Traditional French Galette des Rois

Traditional French Galette des Rois

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
312 Calories
21g Fat
25g Carbs
5g Protein
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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.

    Almond Cream ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    Combine almond meal, sugar, egg, softened butter, vanilla extract, and flour in a food processor

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    almond cream in a food processor

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Assemble the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Traditional French Galette des Rois ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    almond cream on top of dough on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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

    feve on top of almond cream and dough on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Place second puff pastry disc on top of filling, and crimp edges with a fork to seal cake.

    Place second puff pastry disc on top of filling, and crimp edges on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Using a sharp knife, score a decorative pattern into top layer of pastry without cutting through to almond filling. Brush galette with beaten egg (this will create a golden crust).

    Traditional French Galette des Rois brushed with egg, on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Bake the Cake

  1. Bake cake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and dust cake with powdered sugar.

    Traditional French Galette des Rois on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Return to oven and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until puff pastry becomes a deep golden brown. Allow cake to cool for 20 minutes.

    Traditional French Galette des Rois on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

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.