Cakes

Homemade Galette des Rois (King Cake)

4.93 from 14 votes
Will you find the almond? My Galette des Rois recipe, also known as King Cake, has a flakey, buttery puff pastry filled with rich, sweet homemade frangipane.
My Galette des Rois with a crown on top.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Galette des Rois is the traditional cake enjoyed in France on Epiphany on January 6th, but since they’re so incredibly delicious and popular, pâtissiers start selling them in early December until the end of January! 

My Homemade Galette des Rois, which translates to “King Cake,” is made with a flakey, buttery puff pastry filled with a generous layer of rich, sweet homemade frangipane. I also love to add a subtle hint of tart apricot jam to round out the frangipane’s sweetness. 

But the cake isn’t only beloved in France just because of the taste, it holds deep tradition — and a fun party game! 

If you’re looking for more holiday recipes from around the globe, check out my Bold Baking Holidays Worldwide section in my Holiday Baking Headquarters!

What Is Galette des Rois?

Galette des Rois, or King Cake, is a sweet almond-flavored custard-filled pastry that has been around for around 700 years! 

Traditionally, the pastry is served on the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th, to celebrate the Ephiphany. Ephiphany is a Christian feast day celebrating the Three Kings arriving at the manger where Jesus was born. Now, it’s eaten throughout January (and sometimes December) to celebrate the holiday season and the new year. 

Serving this cake is also special. Inside a galette des rois is a “feve” (a fava bean, but now it is more likely to be a whole almond or a plastic figurine). Whoever discovers the “feve” is the king (“le roi”) or the queen (“la reine”) for the day! This is why you see a golden crown on top of my galette des rois!

In some families, the person who gets the feve is in charge of bringing the galette des rois to the party next year, too.

The intricate top to my Galette des Rois, or King Cake, before baking.

What You Need To Make Galette des Rois

How To Make Galette des Rois

Find out who becomes king or queen for the day by following these simple steps (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below)!

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut either store-bought or homemade puff pastry sheets into two 9-inch (23cm) circles and place one of the circles onto the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Spread the apricot jam over the pastry circle. Be sure to leave a 1-inch (3cm) border around the edge.
  4. Spread the frangipane over the jam. If you are using a whole almond, dried bean, or feve to decide who is the king/queen, place it anywhere on the frangipane now. 
  5. Moisten the edge of the pastry with egg wash and place the second circle of puff pastry on top. Press and crimp with your fingers to seal. Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  6. When you are ready to bake, brush the top of the pastry with egg wash and cut 5 or 6 slits into the pastry so it can vent.
  7. Bake on the center rack of your oven for about 40-45 minutes until the galette is puffed and a deep golden brown. Let the galette des rois cool for at least an hour before serving.

Galette Des Rois, or King Cake, baked next to a crown and plates.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Galette des Rois

  • I use an inverted 9-inch (23cm) round cake pan to measure and cut my pastry circles.
  • I love using apricot jam to give this pastry a bright note, but feel free to use any flavor of jam that you prefer. You can even make your own Microwave Jam.
  • When you are brushing the pastry with egg wash, take care to brush only the top and not the sides (edges) of the pastry, or it may not rise correctly.
  • You can use the tip of a paring knife to etch a design on the top of the pastry. Be sure not to cut all the way through, except for where you want to put the vent slits.
  • This pastry is best the day it is made, but if you are pressed for time, you can assemble it fully (through step 5) and then freeze it until the day you want to serve it (up to 2 months in advance). When ready to bake, defrost for 15 minutes (until the pastry is just soft enough to etch), brush with the egg wash, cut your vent slits and bake.
  • Use my Homemade Puff Pastry and Homemade Frangipane

How Do I Store Galette des Rois?

Galette des Rois is best served the day it is made (especially if you are trying to find the feve!), but you can store any leftover galette des rois at room temperature for up to 2 days. Recrisp it in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10 minutes.

My Galette des Rois recipe sliced and topped with whipped cream.

Make More Holiday Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Homemade Galette des Rois Recipe (King Cake)

4.93 from 14 votes
Will you find the almond? My Galette des Rois recipe, also known as King Cake, has a flakey, buttery puff pastry filled with rich, sweet homemade frangipane.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
chill for 30 mins
Will you find the almond? My Galette des Rois recipe, also known as King Cake, has a flakey, buttery puff pastry filled with rich, sweet homemade frangipane.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut the puff pastry sheets into two 9-inch (23cm) circles and place one circle on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Spread the apricot jam over the pastry circle, leaving a 1-inch (3cm) border around the edges.
  • Spread the frangipane over the jam and then, if using, place the whole almond, dried bean, or feve anywhere on the frangipane. The person who finds the bean gets to be king or queen for the day.
  • Moisten the edge of the pastry with egg wash and place the second circle on top. Press and crimp with your fingers to seal. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • When ready to bake, brush the top with egg wash and cut 5 or 6 slits in the pastry for venting.
  • Bake on a center rack for about 40-45 minutes, until the galette is puffed and a deep golden brown. Let it cool for at least an hour before serving. Serve at room temperature.
  • This is best served the day it is made, but it can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Recrisp in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10 minutes.

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Olga
Olga
1 day ago

Made this and my French husband loved it! Said it was exactly like his mother used to make! I made it with your frangipane recipe. Thanks!!

1 month ago

This recipe using the scratch recipes on this site turned out great! Made it for Christmas this year everyone loved them.

Sarah
Sarah
1 month ago

This recipe looks great! I want to surprise my French class with a few of these once we’re back in school after the holidays. Does your puff pastry recipe yield 1 or two sheets? Trying to figure out what all I need if I make two or three galettes. Basically, does one batch of the puff pastry make one galette?

Preitha
1 month ago

Hi Gemma,
Does this recipe use 2 cups of the homemade frangipane? & I have never used almond meal/flour before, and found ‘Super fine natural almond flour’ from whole almonds. Is that a good option here? Or should I use blanched?

Thanks a ton!

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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