We have $162,717 to go in our Fall Campaign. Every penny is used to strengthen the Church. See details!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Recipe: Spanish King's Cake


  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 2-2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • Confectioners' Icing (see link)
  • walnut halves
  • candied fruit
  • Details

  • Prep Time: N/A
  • Difficulty: • •
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: 15+
  • Origin: Spain

Since Twelfth Night concludes the Christmas holidays, people traditionally have marked it with a big party closing the season. The Twelfth Night revels in many countries feature parties, dancing, and feasting. At the feasts, people often eat a special bread or cake with a bean, coin, or figurine baked in it. The person getting the piece with the good luck token becomes the Twelfth Night King or Queen, leading revelers in their merrymaking.

The holiday also carries solemn religious overtones. It is one of the three major Christian holidays, along with Christmas and Easter. The name Twelfth Night simply reflects its occurrence twelve days after Christmas. But in some places it is known as Feast of the Three Kings because the Three Kings (also known as Wise Men or Magi) are believed to have reached the Christ Child on January 6. And, with emphasis on the religious character of the occasion, Epiphany notes that the holiday marks a special revelation of Jesus's divine nature - the arrival of the three Magi as the first manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles.


1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Heat milk, sugar, butter, and salt to warm (105°-115°F).

2. Combine mace, 1 1/2 cups flour, yeast mixture, milk mixture, and egg. Mix thoroughly.

3. Add raisins, mixed candied fruit, and chopped walnuts. Mix thoroughly. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth - about 10 minutes.

4. Place in greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double - about 1 1/2 hours.

5. Punch down dough. Divide dough in half. Roll each into a 20-inch rope. Twist together.

6. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise until almost double - about 45-60 minutes.

7. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven 30 minutes or until done. Cool on wire rack.

8. Frost loaf with Confectioners' Icing and decorate with walnut halves and additional candied fruit.

Recipe Source: Festive Bread Book, The by Kathy Cutler, Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1982
Fall Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The headlines say Gov. Brown is Catholic. He says he's not sure what that means. 0 hours ago
Archbishop predicts Synod won't change Church teaching. Why am I not reassured? 0 hours ago
A different tone at this Synod? 22 hours ago
Church Fathers: St. Clement of Alexandria, Part I October 6
Internalizing marriage at this year's synod October 6

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope issues new rules to streamline annulment process CWN - September 8
In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations CWN - September 21
Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress CWN - September 24
As Synod opens, Pope calls on Church to defend ‘unity and indissolubility’ of marriage bond CWN - October 5