A trip to New Orleans isn’t complete without trying some of their famous Cajun desserts.
Take a trip to Bourbon streets and you’ll find Cajun fare like gumbo, beignets, and sweet potato pie. These foods have become so popular, they’ve made their way out of Louisiana and into kitchens around the world! They’ve become a mainstay of Mardi Gras parties and summer picnics.
But it doesn’t have to be Mardi Gras to enjoy these delicious treats. They make amazing desserts any time of year! If you want to impress your guests with something new, try making one of these 24 authentic Cajun desserts.
01. Cajun Cake
Fruity, nutty, and super sweet, this cake has all the best Cajun flavors!
This cake is known for being a “whatever you have in your pantry” creation. It’s incredibly moist, thanks to the inclusion of canned pineapple. Toasted pecans add some crunch and fat to cut through the sweetness.
To top it off is an indulgent pecan icing that’s added while the cake is warm so it melts right in. Serve this sweet cake with an afternoon coffee or tea!
This colorful creation is the perfect centerpiece for a summer party!
If you’ve ever been to a Mardi Gras party, you’ve probably seen this multicolored cake before. This cake is actually more like a sweet brioche bread, baked in a bundt pan. The swirls of layered bread are filled with lightly spiced cinnamon sugar.
If you’re a donut lover, you’re bound to love this light and chewy cake.
These cute little fritters are perhaps one of the most popular Cajun dessert offerings around.
Beignets are fluffy pillows of deep-fried dough, with a chewy texture and hollow inside. When bought on the streets, beignets are often just dusted with sugar and served as is. But you can also fill your beignets with chocolate, jam, or lemon cream!
The ultimate comfort food dessert!
There are so many versions of bread pudding out there (think of orleans style bread pudding), but Louisiana style might be the best! It’s made from chewy french bread soaked in creamy cinnamon custard. But the best part is the sauce, made from bananas marinated in a sweet rum syrup.
Warm it up before serving, and you have the perfect end of the day treat.
This old-fashion recipe uses crushed pineapples for a fruitier cake flavor.
When mixed into the batter, the crushed pineapple almost disappears and becomes part of the cake. This gives this dessert its intense fruity flavor and unbelievable moistness. Cook the pecans in sugar before adding them so they become lovely and caramelized!
06. King Cake Bites
This unique spin on the king cake is the ultimate Mardi Gras finger food!
Not only do these bites taste great, but they’re also super quick to whip up in a hurry. This recipe uses store-bought crescent roll dough for the pastry. The inside is filled with a sweetened cinnamon cream cheese to mimic the flavors of king cake.
The sprinkles on top are key, and also give this dessert some crunchy texture!
07. Bananas Foster
Enjoy bananas in a whole new way with this syrupy boozy treat!
Bananas foster incorporates sliced bananas with the caramel flavors of rum and banana liquor. You have to “flambé” the dish while it cooks to burn off the alcohol, so be careful! This sticky gooey treat is best served warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This classic bundt cake is the Louisiana version of coffee cake!
The flavor of this cake includes toasted pecan, caramel, and coconut. The cake is light and fluffy inside, with a slightly toasted and crispy exterior. It makes a great cake to bring to picnics or potlucks since it’s not too messy or sticky!
Serve with chocolate sauce or whatever you like.
The much-loved southern classic is creamy, earthy, and made for sharing!
Unlike a pumpkin pie, this sweet potato pie isn’t made with spices. This lets the buttery pie crust and the creamy mashed sweet potatoes shine! If you want it sweeter, try adding some marshmallow fluff or whipped cream on top!
This is a must-have dessert for the fall season and Thanksgiving with the family.
These little handheld pastries are perfect to share at picnics!
Similar to a turnover, these Cajun sweet dough pastries are filled with jam or fruit. They’re flaky and buttery like a pie but still hold their shape. If you want to go traditional, fill these little sweet doughs with fig!
This summery cobbler will have you dreaming of sunny afternoons on the porch.
Sweet southern peaches and tangy blackberries complement each other nicely in this fresh fruity dish. Cobbler is similar to a crumble, but instead of oats on top, it’s a sweet and crispy layer of biscuit. The only way to make this dish better is with a scoop of melty ice cream on top!
Cobbler is a great way to use up overripe or imperfect fruit from your garden!
A time-saving yet festive recipe for your next Mardi Gras party.
Rather than waiting for dough to proof, this recipe uses store-bought cinnamon rolls as a shortcut. The smooth cream cheese icing melts right over top of the warm fresh baked buns. Add some purple, yellow, and green sprinkles and you have a fast and easy festive dessert!
This lemony cake can be served for brunch or dessert with a hot cup of coffee.
Lemon extract gives this glazed cake its bright and tangy citrus flavor. The crunch on top is made from desiccated coconut which also adds some sweetness. You can toast the coconut if you prefer more of a rich nutty flavor, or keep it light and fresh!
14. Pecan Pie Recipe
The impressive looking pie comes together with only a few simple ingredients!
