Polish Three Kings Cake (Ciasto Trzech Króli) Recipe

Polish Three Kings Cake
Three Kings Cake. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
  • 80 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 Three Kings Cake (12 servings)
Ratings (4)

On Jan. 6, the Feast of the Three Kings -- Trzech Króli (also known as the Epiphany and Twelfth Night) -- a king cake is served with a coin or almond baked inside. The one who gets it is king or queen for the day and will be lucky in the coming year. In the U.S., the lucky one must provide the King Cake for the next party or the next year.

Recipes vary by region. Some serve a French puff pastry-type cake with almond paste filling. Others favor a sponge cake with almond cream filling, and yet others enjoy a light fruitcake, as in this recipe.

View this larger image of Polish King Cake.

Makes 1 (10-inch) Bundt cake and 2 (6x4-inch) mini loaves of Ciasto Trzech Króli

What You'll Need

  • Cake:
  • 3/4 cup raisins (light)
  • 3/4 cup dates (chopped)
  • 1 1/3 cups walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (apricots, chopped)
  • 1/2 cup  candied orange or lemon peel (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup flour (all-purpose)
  • 8 ounces/2 sticks butter (softened)
  • 4 cups sugar (confectioners')
  • 8 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 4 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brandy (or whiskey or orange juice)
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup sugar (confectioners')
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (or orange juice)

How to Make It

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 10-inch Bundt pan and two (6x4-inch) mini loaf pans (for gifting!) with cooking spray. Mix fruits and nuts and toss with 3/4 cup flour to keep ingredients from clumping together in cake batter.
     
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.
     
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together 4 cups flour and baking powder and slowly add to the butter-sugar-egg mixture, combining thoroughly. Add vanilla and liquor or juice, mixing well. Stir in fruit-nut mixture by hand until thoroughly incorporated.
     
  1. Pour batter into prepared pans. Insert a sterilized silver coin or almond randomly into the batter. Bake mini loaves 25 minutes to 35 minutes or more, and Bundt pan 45 minutes to 1 hour or more, or until toothpick tests clean.
     
  2. Let cakes cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before inverting onto rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients and pour over cooled cakes, letting it run down the sides.
     
  3. Make a paper crown, if desired, and place it atop the cake. Let guests serve themselves. Whoever gets the coin or almond is king or queen for the day and wears the crown.