The results of NoDef's King Cake Walk are in! For the second year in a row, Bittersweet Confections has landed the win for their vibrantly sugared cake filled with rich chocolate. But, Bittersweet was only one of the local bakeries represented in the competition, all of whom brought their best game to the challenge. The barren platters at the event's end provided evidence that there are no loosers in the world of cake.
Similar to last year's competition, Cake Cafe was another popular choice with their Apple and Goat Cheese filling, but the chocolate of Bittersweet Confections wooed the masses.
The annual event takes place during Ogden After Hours. Guests walk through a semicircle of tables, each with cakes representing different bakeries. NoDef's unscientific voting process asks tasters to drop toothpicks into corresponding cups, to be counted once the confections are mere crumbs.
Bittersweet Confections (725 Magazine Street)
A non-traditional king cake took the prize for the third year in a row. With a whopping 51 toothpicks, Bittersweet's rich chocolate cake stands out among the rest.
The oval has a consistency of a chocolate croissant, flaky with a rich, super sweet chocolate filling and outer layer.
Cake Cafe (2440 Chartres Street)
In 2013, the Marigny eatery's signature cake caused some controversy for beating out Haydel's and Gambino's, and other traditional competitors. However, the crowd gravitated towards the sightly apple and goat cheese creations once more this year garnering 39 votes.
Laurel Street Bakery (2701 South Broad Street)
The Uptown bakery entered three light and fluffy cakes into the competition this year. Their elegant presentation caught the eyes of walkers and landed them in third place at the end of the event. Guests commented that the Laurel offering was a perfect compromise between the classic cake and the new, "funky" varieties.
Their blueberry stuffed cake might have been the messiest at NoDef's walk.
Cochon (930 Tchoupitoulas)
Bacon, peanut butter, and banana. These are the three main ingredients in Cochon’s cake they’ve named after the King of Rock ‘N Roll. “The Elvis” is topped with bacon and marshmallow cream. You won’t find a baby in this cake. The porcine focused establishment includes a tiny pig in lieu of a king cake baby.
Haydel's (4037 Jefferson Highway)
It seems the crowd was too busy praising Haydel's Bakery with their words to show love at the voting cup. Though they only pulled 20 votes, the Jefferson Parish bakery still made it in the top tier for favorite cakes. Sometimes all you want is a simple cake. Haydel’s offers just that.
Mister Gregory's (806 North Rampart Street)
The young Rampart St. bakery was the only to submit versions of traditional French king cakes. Historically, king cakes usually made with a flaky puff pastry crust and fruity frangipane filling.
In this case, the bakery offered a variety of cakes which may have hurt them in the end voting. However, the selection did not hurt them in the tasting. Mister Gregory's confections were the first to go.
Like Cochon, Mister Gregory’s went out on a limb and also entered a cake with meat in it. Their French inspired recipe featured some of Louisiana’s finest Andouille sausage.
Many a local relies on PJ’s for early morning libations on the regular, but it’s also a great spot to pick up a Carnival treat (especially during the busy season.) PJ’s cake was simple and to the point pulling out ahead of Mister Gregory’s with by one vote.
Guests were surprised by how much they liked the shop's cake.
Robert's Fresh Market
Even though Robert’s toothpick count was on the lower end, several attendees commented that it was their favorite pick. The local grocery’s signature cake comes dazzled with doubloons, Mardi Gras beads and the common cinnamon pizzazz inside. Robert’s has locations in Uptown, Lakeview, and Metairie. Soon, they’ll open another store on St. Claude in the former Schweggman’s building.
Swiss Confections (747 St. Charles Avenue)
“It’s my favorite thing,” said one woman whose idea of heaven must be lined with these epiphany cakes. “I love them, they’re ooey gooey goodness. They are ooey gooey, aren’t they?”
If her question was meant to be rhetorical, then perhaps the unspoken answer is Swiss. They take the prize for ooeyest, gooeyest cake. We’re dubbing them the party cake for the colorful confetti that topped their juicy confection. With a solid midtable vote tally, Swiss was a viable competitor in the contest.
Another bakery representing Uptown landed in a solid mid-table position.The buttery brioche was flakey, moist, and delicious, complementing the cinnamon-sugar mixture that was folded into the brioche’s thick folds. The sweetness of the royal icing neither overpowered the buttery goodness of the dough nor made the cake difficult to consume. The smoothness of the icing, the softness of the brioche and the crunch of the granulated sugar combined in a pleasing texture.
Whole Foods may dominate many facets of healthy eating, but the grocery giant has not quite mastered the art of New Orleans’ most famous dessert. They came in last with two votes.