Traditional French Galette des Rois

French Galette des Rois - king cake

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
312 Calories
21g Fat
25g Carbs
5g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 312
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 28%
Saturated Fat 4g 22%
Cholesterol 39mg 13%
Sodium 136mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 73mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

For an extra-special holiday treat, bake this delicious galette des rois, a traditional French cake usually served on Epiphany, the day the Three Kings visited the baby Jesus. The name translates to "king cake," and is similar to the Mardi Gras king cake in that it also features a small prize hidden inside the filling.

A galette des rois is made of an irresistibly creamy almond filling sandwiched between two flaky, buttery layers of puff pastry. The ingredients for almond cream all go into a food processor to blend, and then the paste is spread onto store-bought puff pastry, making this impressive cake simple to put together. Once you master this foolproof recipe, you can experiment with different fillings or make your own puff pastry. Serve slices of the galette with tea or cafe au lait to balance the cake's sweetness.

When it comes to the small prize (called a fève) hidden inside the filling, bakeries opt for porcelain or plastic figures, but a home baker can use a dried fava bean instead. The lucky guest who finds the fève becomes the "king" or "queen" of the evening and wears a paper crown. Of course, make sure to warn everyone about the fève—if you don't, some guests may leave the party with broken teeth. If you're making this cake for children, consider leaving out the fève altogether.

Ingredients

For the Almond Cream Filling:

For the Cake:

  • 17 ounces puff pastry, thawed

  • 1 dried fava bean, optional

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Steps to Make It

Make the Almond Cream

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all of the ingredients—almond meal, sugar, egg, softened butter, vanilla extract, and flour—in the bowl of a food processor.

  3. Blend to a smooth, creamy paste. Feel free to make this cream a few days in advance, then refrigerate it in an airtight container.

Assemble the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Roll out the sheets of puff pastry and cut out 2 (11-inch) circles. Place the first disc on the prepared baking sheet, and spread an even layer of the almond cream, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges.

  4. If you wish to include a fève, you can do so at this point. Simply nestle it in the almond cream.

  5. Place the second puff pastry disc on top of the filling, and crimp the edges with a fork to seal the cake. Using a sharp knife, score a decorative pattern into the top layer of the pastry without cutting through to the almond filling. Brush the galette with the beaten egg (this will create a golden crust).

Bake the Cake

  1. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and dust the cake with the powdered sugar. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until the puff pastry becomes a deep golden brown. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes.

  2. Serve and enjoy. If you have included a fève, make sure to warn your guests and, of course, crown the king or queen with a paper diadem.

Tips

  • The almond paste can be made up ahead of time—up to 3 days—and placed in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
  • It is best to eat the galette the same day it is made, as the crust tends to get soggy. If there are leftovers though, wrap them loosely in a plastic wrap and store for up to 2 days.

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