The King’s cake aka “la galette des rois” is back!

January 8, 2017
king's cake

One of the food tradition I missed the most when I lived overseas was the King’s cake, aka la galette des rois. It is very much a French tradition that does not export very well except in some French bakeries and sometimes they did not even sell any. So I started making them myself and loved to host an afternoon tea with my friends (mostly French) to eat our traditional galette !

In Sydney, Mayumi baked two beautiful ones for us to share with our friends. I am sharing her recipe below. The filling is an almond cream which is slightly lighter than the traditional “frangipane”, which has got more eggs in it. If you cannot be bothered to make your own puff pastry, get it form your supermarket or from your bakery. Usually bakers will sell you puff pastry by the weight providing you order the day before.

Who will be the King or the Queen this year?

king's cake

king's cake

King’s cake recipe


For the puff pastry

100g iced water
10g white vinegar
10g salt      
100g plain flour (or all-purpose)
100g strong flour (or bread flour)
50g butter (at room temperature)

150g butter for rolling into the dough 150g (keep the butter cold but pliable)

For the filling: almond cream

65g almond meal
65g sugar
1g salt  
13g honey  
10g corn flour
65g butter
1 egg (medium)
2 Tbsp. Rum (optional)

Decoration & finishes

1 egg yolk + 1 tsp of water

Sugar syrup : 50g of water and 50g of sugar



Step 1: the puff pastry

Mix water, white vinegar and salt.

Place the flour and butter at room temperature in a large bowl. Use your finger tips to rub the butter into the flour until you get fine breadcrumbs.

Add the liquid mixture and stir until the dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 min to rest.

1st turn: Roll out the dough into an even rectangle (approx. 10 x 30cm). Take the butter (150g), roll it out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin until you get a rectangle as wide as your dough (approx. 10 x 20cm). Place the butter at 2/3 of your dough. Then fold the part of the dough not covered (1/3) on top of the butter layer, then fold the other part (1/3 butter and dough layers) on top. You have just done 1 turn. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for about 15min for the dough to firm up.

2nd turn: turn the dough by a quarter. Dust your surface lightly with flour but not too much. Roll out lengthwise the folded dough into a 2 cm thick rectangle and fold again in thirds. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

3rd turn until 6th: repeat previous step a further 4 times. Before rolling up to final size.

Split the dough and roll out to get 2 discs of 30 cm diameter (12 inches) and about 3 mm thick (1/4 to 1/8 inch). Cover the dough with plastic film and refrigerate for another 30 min to 1 hour.


Step 2: the almond cream

Mix all ingredients without liquids until well combined. Then add the egg and rum. Set aside in the fridge.


Step 3: assembling

It is easy to do when the dough and almond cream are set (cold).

Preheat the oven to 200 C / 390 °F (fan bake).

Spread the almond cream in the centre of one disc of puff pastry, stay away from the edge by 2 cm. Place the lucky charm close to the edge, cover and close with the other disc. Press the edges together.

Decorate the top layer by drawing a nice shape with the tip of a knife (leaf, spiral, etc.). Brush with the egg yolk diluted in water.

Place into baking tray and bake for 25-30min, or until light brown.

During that time, make the sugar syrup. Bring to simmer the water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool on the side.

Brush the galette with the syrup and put it back in the oven for another 5 min.

Serve when the galette is still warm. Otherwise you can reheat it for 10-15 min at 150°C / 300 °F.

king's cake

king's cake

My galette from last year is here.

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