This year brought a shorter than usual Carnival season to New Orleans. That means the window for king cakes is narrowing. In fact, we are already almost halfway through it.

I’ve been packing them in as the season progresses. While I’m on the record for my respect and affection for the classic king cake, this year I’ve been devoting my personal king cake capacity to trying new twists on the idea.

The possibilities are endless. This week, I’m giving some highlights and we continue with a savory play.

Crawfish and Goat Cheese King Cake at the Station

4400 Bienville St., 504-309-4548

This is the first Carnival season for king cakes from this tiny bakery and café in Mid-City, which opened early in 2017. But proprietor Megan Walker has been making her own king cake for years, initially selling them to friends on the side. 

Her savory crawfish version is a standout. It tastes like crawfish bread king cake, with the salty, highly seasoned mudbugs embedded in a thick blend of goat cheese and cream cheese, within a “cake” that tastes like braided Italian bread. Parmesan melted over the top between Carnival colors to finish it off.

It isn't really cake, of course. But it’s a savory snack or even a lunch that still connects with the Carnival time spirit. 

Get some: $3 per slice at the café, whole cakes by special order

Correction: an earlier version of this story misspelled the baker's name.

Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.