The Kings' Cake: An Easy Recipe

The King's cake is a crown-shaped brioche that is enjoyed for Epiphany in the south of France. It is also known as Provençal galette or royaume in Languedoc. We offer you to discover an easy recipe to make this delicious brioche filled with candied fruits.


Here are the necessary ingredients to make a King's cake for 6 people:

260 g of flour.
20 g of fresh yeast or 1 packet of baker's yeast.
8 cl of milk.
1 egg.
50 g of sugar.
1 pinch of salt.
the zest of an untreated lemon or orange.
40 g of soft butter.
150 g of Candied fruits.
1 egg yolk for the glaze.
1 heaping tablespoon of apricot, orange, or quince jelly.
pearl sugar.

Note: to flavor this brioche crown, you can replace the lemon or orange zest with a tablespoon of orange blossom water. You can also replace the pearl sugar with finely crushed meringue shards.

Yeast Preparation

To prepare this brioche king cake, you need to use baker's yeast, just like for a classic brioche.

1. Warm the milk until it is lukewarm, without boiling it.

2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk by crumbling the fresh yeast.

3. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes in a warm place.

Brioche Dough Preparation

While the yeast is activating, weigh the ingredients for the brioche dough.

1- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, lemon or orange zest, and salt.

2- Make a well and add the beaten egg along with the milk and yeast mixture.

3- Start kneading the dough, then incorporate the soft (but not melted) butter.

4- Knead the dough thoroughly by hand or, preferably, with an electric mixer. This will give your King's cake a less dense and more airy texture.

5- Let the dough rise for 2 hours at room temperature, in a warm place, away from drafts.

Braided Crown Assembly

Once the dough has doubled in size, knead it again to deflate it (also known as "punching down") and to incorporate the candied fruit cut into small cubes.

1- Deflate the dough and roll it out into a rectangle shape.

2- Add 100 g of diced candied fruits, reserving the rest of the whole fruits for decoration.

3- Fold the dough over itself several times to fully incorporate the fruits and to re-form a dough ball.

4- Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make a large hole in the center and gently stretch the dough between your hands to widen the hole and shape your king cake into a crown.

5- Add the charm and let the Brioche rise for at least one hour in a warm place.

Adding gilding

Don't forget to brown the king's cake before baking it. This step is essential for your brioche crown to get a nice color.

1- Dilute the egg yolk with a little bit of cold water.

2- Use a kitchen brush to coat the entire crown.

3- If you are using pearl sugar, sprinkle the sugar grains on the king's crown before baking.

Baking of the King's Cake

1- Preheat the oven to 170°C (338°F).

2- Bake the Brioche for about 20 minutes, until it is nicely golden brown.

King cake decoration

Let the king cake cool completely before decorating it.

1- Brush the crown with apricot jelly or another flavor to help the decorations stick.

2- Arrange the Candied Fruits in an alternating color pattern.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Audrey Vautherot
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In French: Le gâteau des rois : une recette facile
En español: El pastel de reyes: una receta fácil
In italiano: La torta dei re: una ricetta facile
Auf Deutsch: Der Königskuchen: ein einfaches Rezept
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