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 limited-run alternative from a well-known king cake maker.

King Cake Gelato at Angelo Brocato’s Ice Cream

214 N. Carrollton Ave., 504-486-1465

In this era of king cake everything (king cake vodka, king cake sno-balls) sometimes king cake becomes more of a concept or a color scheme than an actual flavor. The reason I like the Angelo Brocato's king cake gelato so much is that it actually satisfies a craving with real king cake.

It has been in rotation for a while, though I only discovered it last week, and in the middle of the hard freeze no less. When the weather forced many other neighboring restaurants to close, I still found Brocato’s open and could not resist the prospect of king cake gelato to brighten a dismal day. 

It was like countering a bitter freeze with a beautiful one.

This seasonal flavor starts with vanilla gelato strewn with chunks of traditional king cake from Caluda’s, the Harahan-based operation. Vanilla and cinnamon and Carnival colored sprinkles carry the theme through every spoonful.

Leave it to our century-old gelato parlor to roll with the king cake trend and just nail it with a great addition to the freezer case.

Get some: Cups and cones, small $3.80, large $6.60 (pints and quarts available) 

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Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter, @IanMcNultyNOLA.