Our Boosters are matching gifts up to $45,000. We have $32,417 to go. Your gift today will count twice!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Recipe: Galette des Rois

    INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon mace
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, sifted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sour milk
  • Details

  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 11+
  • Origin: France

Also Called: Cake of the Kings

Le Jour des Rois, the Day of the Kings, or Epiphany, is the great festival of childhood in France, as well as in most European and Latin American countries. Christmas is the season of Holy Birth. But the twelfth day following means a wonderful party with a cake for the Kings, games, and laughter.

According to popular legend, the three Kings follow the star each year to Bethlehem, where they offer gifts at the Christ Child's feet. On their journey eastward, Their majesties always pass through France, as well as many other lands. On the eve of January 6, youngsters fill their shoes with hay for the hungry camels. When morning comes the hay has vanished, and in its place are bonbons, cakes, and toys. These tokens the Kings leave for children.

Customs and beliefs concerning Three Kings' Day vary widely from place to place. Even the galette des Rois, or cake of the Kings, is made differently in different provinces. But on one point everyone agrees: each cake must contain a bean, a small token, or sometimes a miniature china doll.

Usually the galette des Rois is round and flat. It may be honey-spice or sponge inside. It may be decorated with pastry, fruits, or sugared frills.

There is always one more piece than the number of guests. The extra portion, la part a Dieu-God's share-is for the first poor person who knocks at the door. For le Jour des Rois means sharing as well as receiving. None who ask for food or alms depart empty-handed on this day, and all over France the festival is observed with folk ceremonies and gifts to the parish poor.

For your galette des Rois select a fragrant spice cake. Substitute a prepared mix for the recipe given, if you prefer. Bake the cake in a large round tin. Shortly before serving, smooth sweetened whipped cream over the entire cake. Swirl additional cream over the top, to give a fluffy, billowy look. Then cut candied pineapple slices in half and stand the pieces around the edge, curved side uppermost, to suggest a crown. "Jewel" the base of the crown with green and red candied cherries, or with multicolored round candies. Last of all, press blanched almond halves into the cream-covered sides of the cake. A cake like this is sumptuous to look at, quick and easy to decorate.

DIRECTIONS

Sift flour once, then add soda, baking powder, and spices, and sift together three times. Cream butter, then add sugar and cream until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat egg and add to creamed mixture, combining thoroughly. Then add flour mixture alternately with milk. Beat well after each addition. Bake in greased and floured round 10-inch tin for 50 minutes in moderate oven (350º F.).

Recipe Source: Feast-Day Cakes from Many Lands by Dorothy Gladys Spicer, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960
Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Contentious Spirits, Beware! 19 hours ago
And here's another very old story: the secular media don't understand Catholic affairs October 29
How not to be persuasive October 29
Francis the Man, Francis the Pope October 28
Clarifying what it might mean for a pope to wish to change Catholic doctrine October 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6