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

Mardi Gras in New Orleans may be known for its over-the-top parades and parties, but don't forget it's also one of the most festive and dessert-centric celebrations in the city (or anywhere, really). King cakes, funnel cakes, and pancakes are all traditionally eaten on and around the holiday—legend has it that they were once thought of as a way to clear the cupboard of eggs, milk, sugar, and other items forbidden during Lent.

Of course the Big Easy is also known year-round for sweet specialities such as beignets, bananas foster, and pralines. Here are eleven New Orleans-inspired desserts that will keep you in high spirits on Fat Tuesday and beyond. See them all in the slideshow or go straight to the recipes below!

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