Traditional French Galette des Rois or King Cake Recipe

king-cake-large
Laurent Mani//Getty Images
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: Serves 12
Ratings (5)

For an extra-special Epiphany treat then make the time to bake this Galette des Rois recipe which is a traditional French cake and also referred to as a king cake. The delicious cake is made of a homemade almond cream filling sandwiched between two delicate, buttery layers of puff pastry.

And, if that wasn't enough deliciousness in a cake, In France, it is also customary to nestle a fava bean, or le feve, inside the delicious filling and crown.  The finder of the bean is declared the "king" or "queen" of the evening and wears the crown. 

A slight warning though - do make sure to warn your fellow diners if you take up the tradition of le feve to avoid any broken teeth or even worse, choking.  If making this cake for children it is better to leave the bean out of the recipe. 

What You'll Need

  • Almond Cream Filling:
  • 1/2 cup almond (meal/ground)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (granulated)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon flour (all-purpose)
  • Cake:
  • 17 ounces puff pastry (thawed)
  • 1 batch frangipane (homemade)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • Optional: 1 dried fava bean
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (confectioners')

How to Make It

How to make almond cream filling:

Using a food processor, combine the first six ingredients until to form a smooth, creamy paste. 

How to make galette des rois:

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Roll out the sheets of puff pastry and cut out two 11-inch circles. Place one of the circles on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spoon the frangipane on the puff pastry and spread it to within 1 1/2 inches of the edge of the circle.

If desired, hide the bean in the almond cream filling. Place the second pastry circle on top of the almond filling, crimping or pressing the edges of the pastry to seal the cake. Using a sharp knife, score a decorative pattern in the top layer of the pastry, without cutting through to the almond filling.

Brush the galette des rois with the beaten egg and bake it for 15 minutes. Dust the cake with the powdered sugar and bake it for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until it turns golden brown. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes on the baking sheet. If desired, top the cake before serving with a round of gold paper to be used as the "crown" for the diner who finds le feve, or the bean.

Make sure to warn your fellow diners to carefully eat the cake if you are taking part in "le feve" tradition. Cut the galette des rois into even slices, and crown the one who finds the fava bean as the "king" or "queen" with the gold paper round atop the cake.

Serve the pieces of cake with cafe creme or cafe au lait to help cut the sweetness of the dessert.