Find the bean and you become king or queen for the day. An ancient custom to celebrate Epiphany, the visitation of the three kings. Sold in bakeries throughout Europe, Galette des Rois is a tradition that is both fun and delicious.
Galette des Rois

Galette des Rois (Epiphany Cake of Kings)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serve with sweet wine, espresso or tea, or more traditionally, a hearty punch or eggnog.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Serves: 16
  • 1/4 Cup almond paste
  • 1/4 Cup white sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 (17.25 ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 dry kidney bean or ceramic feve* (favor)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting
  1. Place the almond paste into a food processor or blender with about half of the sugar, and process until well blended. Add the butter and remaining sugar using and process until smooth, then blend in 1 egg, vanilla extract, almond extract, flour and salt. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  3. Butter a baking sheet or line with parchment paper, and set aside.
  4. Roll out one sheet of the puff pastry into an 11-inch square. Keep the pastry cool, do not knead or stretch. Use a large pie plate, cake pan or frying pan to trace an 11-inch circle onto the dough using the tip of a small knife. Place the circle of pastry onto the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Repeat with the second sheet of pastry. Refrigerate both sheets.
  6. Mound the almond filling onto the center of the pastry that is on the baking sheet. Leave about 1 1/2-inch margin at the edges. Press the bean or feve down into the filling.
  7. Place the second sheet of pastry on top, and press down the edges to seal. Beat the remaining egg with a fork, and lightly brush onto the top of the galette. Use a knife to make a criss-cross pattern in the egg wash, and then prick several small slits in the top to vent steam while baking.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Do not open the oven until the time is up, as the pastry will not fully puff. Remove from the oven, and dust with confectioners' sugar. Return to the oven, and cook for an additional 12 to 15 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown.
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  10. Lay a golden paper crown gently on top of the cake. This will be used to crown the person who finds the bean or feve. Serve warm or cold. Make sure to tell everyone about the bean or feve.
Almond filling is sandwiched between rounds of puff pastry to make a splendid cake with a secret inside. This is a popular French cake that celebrates the holiday of Epiphany (January 6th) the day when the 3 Kings visited the Baby Jesus. As part of French tradition, a bean or small china feve (favor) is hidden in the cake. The person who finds the feve in his or her slice becomes king or queen for the day. The person can also choose someone to be their king or queen and can lead the traditional dance.

In selecting a feve, be very cautious. Do not select plastic, tin, or plated metal, and be careful about ceramic favors. Plastic may melt and poison your cake. Tin or plated metal may contain lead, and also poison your cake (and family). Some ceramics also contain lead. Use American or European porcelain, a kidney bean or Jordan almond. Do not use a coin, even a silver one, as they contain nickel, which is also poisonous when cooked in food.


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