New Orleans Desserts

Sweets From the Big Easy for Mardi Gras or Any Day

New Orleans desserts reflect the diverse history and distinctive flavors of the city. They also offer something sweet that will remind anyone of time spent there. Whether you eat dessert at a sweet shop or cafe or have it in one of the city's many restaurants, you're likely in for a treat. To experience the real flavors of the city, be sure to ask the locals what they serve best.

Other popular desserts often served in New Orleans include Creole brownies, king cake, Doberge cake, and lemon layer cake. Semlor, or Semla, is a marzipan and whipped cream cardamom bun typically served on Mardi Gras. Chiacchiere with Sanguinaccio, a sweet fritter with lemon and rum, is also popular on the Big Easy's big day.

While most people tend to think of beignets when they think of indulgences in New Orleans, there are an array of other sweet treats that are just as delicious. Try these recipes and make your own confections!

  • 01 of 06

    Bread Pudding

    New Orleans Bread Pudding With Whiskey Sauce
    Diana Rattray

    Rich and decadent, this bread pudding recipe contains eggs and other ingredients–and of course, rum sauce. It is a popular dessert in the Big Easy found on most menus, but that doesn't mean it tastes ordinary.

  • 02 of 06

    Bananas Foster

    Easy Bananas Flambe

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

    The torch effect enriches the flavors in this flambé of bananas, but the Caribbean rum, brown sugar, banana liqueur, and vanilla ice cream really make this dessert a must-order. Bananas foster is another dessert that is common in many restaurants and dessert cafes in New Orleans.

  • 03 of 06


    New Orleans Pralines

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

    These creamy, sweet cookies made of nuts, sugar, and cream are found often in New Orleans, but make sure to pronounce them "praw-lens" so you fit in with the locals. French pralines are usually crunchier, while American pralines are softer in texture more like fudge. Belgian pralines have a chocolate shell with a softer filling that can include almonds, hazelnut, sugar, and milk.

  • 04 of 06

    Praline Cheesecake

    Slow Cooker Praline Cheesecake
    4-Inch Slow Cooker Cheesecake. Photo: Diana Rattray

    If you can't get enough of the praline flavors and enjoy cheesecake, this praline cheesecake recipe is for you. Rich maple flavors combine with rich cheesecake for an ultimate New Orleans desserts.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Pain Perdu

    Pain Perdu - Cajun Style French Toast
    Pain Perdu - Cajun Style French Toast. Photo: Diana Rattray

    Pain Perdu is a French toast recipe that incorporates thickly sliced bread soaked in a sweetened, vanilla-scented custard mixture. The pieces of bread are then fried in butter for a crispy texture. It may not be a traditional after-dinner dessert, but it definitely belongs on this list of sweets.

  • 06 of 06

    Praline Sauce

    Praline Sauce With Pecans

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Want to top just about anything in luscious praline sauce? Follow this praline sauce recipe for a versatile praline sauce that can make any dish decadent. Try it over ice cream or pound cake!