French King cake is traditionally served in France around Epiphany, on January 6th. It’s a buttery puff pastry filled with sweet almond filling with small fève (little almond a bean) inside the cake. The one who founds the fève in their slice is a King for the rest of the day.
French tradition King cake
Last weekend I had a chance to do this very famous French almond cake, which is well known in France. It is called Galette des Rois or in English we would translate King’s cake.
This French tradition is very cute and amusing for children. In the galette, French people hide a little piece of fève or almond or little cartoon character toy (preferably for a child) and when they cut a cake, the person, who gets the piece of cake with this almond or little toy, becomes for the rest of the day a King. And the King is being crowned.
So if you decide to follow this cute French tradition, don’t forget to provide your cake with a nice homemade crown for the King. More about the French tradition here.
I have never actually got the little almond/toy, sadly I have never been the King. But by repeating this little tradition with French King cake, I might be crowned one day. So I keep the hope:)
Hidden little toy in King cake
If you decide to hide in the cake the little toy, make sure the children do not crack their teeth on it. Make them look for the toy, before they eat it. I usually bake small almond inside, because the almond will soften in the baking process and everybody’s smile is saved for another year!
How to make French King Cake
Almond filling. First you need to prepare your almond filling. In the food processor, combine the almond flour, sugar, salt, orange zest, butter, eggs, along with the rum and almond extract and mix until smooth texture.Cover with plastic foil and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out puff pastry. On a lightly floured surface, roll one piece of puff pastry into a circle about 9 inches round (use spring form as your guide). Trim the dough into a circle. Place the dough on the baking sheet or in quiche pan.
Fill the French king cake with almond filling. Place the almond filling in the middle and spread uniformly, leaving 1 inch of borders exposed. Place an almond somewhere in the almond filling. Brush water around the exposed dough ( so the other part of dough would stick well together).
Create a design on puff pastry. Roll out the second piece of puff pastry into the same circle and then place the other circle of dough on top of the cake and press down to seal the edges very well. Use your fingers to press on the edges to create a petal leaf and use a paring knife to create a design on top.
Bake the French king cake. Stir together the egg yolk with the milk and brush it evenly over the top. Use a paring knife to poke 5 holes in the top, to allow steam to escape while baking. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking rack.
Serve. The cake will deflate, and it might not be perfectly even as it cools off, but it will taste so good. Serve at room temperature.
Tips and tricks
Make the French King cake the day you will be serving it. You want to have a crispy and flaky crust. I do not recommend preparing the cake in advance. Puff pastry becomes chewy after one day. So if you want to have extra crispy cake, prepare it in the morning, like this you can already enjoy it with afternoon coffee.
Storing. You can store leftovers in an airtight container up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator. To gain back the crispiness, you can reheat it in the small toasted oven.
You can also freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 month. To defrost, leave the galette on the kitchen counter for 1 hour or defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours. To get back the crispiness of the dough after defrosting, place it in the oven for a few minutes, to reheat it. Keep an eye on the galette, not to burn it.
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GALETTE DES ROI – KING’S CAKE
- 1 cup (100 g) almond flour
- 1/2 cup (100 g) fine sugar
- 3 1/2 ounces (100g) unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
- zest of 2 tangerines
- 2 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- pinch salt
- 2 tsp rum
- 1 pound (450 g) puff pastry divided in two pieces
- 1 small almond
- In the food processor, combine the almond flour, sugar, salt,orange zest, butter, eggs, along with the rum and almond extract and mix until smooth texture.
- Cover with plastic foil and chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF (180ºC.)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or if you have a pan for quiche use it and butter it lightly.
- On lightly floured surface, roll one piece of puff pastry into a circle about 9 inches round (use springform as your guide).
- Trim the dough into circle. Place the dough on the baking sheet or in quiche pan.
- Place the almond filling in the middle and spread uniformly, leaving 1 inch of borders exposed.
- Place an almond somewhere in the almond filling.
- Brush water around the exposed dough ( so the other part of dough would stick well together).
- Roll out the second piece of puff pastry into same circle and then place the other circle of dough on top of the cake and press down to seal the edges very well.
- Use your fingers to press on the edges to create petal leaf and use a paring knife to create a design on top.
- Stir together the egg yolk with the milk and brush it evenly over the top.
- Use a paring knife to poke 5 holes in the top, to allow steam escape while baking.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking rack.
- The cake will deflate little. Slice in 8 pieces and serve at room temperature.
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Absolutely salivating g over this gallette. The photos are beautiful too.
Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes this cake is so delicious 😋😍
Wow!!!! Just wow!!! Beautiful, mouth-watering…speechless. Send me one???👍🏻😀
Thank you so much😍🤗I am sending one galette by air mail right now😉
Are you in France?
No sweetheart, I m in we can say in New France, in Quebec, Montreal 🙂
I always wanted to make this dessert but have not been confident enough. I think I am ready to give it a try! Your recipe sounds yummy and delicious! And I am so excited to hide a little toy! 🙂
Thank you Irina, puff pastry is very easy to handle, I am sure you will nail it. Happy baking !
I’ve never heard of French King Cake, but I LOVE the looks and sound of it! Almost is one of my favorite flavors. I can’t wait to try this recipe – though I doubt my pastry will look so pretty!
I am sure you will nail it Luci, puff pastry is such easy pastry to bake with 🙂
Your Galette des Rois looks fantastic! I love the design and the sweet almond filling. Definitely perfect for celebrating.
Thank you Tara 🙂
I love the way you have presented this cake. I love your delicious recipe too. Perfect for a Tea Time treat. I am in for a try this weekend.
Thank you, hope you will love it as much as I do 🙂
The pastry looks so buttery and flaky. I’d love a slice of this with my coffee!
I am sure it would definitely hit the spot Beth:)
Gorgeous photos! This is such a fun tradition and new for us starting this year! Always looking for fun new ways to celebrate and am surprised at how easy this cake is to make!
Thank you Cyndy, I am so glad to hear this 🙂