La Galette des Rois – The King’s cake

Today, I am sharing with you my recipe of the famous galette des rois. It’s easier to bake than you may think. First, a few words about this festive cake.

In France, it is considered a major event to share this golden disk-shaped treat with your friends and family with the main purpose of drawing kings. We should eat the galette on January 6th, to celebrate Three Kings’ Day. However, it is such a popular tradition that this cake will be most probably served on your table on all the Sundays of January. Useless to say that puff pastry is a serious impediment to your New Year’s dietary resolutions!

A fève (literally “fava bean”) is hidden inside the galette. It used to be a real fava bean a long long time ago, but now it became a small figurine – religious or not – made of china. Sadly, it would probably be forbidden to buy it in the United States, for the same reason the Kinder Eggs are not allowed. But nobody prevents you to bake your own, I’ll keep my mouth shut. The one who finds the fève in his/her slice is made king or queen of the day, forced to wear a foolish but funny golden paper crown and to choose among the attendees his/her queen/king. As we are not kidding with this privilege, the lucky draw undergoes strict but necessary rules. The slices of cake have to be attributed by the youngest guest. Hidden under the table to prevent any form of cheating, s/he calls the names of the people who will we receive each slice while the host is slicing the galette.

I’m almost done. Commonly there are two options of stuffing: frangipane, an almond cream mixed with pastry cream, or applesauce. Please, I know you’re already thinking about it, but, I beg you, do not add cinnamon! In this recipe, the galette is stuffed with a simplified variation of frangipane. You won’t see the difference and spend far less time to bake it.


Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 2 dough puff pastry sheets (large one) – I challenge you to bake your own, but it is not a guaranteed success
  • 2.6 oz soft unsalted butter
  • 5 oz superfine almond flour
  • 3.5 oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp powdered sugar
  • la fève
  1. Prepare the almond cream in the bowl of your stand mixer or in a mixing bowl. Mix together the almond flour, caster sugar and butter, until it gets creamy. Add one egg at a time, add the other when the cream is homogeneous. Pour in the almond extract.
  2. Spread the first puff pastry sheet on a baking tray. Keep the parchment paper between the tray and the dough. Design a perfect circle – about  9” – on the dough. Do not cut it yet. I personally use an entremet ring to mark the dough, but you can absolutely use a deep plate or deep dish. Prick with a fork. Spread the almond cream regularly in the center of your circle by leaving at least 1” all around with no cream. You can help you with a pastry bag to be more regular. Most important step, add the fève. Practical and useful advice: do not hide it in the center, otherwise it will be more difficult when it comes to slice the galette.
  3. Preheat your oven to 390°F/200°C. Lightly water the free space of the dough with a pastry brush. Place carefully the second puff pastry sheet above the first one, cut the two sheets with the circular ring/plate/dish you’ve used earlier. Push on sides with your finger tips in order for the two layers to be well sticked together. With the tip of a knife, design your galette; symmetric patterns are common but let your imagination speak. In a bowl, beat together the yolk and powdered sugar. Apply the mixture on your galette with a pastry brush. Put your galette in the oven for 30 minutes. Let cool before serving!  In France, we enjoy it much better with a glass of champagne, just to say.

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