Joe Gambino’s is the undisputed heir to Beulah Levy Ledner’s Doberge story. But, bakeries across the city have emerged over the decades to pay homage by trying their hand at creating an original take on Ledner’s sweet delight. Charlotte McGehee and Charles Mary IV are some of these students of the trade. Their bakery, Debbie Does Doberge, started out selling miniature cupcake-style Doberge treats before moving on to a full sha-bang of 8-inch-tall fondant-covered cakes, sponge cake and buttercream.
The cakes they create for the New Orleans metro area have generated a popular reputation, facilitated the opening of their Bakery Bar restaurant, and left a lasting impression on the taste buds of the city. They serve an endless variety of Doberge flavors, but this time of year it’s the specialty King Cake style that puts a premium twist on a premier dessert.
Although shipped for free nationwide delivery via Goldbelly, a Debbie Does Doberge cake comes at a steep cost ($119). Despite this, there are few follies that satisfy as deeply as this one. For starters, it’s a primo King Cake in a non-traditional form. DDD starts with seven layers of cinnamon spice cake, each separated by a layer of cream cheese pudding. Then the entire cake is soaked in cream cheese fondant and topped with the signature colored sugar. First-hand testimony: Restaurants that feature this cake on their menu have been known to sell out within the first hour of service, it’s so good.