Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Great King Cake Debate

La Luz got the baby at school last week so tomorrow is her day to bring a king cake. In my family there really is no debate about which king cake is the best. Hands down the vote goes to McKenzie's. Unfortunately, when McKenzie's closed the best king cake in the city was unavailable...until Tastee Donuts decided to get its hands on the recipe and start making them (incidentally, the old Tastee Donuts king cakes tend to come in second place among the family favorites). As far as we are concerned there is nothing better than the delicious, brioche base that makes a McKenzie's king cake. In our world there is no place in our king cakes for white icing, non traditional colors, raspberry filling, and bavarian creme. Most of us will not even tolerate cinnamon in our king cake, believing it is best left for sweet rolls.

I still order Haydel's king cakes for out of town friends and family because I like the way they are packaged and, even though they have white icing and cinnamon, they taste pretty delicious. But, if I am going to eat king cake in New Orleans and I have a reason to get anywhere close to Clearview and West Metairie, it is going to look like this:

17 comments:

Molly said...

Girl, why you had put that picture of a McKenzie's king cake up on your blog like that? You tryin' to make me jealous?
It looks so yummy i almost want to eat my computer screen.

Nola (www.nolanotes.com) said...

I had the very same cake Sunday and that label! It was so nice to see!! But where are the cherries??

TOITA said...

Ok agree with Molls! Thank you very much! Now what can I do when I am miles away from a King Cake!!!!! That looks so delicious!!!

Julie Vaicius said...

I know - sorry out of towners. It really was delicious.
I agree with nola though, where are the cherries? That used to be my favorite piece.
I am also sort of freaked out by the baby peeking over the edge of the cake

Jessie said...

I liked how McKenzie's would put the cherries above where the baby was placed in the cake. I agree with you! COFFEE CAKE DOES NOT EQUAL KING CAKE.

Anonymous said...

Uptown Snobs! Cinnamon does NOT mean Coffee Cake. My favorite always has Cinnamon and WHITE ICING!!!

Christian said...

King Cake is overrated. Any king cake is OK, but New Orleans people always try to sell the idea that King Cake is the greatest.

Aunt Linda said...

Julie, that cake looks delicious,lets made a swap. I'll send you a loaf of dark Lithuanian bread if you send me that cake. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

TOITA said...

Ha! Jules I bet you never thought this post would be worth of so many comments..Well any good king cake deserves more than that!! I am not an authority on that matter.but I will have to trust you since every time I ate a king cake was in your family and it was always yummy!!! So Go McKenzie`s!!
And for what is worth I am willing to trade you (or maybe Christian) and "asado" for a king cake!!! hahaha!

Scarlet said...

The best king cakes I ever had were at the EBRP Public Defender's office - made fresh daily by a Kleinpeter, an investigator, whose family apparently at one time owned bakeries in Baton Rouge. I just checked the prices, and decided to then go check out some king cake recipes online. I see why they're so expensive, because there are about 100 steps to the recipe!

Scarlet said...

Okay...now you've got me looking at brioche king cake recipes. May try my hand at it this year, with the new Kitchen Aid with the dough hook attachment!

J8878 said...

Julie you are a LIFE SAVER! We have settled in the Lafayette area since the storm and for 2 weeks now I have been tring to convince the bakeries here that the original king cake did not contain fillings or icing and the rest of that foolishness. I did a Google search to find out if anyone had the McKenzie recipe and your blog came up. My husabnd still works in New Orleans and I immediately called him and asked how much he loved me and if he wanted me to be happy forever. I then told him about Tastee having the McKenzie King Cake and requested that he bring one to Lafayette when he comes. Thank you so much for your post. From one GRANOLA (Girl Raised at New Orleans,LA) to another.

tjwesson said...

I agree that the McKenzie's king cakes were the best ever! I didn't like the cherries, but knew that the chances were good that the baby was there, so my siblings and I would usually bum rush the cherries looking for the baby. I'm in CT now, so I wish there was a bakery that made these same cakes and shipped them reasonably. I guess I'll have to find a recipe and see what I can do. At least I know that the next time I'm in New Orleans during Carnival season, I can go by Tastee Donuts and try one of these cakes. Yummy! Now can someone start making the McKenzie's cookies...remember the heart-shaped ones at Valentine's Day, the clovers for St. Patrick's, the pumpkins at Halloween, etc. I loved those cookies! Damn you, McKenzie's! I miss you so much!

Anonymous said...

When McKenzie's was still around, my favorite became the one they made WITH the icing and cinnamon, none of the crazy fillings, but it was oh-so-good. When McKenzie's original cakes were brought to school, who wasn't bummed when they got the piece with the cherry? Yuck. And I disagree it always had the baby....we tested that theory many times and it wasn't true.

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whatever said...

The one thing from McKenzie's I have been craving since they shut down is the famous McKenzie Turtle Cookie, the white round cookie, with the chocolate icing topping in a shape of a large hershey kiss, with 1 pecan on the side. OMG! I love these and cannot find them anywhere! My Mom loved the Wine Cake and the Napolean and lets not forget the awesome Chocolate Eclairs! Cannot find those anywhere either! Cant someone please share these receipes with us??? Surely, their has to be a McKenzie Bakery employee somewhere that knows and is willing to share?
Monique NOLA

TODD TRIMMER said...

"In our world there is no place in our king cakes for white icing"

Yet I see icing in your picture. The best McKenzie's king cakes were perfectly round with 2 or 3 segments having coffee cake icing with no sugar on top and the rest just colored sugar. Each member of the family could choose their segment according to taste.