Louisiana's Famous Desserts
Sink a sweet tooth into these classic desserts straight from the Bayou State.
When it comes to food, Louisiana does not mess around! And this includes desserts. After a decadent meal, try one of these Louisiana sweet treats. Or be a rebel and eat dessert first - we don't care just as long as you are having a good time!
The ingredients for pralines are oh-so-simple: Sugar (preferably Louisiana-made cane sugar), butter, Louisiana-grown pecans, cream or buttermilk, cooked in a kettle and dried on wax paper. Watch the 60-sec praline recipe video and make them at home! How can something so basic be so good? Maybe it has something to do with the Louisiana sugarcane most often used in making the Creole candy, found at such New Orleans stores as Aunt Sally’s Pralines and Leah’s Pralines. You can also find them in non-specialty markets; Baton Rouge candymaker MiMi’s Pralines are found in grocery stores and shops all over south Louisiana.
2) Bananas Foster
One of New Orleans’ quintessential sweets originated with one of its most famous families. Owen Brennan, whose namesake restaurant was one of many owned by his relatives (among them: Napoleon House, Commander’s Palace), first came up with the dessert in the 1950s. Made with rum, banana liqueur and cinnamon, the flambéed dish is synonymous with New Orleans breakfast desserts. Taste the original at Brennan’s Restaurant in the French Quarter.
Louisiana summers are hot. Very hot. Thankfully, we have devised a not-so-secret weapon to beat the heat, and it’s called the snoball. This is another true New Orleans original, and should never — never — be confused with its distant cousin, the sno-cone. Why not? Because snoballs are made with ice produced by the same kind of electric ice-shaving machines invented in New Orleans in the 1930s. Flavored with cane syrups that are absorbed into the ice (rather than dripping to the bottom, as with sno-cones), snoballs can be found during warmer months at roadside stands throughout the state. Visit the James Beard Award-winning Hansen’s Sno-Bliz in New Orleans, Shack De Ville in Mandeville and Debbie's Snoballs in West Monroe.
Louisiana is so proud of this sweet pastry that in 1986 the legislature voted the beignet the official state donut. A simple treat made of a square piece of fried dough, the beignet has long been jump-starting French Quarter workers who head to Café Du Monde for an order of three and a side of café au lait. Beignets there and at nearby Café Beignet are served with ample sprinklings of powdered sugar, though you’ll also find savory beignets at Creole restaurants in New Orleans. Outside the Crescent City, satisfy your beignet cravings at Marilynn’s Place and Camellia Coffee in Shreveport, and at Coffee Call in Baton Rouge.
5) King Cake
You can’t mistake a King Cake for anything else. This round, cinnamon-filled cake made with braided dough, covered in icing and colored sugar, contains a little plastic baby. The three colors symbolize justice (purple), faith (green) and power (gold). You’ll see king cakes in bakeries and grocery stores throughout Louisiana between the Twelfth Night and Mardi Gras. Manny Randazzo’s King Cakes in Metairie is the king of Louisiana king cakes, though you can also find them at stores from Shreveport to the Gulf Coast, and all points in between. Other standouts include Atwood’s Bakery in Alexandria, Daily Harvest Bakery & Deli in Monroe and Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans.
Learn more about Louisiana's famous foods and culinary history.