Rosca de Reyes and Galette des Rois

Holidays can be difficult for me since I am so far away from my family and many traditions that I miss. Although today is no longer a holiday in the US, it is a big day in many countries around the world. It is the last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as Epiphany.

On this day, we got to eat Rosca de Reyes, which is a brioche dough, that is shaped in a circle, topped with candied fruits and it comes with a surprise mini figurine inside. In our family, whoever got the slice of rosca with the figurine had to do the dishes for an entire day. It was a fun day that wrapped up the Christmas season.


A few years back, my French chef Sebastien introduced me to the “Galette Des Rois”, which is a traditional tart composed of puff pastry and frangipane also eaten on Epiphany. I couldn’t resist making this since I had some leftover puff pastry in the freezer. For the filling, I went with a pistachio frangipane because if you have not noticed, I have a bit of an obsession with pistachios.

My friend Helen told me that in the South of France where she is from, they also have a similar cake called “Couronne des Rois”. Check out her version here.

This year, we celebrated Epiphany a few days early because life was going to go back to normal after a couple of busy weeks. A slice of sweet pastry and good coffee is all I really wanted.

For the recipes, please click on all the links I provided. I hope you are enjoying the new year!


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46 Responses to “Rosca de Reyes and Galette des Rois”

  1. Rita says:

    Hum, those look really nice. We have a similar tradition back home too.
    I also know how you feel about beeing away for the special occasions.

  2. Tartelette says:

    Ah traditions…they have been holding me strong this holiday season. There was enough brioche to feed your entire street! I just love to see all the interpretations of the holidays feasts through baking and breads. My mom already called for her galette des rois rematch when they come in February…crazy but I’ll do it!

  3. ooh ooh ooh. im stuck at a friends house because the mountain passes here are closed and i cant get home, so i said, uh, well, at least i can make you guys an epiphany cake. a what cake? they say, so i made a galette des rois, just a boring old plain one, like i had with the french family i worked for, and their response: “the french are…a bit strange. and they seem to have a cake for everything” silly americans :)

    i love your mini couronnes, you and Helen are a bad-ass duo, and your pistachios give it some color contrast so it’s brilliant!! tres tres belle. oui. :)

  4. cindy* says:

    when i found out that the holiday season lasted longer in much of the world i have to admit i felt a touch envious.

    beautiful traditions aran!

  5. Christy says:

    I’m liking the look of that galette des rois of yours…with the green pistachio frangipane it looks sooo yummy!!

    I’ve only ever heard of epiphany from the twelve days of christmas—but did not know that people in many parts of the world still celebrate it as a holiday.

    Your brioche looks so cool with all those jewel-tones glace fruits…and I love that you made them stand up like that in the photos!!

  6. Feliz Dia de los Reyes! Nosotros aqui en Portugal también comemos una version del Roscón de Reyes, se llama Bolo-Rei, seguro que lo conoces. Asi, ademas del trozo de mi bolo-rei que me voy a comer más luego, me comeria también un trozo de cada uno de los tuyos!

  7. What beautiful creations! So colorful and scrumptious looking! I’m drooling…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  8. Anonymous says:

    Miam, il faut que j’essaie la frangipane à la pistache !

  9. Laura says:

    today it is quite a big holiday here too (epifania, or la befana) and therefore i’m not working, but dreaming of that pistachio frangipane instead. mmm
    fantastic job as always!

  10. lisa says:

    Beautiful! They both sound like wonderful treats and traditions.

  11. Hi Aran, happy 2009. I wish you all the very best moments in the new year and happy happy baking. The sweet buns look wonderful. In bulgaria they have a similar sweet dough tradition (my dad is Bulgarian). My grandmother made easter bread in the same manner except with raising.

  12. I can smell these baking…
    YUM!!!

  13. linda says:

    We don’t celebrate the 12th day of Christmas over here but I’d love to eat all of those delicious specialty treats.
    Love the tradition in your house with the washing up :D

  14. nadia says:

    delicious! I remember this well. We would have a few extra figurines so us wee ones would not fight! I am sure if dishes were involved, it would have been a whole other story!

    lovely!

  15. The pistachio frangipane in the galette de rois must have been so delicious. I just love the flavor of pistachio and the gorgeous color too!

    It’s always such a treat to take a peek at your blog. So ethereal!

  16. such a beauitul tradition and a gorgeous way to celebrate (and get your life back to normal!?) even though you were without your family I hope you hada lovely bit of coffee and cake—someday i will join you for sure!!!
    xoxo and happy new year sweetheart!
    deb

  17. 190.arch says:

    I love rosca de reyes, it’s one of the things I miss the most -the other I miss a lot is the pan de muerto-.
    The whole epiphany tradition, at least in the countries with spanish heritage, is beautiful.
    All kids keeping their shoes and letters near to the christmas tree, getting food for the kings beasts -they come to our homes in a camel, a horse and an elephant!-, preparing something good to eat for the 3 kings is also a due… I miss my childhood when I believe so much in the 3 kings.

  18. Jan says:

    In South Louisiana, where I live, we celebrate the epiphany as the beginning of the Mardi Gras season. And the rosca de reyes is called the King Cake and decorated in the green, gold and purple Mardi Gras colors. Whoever gets the miniture figurine must buy the next cake for the next party!

  19. Claudia says:

    In your house you actually punished the winner because doing the dish for the day is a sort of punishment, isn’t it?

    In Brazil where I grew whoever found the ring in the ‘bolo de reis’ would be the king/queen for a day and do everything he/she wanted. They would surely be away from the dishes.

    We normally eat ‘bolo de reis’ in Christmas. Your cake looks beautiful, simple and appealing at the same time.

    Cheers,

    C.

