We’re right up on Mardi Gras 2018, and if you’re not on your way to New Orleans, you’re probably at least hoping to celebrate with the trademark treat of the season: a King Cake.
On the off chance you’ve never tried the Mardi Gras delicacy: A King Cake is more bready than cake-y — a brioche dough-based ring of deliciousness, decorated with purple/gold/green stripes and usually filled with a creamy/fruity filling, almost always with a little plastic baby hidden inside. (If you find the baby, depending on which traditions you follow, you’re either king for a day or responsible for providing next year’s King Cake.)
They’re generally only around for a month or two, up until Mardi Gras, so if you’re still in need, you’re running out of time. Below, a few of our favorite Nashville providers of top-notch King Cakery:
If you ask someone in Nashville where to get an authentic King Cake, most will tell you to hit up baker Nicole Wolfe of Wolfe Gourmet Cakes, a New Orleans native who’s been baking here for years. We heartily agree: She’s always our top choice, offering a mix of fillings (from simple cream cheese to serious maple bacon pecan), in small or large (ranging from $26.99 to $49.99). Flying solo? She doesn’t leave you out: You can also get a King Cupcake for $4.75. You can order directly from Wolfe if you get in early enough (she’s sold out now), but she usually also has cakes/cupcakes at various places around Nashville, including Porter Road Butcher in East Nashville and The Food Company in Green Hills.
Killebrew Coffee’s chef, Lisa Marie White, is another New Orleans baking talent here in Nashville. And at least in recent weeks, you could snag a slice of her house-made, Nashville-special King Cake in the shop, on the ground floor of the Thompson Nashville in The Gulch (401 11th Avenue South). Check Killebrew’s Facebook/call ahead if you want to make sure they still have some before you head out.)
You’ve missed this year’s deadline for ordering a whole King Cake from Slow Hand Coffee downtown (300 10th Avenue South). Which is a bummer, since their house-made pastries are what make Slow Hand way more than your average coffee shop. The good news: Pastry chef Audra Guidry has also been baking up King Cake cinnamon rolls, which’ll make a pretty perfect pre-Mardi Gras breakfast.
Sweet 16th is tucked back in East Nashville, and for almost 15 years now, they’ve been making some of the city’s most irresistible sweet and savory baked goods. (Their breakfast sandwich is not to be missed.) Their King Cake stands out both visually and taste-wise, and they’re really affordable: $20. Stop by (311 N. 16th Street) or call to order (615.226.8367).
For the Brentwood residents: Long-loved bakery/cafe The Puffy Muffin (229 Franklin Road) bakes up traditional King Cakes annually, and they tend to sell out. So you might want to call ahead before you swing by, and/or plan ahead for next year.
Hope one of these still has some cake left to snag. Either way: Bookmark for next year? (Backup/uninspiring choice: We’re told Whole Foods tends to have a pretty decent standby.)
If we can’t help you with baked goods, maybe we can help you with househunting: Reach out and let us know if you could use some guidance while you look for a new Nashville home.