in our all butter crust, topped with a wheel of cobbler dough. We glaze it with sticky icing and finish it with Mardi Gras sugar.” A slice of King Cake pie will cost you $6.45.

Plum Krazy Creations: Those who live near Rosenberg are in luck. Plum Krazy is making cinnamon King Cakes for $35. They require 24 hours notice to make a fresh cake for you.

North Houston

Rao’s Bakery: This Spring area bakery makes some pretty authentic King Cakes! You can order ahead on their website and either have it shipped to you or pick it up in-store. King Cake flavors include cinnamon, strawberry cream cheese, blueberry cream cheese, raspberry cream cheese, and Voodoo {a chocolate variety}. The King Cakes range in price from $20.95 to $28.95.

South Houston

PJ’s Coffee: At the Pearland location of the New Orleans-based coffeehouse, you can get a slice {or a whole cake} of Caluda’s King Cake direct from Harahan, La. Nothing goes better with King Cake than coffee, and PJ’s Coffee also has limited-time King Cake-inspired specialty coffee menu items.

Slice of King Cake with plastic babies on the plate, surrounded by Mardi Gras beads

Do you celebrate Mardi Gras with King Cake? What is your favorite place in Houston to get one? 


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Christy grew up in Cajun Country. After graduating from LSU, she worked as an editor for a Louisiana chef. After Hurricane Katrina devastated her home state, she assisted in the recovery efforts, which ultimately moved her to Houston. Christy and Ryan were married in St. Lucia in 2006. Five years later, after welcoming their first child, Lilla {March 2011}, she became a high school English and Photojournalism teacher. After Flynn {March 2013} joined their family, Christy became a stay-at-home mom. Soon after, the family jumped at the chance to move to Perth, Western Australia. After almost four years, they relocated to Santiago, Chile. Both places {and their wines} hold a special place in her heart. Christy enjoys cheering on her beloved LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints, texting friends in complete sentences, taking heaps of photos, planning vacations, advocating for our planet, and cooking delicious meals in her kitchen.



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