Off the Wall: Fit for a King?

Joanna O'Leary's recent post about frosted cookies created quite a stir amongst readers. But one comment stood out, and to no surprise, it was from one of my favorite responders--trisch. I don't know trisch, but can tell she's a "glass half full" kind of gal. She writes: "Yesterday I was drooling over the St. Patrick's Day cookie/cupcake/cake and King Cake displays at Kroger.

Mounds of green and white frosting over here, drizzles and splashes of gold, purple and green over there. I'm not a frosting freak like you, but you're right, every now and then it's nice to have a good dose of grocery store frosting as a reminder of the simpler times."
Well trisch, your comments inspired me to seek out that "reminder of simpler times." I headed to my Kroger's in search of frosting. It took about three steps inside before I was smacked in the face with the very display you mentioned. I now had a dilemma--King Cake or St. Patty's cupcakes? I chose the King.

I've never eaten a King Cake. And after consuming one piece of the Kroger's version of this Mardi Gras classic, I may never eat one again. It tasted as nasty as it was ugly. Globs of purple, green, and white icing covered this circular, cinnamon and cream cheese-filled monstrosity. It was also sprinkled with coarse sugar that made each bite sound like I was chewing pebbles. The few areas of the cake not slathered in icing were dry and tasteless. And all for the price of $6.99. But wait, you also get a free strand of beads smashed into the icing. Nice touch.

It became quickly apparent I had made the wrong choice. Next time you get that icing/frosting craving, I recommend passing on the King, and going for the cupcakes.

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I wouldn't use a Kroger or Randalls King Cake for a Toilet seat. Much less put them anywhere near my mouth. After moving to Houston a year ago from New Orleans I made the mistake of getting a King cake from Kroger during the last Gras. The experience was traumatizing for me and my guests. The most delicious part fo the cake was the plastic baby. I shit you not. One of the problems Houston has in making King cakes is they don't know how. They make a giant dry cinnamon roll and slather it with outright disgusting icing. Houston has, and will always have many issues when they try and recreate New Orleans style food. This year I went to my old favorite and had it shipped. Randazzo's in NOLa. It's a little more than $6.99, but can you really put a price on tradition, and not just getting a cake that is edible, but delicious.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

As bad as that one sounds, I guarantee you the Randall's version is worse. I tried them both recently. Disappointment abounded that day.


Ouch! So sorry to steer you in the wrong direction. I've never actually had a Kroger king cake, so thanks for biting the bullet on that one. I usually just mooch off the ones at the office that our consultants and vendors ship to us this time of year from various famous bakeries in Louisiana.

The good ones are like a moist, yeasty, bready coffee cake with a cinnamon swirl and just enough gaudily colored icing to seal in the moisture. Like a luscious overgrown Danish, but without cream cheese filling, and definitely no tooth-breaking colored rock sugar stuff. Usually when one of them arrives, you can find people in the break room "evening up" the king cake, until it's been all evened away except for the baby.

Oh great, now I'll be checking the break room constantly in case one comes in this afternoon!


Yuck. Don't eat King Cake from Houston. The best ones come from Louisiana. My favorite is from Keller's Bakery in Lafayette. It's been in existence in some form since 1895. The current location has been open since 1948. The family has used the same recipes handed down from generations past, most over 100 years old.

Their king cakes are amazing. They come with all sorts fillings, from cream cheese to lemon, buttered pecan. My favorites are cream cheese with pecan, buttered pecan and strawberry banana cream cheese.

The best part? They mail them out overnight. When I worked for The Planet (RIP) downtown, I used to order 2 for my department every year. I had people lined up and waiting at my desk on the days they were supposed to be delivered.

Check it out - y'all should order some for the office and then review them! Do it quick, because they may stop taking orders soon.


Since the King Cake is seasonal, one may only have the cupcake option in the future. Also... how could you not mention that tiny gold baby! Man, $6.99 is worth that little gold baby alone.

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