Updated for 2023
King’s Cake and Rosca de Reyes are seasonal treats, served for 3 Kings Day (Epiphany) and for Mardi Gras, and they’re delightful desserts we wish we could get all year long.
King Cake, or King’s Cake, is what this sweet would be called in a New Orleans bakery, and Rosca de Reyes is what it’s called in Mexican and Central American bakeries. Different recipes, but for the same celebrations.
Traditional New Orleans King’s Cake is a flaky pastry, decorated with three colors of icing: green, purple and gold, and sometimes with Mardi Gras beads as well.
Rosca re Reyes is a sweet bread, traditionally decorated with candied fruits and sugar crystals or strips of sugar paste.
Both desserts are named for the 3 Kings who visited the baby Jesus and brought him gifts, and it’s traditional that a small plastic toy is baked inside to symbolize baby Jesus. Whoever gets the baby in their slice of cake is said to have good luck. This article gives a super detailed history of King’s Cake.
We found some terrific bakeries in Los Angeles and around SoCal that make King’s Cake and Rosca de Reyes. Note that during high demand times you will need to order ahead.
Where to find King’s Cake and Rosca de Reyes in SoCal
Multiple Locations in SoCal + online ordering
Porto’s will be selling King Cakes, Rosca de Reyes and individual Mini Roscitas this year, so hurry and get your order in.
545 S. Olive Street, Downtown Los Angeles 90013
8500 Beverly Blvd. #103, Los Angeles 90048
This French bakery makes many terrific pastries, breads, and cakes all year long, but they only offer their famous King’s Cakes in January. Not to be outdone, they actually offer three types: a traditional Parisian cake, made with puff pastry and almond creme, a Provencal version that sounds like a Rosca de Reyes, and a chocolate King’s Cake with both almond and chocolate filling. Yum!
La Monarca Bakery
Multiple Locations around SoCal, including:
6365 Pacific Blvd., Huntington Park 90255
1300 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica 90403
Serving Rosca de Reyes only until mid-January, you will need to get them ordered ahead of time for sure.
Multiple locations around SoCal
This market has more than just produce; they have a fresh bakery and make Rosca de Reyes cakes in January.
MomsLA is your source for Things to do with Kids in Los Angeles.
Related: The Best Birthday Cakes in Los Angeles
Tuesday 4th of January 2022
Pitchoun bakery bakes delicious and authentic king cakes. That would be nice to include small independent artisan bakers like them in your recommendations. Thx
Wednesday 5th of January 2022
Awesome! Thanks for the tip!