You can use homemade pie crust or store-bought, but it’s the filling that really matters. It’s made from a creamy egg and brown sugar custard, which becomes creamy and sweet when baked. Use whole pecans to get that delicious toasted layer on the top of your pie.
That melt-in-your-mouth sugary center makes it hard to have just one slice!
If pie isn’t your thing, try this pecan praline cheesecake instead!
This super decadent traditional dessert is filled with caramel flavored cream cheese and toasted pecans. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a caramel butter pecan sauce on top as well! It all ties together with a honey flavored crispy graham cracker crust.
If you have cheese lovers in your family this cake is bound to be a hit.
Creamy, sweet, and perfect for sharing with large crowds!
This cheeseball incorporates all the beloved flavors of king cake, like cinnamon, cream cheese, and vanilla. You can serve it with graham crackers, bread, or cookies—then just dip and eat! The tactile nature of this party dish makes it ideal for kids.
If you want the cheese ball to keep its shape, let it chill in the fridge a few hours before serving.
17X. Mardi Gras Snack Mix
A party isn’t a party without snacks, and this sweet mix includes all the festive Cajun colors!
Chex cereal, pretzels, and Bugles form the basis of this snack mix. The sweet coating is made from simply melting white chocolate chips. The results are an addictive combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy!
To get the Mardi Gras colors, just mix in some M&Ms!
Although fancy sounding, these truffles only use three ingredients!
All you need to do for this recipe is crush up some Oreo cookies and mix them with cream cheese. Roll them in a ball and dunk them in some melted white chocolate and you have a cheap and easy truffle! Inside is smooth and creamy, with cookies and cream flavor!
To make these truffles fit for Mardi Gras, add some sprinkles before the white chocolate sets.
Gooey, chocolatey, and crunchy all describe these decadent New Orleans themed brownies!
What makes these brownies special is the caramel bits mixed into the brownie batter. They create little bursts of sugary caramel flavor with every bite. The topping is a smooth and creamy praline caramel sauce that just melts in your mouth.
If you bring these brownies to a party, be warned that they won’t last long!
A uniquely Cajun twist on the classic pumpkin pie.
Rather than a flaky buttery pie crust, this recipe uses a Cajun Sweet Dough crust. The result is a thicker, more cookie-like crust with a distinct sweetness! The pumpkin filling is bursting with flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
The secret to this pie’s super smooth texture is the addition of sour cream to the pumpkin puree!
21. Mardi Gras Jello
You’re never too old to enjoy a good old-fashioned jello shot!
Grape, lemon, and lime jello are mixed with vodka and refrigerated in layers to get all the Mardi Gras colors. The amount of vodka you use depends on your preference, but don’t use too much or they’ll be unappetizing. It can take a while to get all the layers set, but these jello shots look wonderful on a party table!
You can serve these shots with a mini spoon, or shoot them back the way they are!
22. Sweet Calas
Sweet Calas is a popular fried delicacy that also makes an ideal party finger food.
Rather than traditional fried dough, this dessert uses mainly rice. The spiced rice mixture is dropped into fry oil, puffs up, and becomes nice and crispy. There’s no filling needed for this chewy treat, just sprinkle it with powdered sugar and enjoy!
The simple yet complex creme brûlée will round out any dinner with style!
This version of creme brûlée is served in a sweet tart shell for some crunch. The filling is made with a creamy egg and sugar custard. Use a blowtorch to get the famous crystallized sugar top and that deep caramel flavor.
This is the dessert to make if you really want to impress guests!
Versatile sweet dough lends itself as the base for this delicious blackberry pie.
This rustic looking pie is filled to the brim with spiced blackberries and syrup. The sweet pastry dough acts like a pie crust, although thicker and sweeter. Sprinkle some granulated sugar on top before baking and it’ll caramelize and add a delicious crunch.
These sweet dough pies would make a great addition to any Mardi Gras dessert table.
24 Authentic Cajun Desserts
- Cajun Cake
- Mardi Gras King Cake
- Louisiana Bread Pudding
- Old-Fashioned Cajun Cake
- King Cake Bites
- Bananas Foster
- Louisiana Stranger Cake
- Southern Sweet Potato Pie
- Cajun Sweet Dough
- Peach and Blackberry Cobbler
- Easy Cinnamon Roll King Cakes
- Louisiana Crunch Cake
- Pecan Pie Recipe
- Pecan Praline Cheesecake
- King Cake Cheese Ball
- Mardi Gras Snack Mix
- King Cake Oreo Truffles
- New Orleans Praline Brownies
- Pumpkin Pie (Tarte à la Bouillie)
- Mardi Gras Jello
- Sweet Calas
- Crème Brûlée Tarts
- Blackberry Sweet Dough Pies
- Choose one of these festive Cajun dessert recipes.
- Gather your ingredients and Mardi Gras decorations.
- Put on some jazz and bake your treats!
- Serve your creation at your next Mardi Gras party!