Bake

Galette Des Rois

January 10, 2022
5 Stars
Photo by Rocky Luten, prop styling by Alya Hameedi, food styling by Anna Billingskog
Author Notes

This famous cake dessert recipe is made and enjoyed throughout France in January to celebrate the Epiphany. Bakers work hard to create thousands of this iconic dessert, as it symbolizes the three kings who visited baby Jesus. You'll find a ton of varieties of this recipe, one as delicious as the next. Bakeries will also hand out a paper crown with each cake as part of the tradition.

Hence, as a crucial part of this special dessert, a fève (fava bean) is tucked into the cream so the lucky person that selects the slice with the bean hidden inside is awarded the crown and comes the king or queen of the day. I like to use a whole almond because, instead of throwing it out, it’s quite tasty to eat!

Crisp puff pastry rounds are used to encase a flavorful frangipane cream with a thin apricot jam spread on the underlayer. This delicate dessert is easy to make with a multipurpose frangipane that can be made days in advance and used in so many delicious desserts. Keep a jar of it in your fridge so you can turn to it whenever you need it. This beautiful cake is easy to make and a fun, festive way to ring in January. —Anna Francese Gass

  • Prep time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 10
Ingredients
  • Frangipane
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cake
  • 2 frozen puff pastry discs/rounds, defrosted
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam thinned with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 whole almond or bean
  • 1 large egg plus 1 tablespoon water, beaten to blend
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Frangipane
  2. Place a small heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the butter. Add the almond meal, powdered sugar, and flour and mix to combine. Add the almond extract and salt and mix to combine. Remove the bowl from the heat.
  3. Continue to mix vigorously to create a thick mixture. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, mixing to incorporate fully before adding the next.
  4. Once the mixture is thick but viscous, let cool and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. Do Ahead: The frangipane can be made 1 week ahead. Keep in the fridge.
  1. Cake
  2. Heat the oven to 375°F. Place one puff pastry disc on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the top of the dough with the thinned jam. Spread the frangipane on top, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge. Press the almond or bean into the frangipane. Place the other disc directly on top of the frangipane. Cut any excess dough and lightly press the two discs together.
  3. Score the dough with five to six vertical lines. Score again with slanted lines across the dough to create a decorative pattern. Brush the egg wash all over the top and sides of the pastry (you won't use all of it).
  4. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and continue to bake for about 20 minutes more, until the pastry has puffed and is golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
    Smaug
  • Anna Francese Gass
    Anna Francese Gass
Cookbook Author. Heirloom Kitchen.Food52 contributing editor & Recipe Tester.

5 Reviews

Smaug January 12, 2022
Well, nothing from the author- I looked up some other recipes, which are not awfully consistent; this is obviously a dish that is open to a lot of variation. There is also a yeast cake with the same name in the south of France. There is a recipe from David Lebovitz that is pretty similar to this (and which I'll probably end up making- already made the pastry). It calls for 9 1/2" circles, made from a pound of puff pastry, with a similar amount of filling. The filling differs mostly in that it uses 1/8 tsp. of almond extract (more like it, I think) and adds orange zest and rum. A couple of other recipes called for 11" rounds and about half the filling.
 
Smaug January 11, 2022
Size of puff pastry rounds? Any special reason that frozen is specified?
 
Smaug January 11, 2022
One more- wanted to check on the Tb. of almond extract- it's powerful stuff, and that's far more than in other frangipane recipes I've made.
 
Author Comment
Anna F. January 12, 2022
I love the extra punch of almond extract and didn’t find it over powering.
Feel free to reduce to you liking!
 
Smaug January 14, 2022
After looking at notes I'd written on some recipes I'd done, settled on 1/2 tsp. extract, which worked about right for me. Also didn't precook the frangipane- seemed totally unnecessary, and it's not generally done. Then my company cancelled- I'd already made the pastry and filling, made it into turnovers instead; puff pastry needs to be eaten fresh, and this way I could freeze them and cook them when needed. Worked very well.
It's worth a trip to Wikipedia to look up "King Cake" (the New Orleans version is called that)- actually the cake- or at least the name- is an epiphany tradition in many places.