[RECIPE] GÂTEAU DES ROIS – Cake of the Magi

The word ‘epiphany’ means ‘apparition’, and in this case refers to that of the Magi. Christmas rejoicing ends on 8 January with the galette des rois, which translates as the ‘cake of the Magi’. The Provençal galette des rois is very different from a traditional puff pastry cake, and takes the shape of a kind of crown-shaped brioche encrusted with candied fruits, symbolizing the jewels of the Magi. Once upon time, local bakers would offer this treat to their very best clients in a bid to drum up trade.

Gateau des rois © Chris32m/Fotolia


Recipe’s difficulty level: medium
Cooking time: 20 min (start the recipe the day before)


INGREDIENTS (for 6 persons)

  • 6 oz of butter
  • 5 cl of Orange blossom
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 4 eggs
  • 0,2 oz of salt
  • 2 tsp of yeast
  • 1 oz of sugar
  • 14 oz of flour


  • 2 tbsp of grain sugar
  • 3,5 oz of candied fruit


STEP 1 :
Pour the flour in a bowl. Make a well and pour the salt and sugar inside.

STEP 2 :
Dilute the yeast with 2 tablespoons of warm water or milk. Add this in the bowl together with the 4 eggs, the orange blossom, the orange zest and just a bit of lemon zest. Mix all the ingredients for 3 minutes until you get an elastic batter.

STEP 3 :
Incorporate the softened butter and keep mixing for 3-4 minutes. Cover the bowl with a clingfilm and let the batter rise in the warmest area of your kitchen (it has to double in size).

STEP 4 :
Then put the batter in the fridge and let it rest for a night.

STEP 5 :
The next day, cover your kitchen counter with flour and knead the batter, shape a ball and flour it twice.

STEP 6 :
Flatten the batter and dig a hole in the center, in order to take the shape of a crown (large enough so that the hole doesn’t close up in the cooking process). If necessary flour it, so the batter doesn’t stick to your hands.

STEP 7 :
Apply egg yolk mixed with the salt on the batter and decorate the top with the grain sugar and the candied fruits (slightly push them into the batter to fix them). Cover the preparation with a clean tea towel and let it rest and rise in the warmest part of the kitchen.

STEP 8 :
When the batter’s risen, place it in a pre-heated oven at 175°C or Th.6 for 20 minutes.

Advices : if your kitchen is not warm enough, let the batter rise in the oven at 30°C or Th.1