  20. What lovely, lovely breads! I am really enjoying seeing versions from different countries.

  21. Madam Chow says:

    Lovely – the galette des rois has been on my list of things to make for quite some time, and you’ve provided more inspiration!

  22. Zerogluten says:

    Yo ya he hecho público que pese a ser española, no soy una gran amante del roscón, aunque esto no significa que no me guste porque el tuyo tiene muy buena pinta y además con presentación diferente, como siempre. Pero me voy a quedar hoy con tu galette des Rois que me está llamando a gritos. Con lo que me gusta el hojaldre y el pistacho me ponía ahora mismito hasta las cejas, que mañana hay que empezar dieta, jaja.
    Besitos sin gluten

  23. Olga says:

    Those look adorable! What a great way of keeping traditions alive!

    I was going to say that I love your photography and then understood why: they look like Tartelette, who is your friend! You are both so talented!

  24. Catherine says:

    Pistachio frangipane must taste so good !!! A nice way to update the tradition. We had a regular frangipane this year, but i’ll keep the idea of the pistachio ;o)

  25. morgana says:

    Tendrías que ver la cara de tonta que se me ha puesto viendo tu versión del roscón de Reyes, tan elegante todas y tan bonitas… Sobre todo recordando mi desastroso intento, que aquello más que un roscón parecía un pizza… Jajajajaja.

    Me encanta visitar tu blog, siempre creas algo nuevo y sorprendente incluso de cosas tan tradicionales como un roscón de Reyes.

    TE ADMIRO.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t forget to give us the recipe of chocolate cream with caramel and green apple.
    Thank you from France for your lovely blog.

  27. Mobula says:

    Como siempre, simplemente espectacular, me encantan esos mini roscones que has hecho pero me quedo con el gallete de rois con el frangipane de pistacho, también soy una enamorada de ellos… Menudo día el de ayer con los regalos, las visitas,… En casa celebraís Reyes o Santa??

    Besos,

    ana

  28. Catherine says:

    They both look delicious! Your puff pastry looks so crisp and light. I love the little rosca de reyes wrapped up in their little parchment paper coats tied up with string!

  29. Jescel says:

    These look like the mini version of the Italian panettonne. Your pic looks lovely, as usual and the rosca– so mouthwatering!

  30. Hola Aran,

    Feliz 2009
    Llevo días queriendo comentar, precioso el sitio de las vacaciones y además el sitio y la COMPAÑÍA parecáin de lo mejor.

    Q bonito el roscón de Reyes hexagonal, precioso
    un beso fuerte y que el 2009 sea un gran año y tengamos la suerte de que sigas alegrándonos la vista

  31. Aimée says:

    Truly beautiful. I could look at that last photo all day.

  32. idu says:

    ooooooooooo, bai errege opil polita! nik ere egin dut bat, baña betikoa, “tamaño familiar”, sabel asko zegoen eta betetzeko. Ikaragarri gustatu zait zure bertsioa. Ea berriro gogoa eta denbora hartzen dudan eta saiatzen naizen zure modura egiten…

  33. idu says:

    ooooooooooo, bai errege opil polita! nik ere egin dut bat, baña betikoa, “tamaño familiar”, sabel asko zegoen eta betetzeko. Ikaragarri gustatu zait zure bertsioa. Ea berriro gogoa eta denbora hartzen dudan eta saiatzen naizen zure modura egiten…

  34. Simply BEAUTIFUL.

    Louise (the “realchiffonade” and “chiff0nade”),
    Senior Staff Member, SeriousEats website

  35. Esti says:

    a mis hijas les encanta desayunar roscón! bueno, al principio n., la pequeña no quería comer por si le salía la figurita y le tocaba fregar… Ha sido muy divertido. Yo, como soy así de sosa, justo justo lo pruebo. Como me gusta ver nuestras tradiciones a través de tus ojos! Me encanta cómo explicas todo :)

  36. Vera says:

    How lovely, Aran! Happy New Year!

  37. Carolyn Jung says:

    I admit I’m not usually a fan of baked goods with candied fruit in them. But these are so gorgeous _ like little jewels _ that I know that even I would love to sample them.

  38. Joyce says:

    What a neat tradition. This is one prize I wouldn’t want to find- because that mean a sink of dishes! LOL… Everythings looks mmmm… Thank you!

  39. pistachio frangipane sounds like something I can eat straight from a bowl and your photography is simply stunning – beautiful job :)

  40. ainara says:

    Qué bonito el roscón!!! me ha custado mucho mucho la forma que le has dado, de verdad. Yo lo comí en bcn y me tocó el rey… Espero que me traiga buena suerte este año, que me hará falta. Bueno espero que el año sea bueno para todos, a por el 2009!! mua!

  41. Jamie says:

    Aran – I haven’t visited you here for quite a while and all of those citrus recipes made me homesick for Florida and the groves on the Indian River where we would go to pick citrus every winter when we were kids!

    But what stopped me here is the Galette des Rois – I have been staring at them in every boulangerie window and particularly the Pistache-Framboise one I recently saw. Wow! Yours is beautiful and has just inspired me to try and make mine!

  42. Aran says:

    jamie- yes, we are in the middle of citrus season here in florida and taking full advantage of it. thank you for your kind words!

  43. phanie says:

    What a wonderful blog!!!
    Think your for this!

  44. MorenaTejana says:

    The pictures of these epiphany breads are absolutely stunning!!

    I just don’t understand why the person who found the baby Jesus was “punished” and had to wash dishes when finding the baby Jesus should be a positive, celebratory thing. In the Mexican tradition, the person who finds the figurine hosts a party and serves tamales. I guess that is a punishment, too, if you don’t like to host parties haha.

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