Fat Tuesday

Here’s Where to Get King Cake Treats in Houston

Bead, icing, and a prize on the inside.

By Shelby Stewart

Houston bakeries are serving up King Cakes in honor of Mardi Gras. 

Laissez les bons temps rouler is the Cajun French saying for “let the good times roll” or, in the case of the delectable king cake that’s made around this time of year, “let the good times cinnamon roll.”

A Fat Tuesday celebration, better known as Mardi Gras, is the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the Catholic season of Lent begins. The Mardi Gras feast isn’t complete without its signature dessert: king cake. 

According to Caluda's King Cakes, the king cake tradition is said to have been brought to New Orleans from France in 1870. The braided, cinnamon-filled cakes are coated with white icing and topped with purple, green and gold sprinkles, matching the celebration’s bright colors. And, of course, you can’t forget the tiny toy baby on the inside that’s said to bring you luck and prosperity if you find it in the inside of your slice.

If you want to bring the sweet taste of New Orleans’ French Quarter to the Bayou City, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best restaurants and bakeries to get your king cake fix.

Red Dessert Dive

Tucked away in an unassuming strip on Studewood Street in North Houston is Red Dessert Dive, making all of Houston’s favorite confections that remind you of grandma’s house (think: luscious turtle cheesecake and moist bread pudding). The bakery and bar does Mardi Gras like no other, serving up king cake by the slice, along with a selection of other Fat Tuesday-inspired sweets like king cake bread pudding and king cake lattes.

Red Dessert Dive, 1045 Studewood Street. Prices vary. Specials through the weekend, more information here. 

Common Bond

Executive Chef Jason Gould brings the Houston community together with his delicious food. So it’s a no-brainer that Common Bond extended its  king cake pre-order deadline to Feb.  26. Order the traditional cinnamon king cake or⁠, if you’re looking to get a little extra flavor, go for the raspberry and cream cheese king cake, or truly get in the spirit and purchase a DIY king cake kit.

Common Bond Montrose, 1706 Westheimer Road. $30. Through March 1. More information here. 

Dessert Gallery

If there’s anybody who knows how to get festive, it’s Chef Sara Brook and her sweet staff at Dessert Gallery. The secret to all of the tasty custom desserts? Good old-fashioned hospitality and making sure that king cakes are iced to perfection. If you really want to feel the spirit of Mardi Gras, order a side of strawberry or wild Maine blueberry sauce to drizzle on top.

Dessert Gallery, 3600 Kirby Drive, Suite D. $24.95, through March 1. More information here. 

Rainbow Lodge

Beverage director Marc Borel is a Louisiana native, so you know that the swanky Rainbow Lodge in The Heights is getting in the spirit of carnival season. You’ll see it in Borel’s latest creation: king cake milk punch. The drink is a fun combination of Rainbow Lodge’s milk punch and mixes a rich, pecan-infused bourbon, milk, and king cake spices like cinnamon and vanilla. To bring it all together, king cake milk punch is topped with purple, yellow, and green sugars. 

Rainbow Lodge, 2011 Ella Boulevard. $10. Through March 1. More information here. 

King Cake French Toast from Max's Wine Dive. 

Image: Becca Wright 

Rustika Cafe & Bakery

This pastry institution has garnered a following in Houston since Pastry Chef Francis Reznick opened it in 1994. Twenty years later, Reznick is still utilizing knowledge passed down for generations, using recipes originating in Austria, Spain, France, and Russia, giving her version of king cake a unique twist. Made on brioche-style bread, the sweet loaf is soaked with enough icing to get lost in. Available in traditional cinnamon, cream cheese, and strawberry cream cheese flavors.

Rustika Cafe & Bakery, 3237 Southwest Freeway. In-store, $30. Decorating kit, $59. More information here. 

Max’s Wine Dive

The Washington Corridor storefront is putting its own modern take on your traditional Mardi Gras king cake- with king cake French toast. The breakfast offering is cooked on thick pieces of bread, drizzled with special icing and topped with strawberries. 

Max’s Wine Dive, 4720 Washington Avenue, Suite B. $16. More information here. 

French Gourmet Bakery

If you want an authentic taste of king cake or, as they call it, galette des rois, French Gourmet Bakery is where to get it. Founded by Mary and Patrice Ramain in 1973, the River Oaks bakery became a destination for Houstonians who love French (and American) confections. Throughout the month of February, the bakery has multiple king cake offerings: the flaky New Orleans-style king cake that comes in almond, cinnamon and cream cheese flavors; Mini king cake rolls, and the original French-style king cake filled with almond cream. Be sure to call ahead — these sweet treats require careful prep. 

French Gourmet Bakery, 2250 Westheimer Road. $34.99 More information here.

Moeller’s Bakery

The city’s oldest family-owned and operated bakery, founded in 1930, makes some of the best desserts in the area. The quaint pastry shop located in West University makes king cakes that  are a beauty, thoroughly dusted in gold, purple- and greens. You’ll have no problem finding the baby in this cake because you’ll be eager to eat the whole thing in one sitting! 

Moeller’s Bakery, 4201 Bellaire Boulevard. Cakes start at $44.50. More information here.

Three Brothers Bakery 

Rich history and good food go hand in hand, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at Three Brothers Bakery. The brothers brought their European roots to Houston, so they’re no strangers to Mardi Gras. The cakery has a robust menu of king cake offerings, from the classic king cake, Mardi Gras cheesecake, and carnival-themed sheet cakes and cookies.

Three Brothers Bakery, 4036 S Braeswood Boulevard. Prices may vary. More information here. 

Memorial Bakery 

Located right off of Katy Freeway is Memorial Bakery, the sweets kitchen that has something for every holiday — literally. The neighborhood bakery isn’t cutting any corners for Mardi Gras, either. Chef Richard Lin’s version of the king cake comes with a more bittersweet dough than a traditional cake, but still flavorful. If you’re not feeling like you want cake, order the Mardi Gras-themed cookies decorated with masks and fleur-de-lis, petit fours or the Mardi Gras Cupcake Box.

Memorial Bakery, 9415 Katy Freeway. Prices vary. More information here. 

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