by TJ AndersonPhoto: Lady Bird Johnson speaks with Nashville mayor Beverly Briley and an unidentified woman at the Hermitage in 1967, via Tennessee State Library and Archives.Getting to know
Where To Find King Cakes In Nashville For Mardi Gras 2019
by TJ Anderson
Photo: Slow Hand Coffee + Bakeshop
Most of the best celebrations have an accompanying cake — birthday cakes, wedding cakes, housewarming cakes… (That might not be a thing, but it should be.) And then there’s Mardi Gras, the enthusiastic embrace of excess before Lent, and its accompanying and aptly named cake: the King Cake.
King Cakes are kind of more bread than cake (made with brioche dough, shaped into a ring), but their beauty and depth befits their city of origin, New Orleans. They’re usually infused with cinnamon and stuffed with sweet fillings — cream cheese, chocolate and an array of fruits are common — and topped with a sweet glaze and colorful sprinkles, in the royal colors of Mardi Gras, gold, green and purple. A little plastic baby figurine is often hidden inside the cake, too, and the finder of said toy is supposed to also have also found good luck. Less so if he or she accidentally eats the plastic baby, but nevertheless.
Mardi Gras 2019 falls on Tuesday, March 5, so we have a little time to play with here, but if you want a proper King Cake in Nashville, you’ll need that time to research, plan and order ahead.
To help a little with the former: Below, a collection of Nashville-area bakeries and restaurants that all offer impressive takes on the famed, colorful and delicious King Cake.
Where to find a King Cake in Nashville
Routinely called the best place for Cajun food in Nashville, Bro’s Cajun Cuisine naturally offers King Cakes every year. They haven’t updated their website with an ordering deadline for 2019, but if you stop by 3214 Charlotte Ave. in West Nashville for gumbo or frog legs, they should be able to give you the low-down. Traditionally, Bro’s has had small and large King Cakes available, priced from $25-$45.
Launched by Louisiana and Mississippi natives, the Delta Bound food truck quickly became a Nashville favorite — enough to spur a brick-and-mortar spot, out in Spring Hill, in Williamson County. At the restaurant, you’ll see plenty of savory Louisiana favorites — dirty rice, crawfish, gulf shrimp — and a sweet standby: the King Cake. During Mardi Gras season, you can order a made-to-order King Cake from Delta Bound to pick up in the store: cinnamon & sugar, pralines & cream or strawberries & cream, $25 apiece. (Above photo: delta-bound.com.)
Long-standing Nashville bakery HomeStyle Bakery, serving up sweets here in Music City since the ’70s, does about everything a bakery might do — custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies… and, of course, King Cakes for Mardi Gras season. All of their King Cakes are made to order at their place in Antioch, so you’ll need to call or email to get yours going: 615-367-2355 or email@example.com.
There’s some commonality between the yeast-dough kolache, Yeast Nashville’s specialty, and the brioche-based King Cake. So it makes sense that the East Nashville bakery would be dishing up King Cakes for Mardi Gras 2019. They’re baking up two sizes: small (serving eight to 10 people) and large (12-15 people), with traditional cinnamon and other fillings, with prices ranging from $30 to $48. Orders need to be in by Feb. 26 for March 5 pickup, and can be placed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For a quicker fix, they’ve also been baking up single-serve King Cake rolls on the weekends at the bakery, 805 Woodland St., Ste. 300. (Above photo: Yeast Nashville on Facebook.)
Now settled in their new East Nashville home (1012 Gallatin Ave.), Slow Hand Coffee + Bakeshop has King Cakes up for pre-order, to be picked up at the shop on Tuesday, March 5. Along with traditional cinnamon, they’re offering pecan praline and cream, orange bourbon, and apple and lemon cheese, too. (Traditional cakes are $25, non-traditional flavors all run $30 a cake.) Order in-store or by calling 615-730-8032.
Another East Nashville favorite, Sweet 16th Bakery offers scones, muffins, cookies and more, and every year come Mardi Gras season, they fire up King Cake production too. Those are special order, and you’ll need to either go to the shop (311 N 16th St.) or call 615-226-8367. Their savory scone and egg sandwiches are a personal favorite, but Sweet 16th fittingly doesn’t slouch when it comes to sweets either. (Above photo: Sweet 16th Facebook group.)
When you think of the Peach Cobbler Factory truck, you probably think of… peach cobbler. Could you be convinced to think of peach cobbler-stuffed King Cake? Because they’re serving that up too. Check out the Peach Cobbler Factory's Instagram feed to see where they’ll be day to day, or call 615-592-5170 to order a King Cake (traditional cinnamon is available too).
If you’re in Franklin, the standard (and beloved) go-to for King Cakes is Merridee’s Breadbasket in downtown Franklin — those folks do just about everything, but pastries are a specialty, and they’re especially good. Merridee’s King Cakes are made from scratch, beautifully decorated and always highly praised, from Williamson County up to Nashville. Order at the bakery, 110 4th Ave. S. in Franklin, or by calling 615-790-3755. (Above photo: merridees.com.)
Not huge on sweets but still inclined to get into the Mardi Gras mood? Maybe try a caffeinated take on the king cake: Killebrew Coffee, located in the Thompson Nashville hotel downtown, is serving a King Cake Latte for the 2019 Mardi Gras season, made with cookie butter, house-made caramel, cinnamon and orange peel, plus your choice of milk.
Hope one of those manages to help your 2019 King Cake cravings in Nashville/nearby.
If you’re hoping to roll into spring celebrating in a slightly different way — specifically, closing on a new home in Nashville — I’d be thrilled to help there too. Take a look at some Nashville homes for sale, and call or email TJ Anderson Homes.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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