Galette des Rois

A Happy New Year to you all and thank you for following my culinary and travel journey around the Rhone Alps region of France and beyond!

Galette des Rois, this is a must try cake if you happen to be in France for Epiphany on 6th January.  You’ll find it in all Boulangeries and here’s a recipe if you’d like to make one yourself.

Galette des Rois
Galette des Rois

So finally, this year I did make a Galette des Rois and I have no idea why it has taken me so long. It is fairly simple to make and delicious.  I followed David Lebovitz recipe because he included orange and rum in his which I thought sounded a fine idea and it was.  Having made this recipe, I can see that any good tasting liqueur would work well and that you could substitute the orange for lemon or even ginger.  In fact, I can think of many variations with fruit flavours – so when I make my next one, I’ll share the recipe.

Making the Galette des Rois

History of The Galette des Rois

During December around France, you start to see the Galette des Rois or King Cake as it is also known, appear in the Boulangeries.  The Galette des Rois is a puff pastry cake called Pithiviers, a layered puff pastry circular cake filled with an almond/frangipane creamy mixture.  Traditionally made and served to mark Epiphany on 6th January, the end of the 12 days of Christmas and the day the Three Kings visited the Baby Jesus.  Inside the Galette des Rois there will be a fève (bean) normally a whole almond but nowadays this fève has extended to be a small trinket, in fact, some of the larger Boulangeries offer different types of fève and they become quite collectible.  When the cake is cut, the youngest child of the family gets to decide who has which piece and the person who gets the fève in their piece of cake gets to be crowned King or Queen with the gold cardboard crown that is provided with the cake (when it is bought at the Boulangerie) and is in charge for the day!

My Galette des Rois


Only slightly adapted from David Lebovitz recipe
I used an all butter puff pastry which gives a good flavour. 


Almond Filling

  • 1 cup (100g) ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • pinch salt
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 3 1/2 ounces (100g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons rum – I was a little more generous
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 pound (450g) puff pastry, divided in two pieces, chilled – or 2 packs of ready rolled round puff pastry (pate feuilletée)
  • a whole almond, a lucky charm or piece of candied fruit to be the fève (optional)


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon milk


1. To make the almond filling, in a medium bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the ground almonds, sugar, salt, and orange zest. Mash in the butter until it’s completely incorporated. Stir in the eggs one at a time, along with the rum and almond extract. (The mixture may not look completely smooth, which is fine) Cover and chill.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet. On lightly floured surface, roll one piece of puff pastry into a circle about 9 1/2-inches (23cm) round. Using a pot lid, plate, or bottom of springform tin as a template, trim the dough into a neat circle. Place the pastry on the baking sheet.

3. Cover it with a sheet of parchment paper or plastic film, then roll the other piece of pastry into a circle, trim it, and lay it on top. Chill the pastry for thirty minutes.

4. Remove the pastry and almond filling from the refrigerator. Slide the second circle of pastry and parchment or plastic off so that there is only one circle of pastry on the parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the almond filling over the centre of the pastry, leaving a 1-inch (3cm) exposed border. Place an almond or piece of candied fruit to act as the fève somewhere in the almond filling, if you wish.

Almond filling spread over the pastry

5. Brush water generously around the exposed perimeter of the pastry then place the other circle of pastry on top of the galette and press down to seal the edges very well. (At this point, you may wish to chill the galette since it’ll be a bit easier to finish and decorate, although it’s not necessary. It can be refrigerated overnight if you wish.)

6. To bake the galette, preheat the oven to 375ºF (180ºC)
Flute the sides of the pastry and use a paring knife to create a design on the top. Stir together the egg yolk with the milk and brush it evenly over the top – avoid getting the glaze on the sides, which will inhibit the pastry from rising at the edges. Use a paring knife to poke 5 holes in the top, to allow steam to escape while baking.

Galette des Rois ready for the oven

7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the galette is browned on top and up the sides. (During baking, if the galette puffs up too much in the oven, you may want to poke it once or twice again with a paring knife to release the steam.) Remove from the oven and slide the galette off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. The galette will deflate as it cools.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Galette des Rois from Taste of Savoie
Galette des Rois from Taste of Savoie

So now you can bake your own to mark Epiphany on the 6th January
Let me know how you like it!

You may want to pin this recipe to try later

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