Yes, it's Mardi Gras once again here in the crescent city. And this year, area vegans have had plenty to celebrate. While in years past the options for king cake were Whole Foods or making one for yourself, this year three - count them three - local bakeries created vegan king cakes!
I unfortunately did not have a chance to try the vegan king cake made by the Bywater's Shake Sugaree, which was also being sold at the New Orleans Food Co-Op. But I was pleasantly surprised by the cakes offered both by Breads on Oak in the riverbend and the gluten-free offering from The Peacebaker.
First, the Peacebaker. A mecca for vegans with food allergies, this bakery off of Veterans Memorial Highway at the edge of Metairie specializes in gluten free baked goods - the majority of which are also dairy and egg free. Their vegan king cake was colorful and celebratory, but unfortunately lacked the consistency of a traditional king cake. Nevertheless, its existence (and in Metairie, no less) is a real boon to the community.
Then, the cake at Breads on Oak. I could say exquisite, but that doesn't even quite capture it. Soft and moist with just the perfect degree of cinnamon swirl and a rum glaze, this vegan king cake proves that we really can make anything vegan, and even better than the original. Indeed, an unofficial poll on the Vegan New Orleans Facebook page indicates that this cake was the local vegan favorite.
We mustn't forget the old stand-by: vegan king cakes from Whole Foods Market. While these cakes do tend to be a bit dry, I will be forever grateful that they are offered consistently each year.