Slideshow: 11 New Orleans-Inspired Sweets to Make for Mardi Gras

Classic Beignets
Classic Beignets

Don't worry if you can't make it to Cafe du Monde for their famous beignets—with a little bit of effort and a whole lot of powdered sugar, it's possible create your own at home. Ours are light and pillowy with a hint of yeasty flavor—just make sure to serve them immediately after taking them out of the fryer.

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[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

Quick King Cake
Quick King Cake

King cakes can be found throughout Catholic countries, but New Orleans is known for its brightly colored, ring shaped version (typically decorated in swaths of purple, green, and gold—the colors of Mardi Gras). The traditional recipe calls for a yeasted dough, but we cut down on some of the work by using frozen puff pastry and simply filling it with sweet and boozy ingredients (plus the requisite lucky trinket).

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[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

Bananas Foster Trifle
Bananas Foster Trifle

Bananas Foster was invented in 1951 at Brennan Restaurant in New Orleans, and some places still put on a show by igniting its rum-spiked sauce tableside. Although we keep the pyrotechnics in the kitchen here, your guests will nonetheless be stunned by its elaborate layers and towering height.

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[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

Doberge Cake
Doberge Cake

Doberge cake may not have the same name recognition as New Orleans's other classic desserts, but it certainly wins in terms of sheer awe-inspiring bombast. No less than six layers of vanilla cake are separated by a half and half spread of lemon curd and chocolate pudding, then covered in lemon and chocolate frostings.

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[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

Pecan Pralines
Pecan Pralines

Pralines, right down to the local pronunciation (prah-leen), are a reminder of Louisianan culture's French roots. Although praline recipes, including ours, generally call for little more than butter, cream, sugar, and nuts, it's said that no two pralines in the French Quarter taste alike.

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[Photograph: praline via shutter stock

Roasted Banana Chocolate Pancakes
Roasted Banana Chocolate Pancakes

Pancakes are a popular Fat Tuesday treat. In fact, in some parts of the world, the holiday is known as Pancake Tuesday. This recipe makes them particularly New Orleans-appropriate with the addition of saucy bananas.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Banana Pudding
Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is popular throughout the south. New Orleans is especially associated with the dessert, however, because it used to be one of the main ports through which bananas entered the US. Our recipe stays pretty close to the version you're likely to find at family gatherings and celebrations.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Baked Beignets with Chicory Coffee Sauce
Baked Beignets with Chicory Coffee Sauce

These oven-baked beignets might rile up beignet purists, but there's no reason to hate on them when they're made with love and good intentions in mind. Especially when those good intentions are accompanied by a side of chicory coffee-flavored chocolate sauce.

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Chocolate Banana Cake with Chicory Glaze
Chocolate Banana Cake with Chicory Glaze

We couldn't finish our list without including this snack cake that pays homage to New Orleans's love for chicory coffee and, of course, bananas. The fruit is pureed and mixed throughout the chocolately batter, while the coffee is made into a glaze that coats the top. Now we'll throw some beads for that!

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]