Sweet ReMarks: The Galette Des Rois

by | Desserts, In the Kitchen, Recipes

Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms

The Galette Des Rois

The Galette Des Rois is a French cake used to celebrate the Epiphany. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the word epiphany itself means “an appearance or manifestation, especially of a deity … sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality usually initiated by some simple experience.” The Epiphany is a Christian holiday that is celebrated on January 6th, or what is known as the Twelfth Day of Christmas. This day signifies the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. It is a feast day that celebrates the visit of the Magi and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.


The tradition of the King’s Cake

The Galette Des Rois, also called the King’s Cake, has been a traditional cake used for this special celebration. It is made up of puff pastry and almond cream (frangipane). It is garnished with a gold paper crown and a féve hidden inside. Féve is the French word for trinket. Many patisserie’s in France hide a porcelain trinket inside the cake! Traditionally, the person who receives the trinket in their slice is crowned King for the Day.


Avoiding physical hazards in your cake

The féve or prize in the cake.


The féves are known to be collectibles. People look forward to seeing what the collection of that year will be. In the past, the féves have been miniature pieces of the nativity scene and others have been famous cartoon characters. The cutest collection I’ve seen were those of mini French pastries like a mini macaron, cake slice or croissant. Although here in the United States, putting a porcelain trinket inside someone’s food is an invitation to a hearty lawsuit. So to avoid putting any physical hazards into your cake, opt for one whole almond.  It’s just as effective, much safer and the tradition of finding the prize remains intact.



Making the King’s Cake at home

You can recreate this cake at home by using store bought puff pastry sheets and making a simple recipe of almond cream. The key is to not let the puff pastry get too warm while trying to manipulate it. It will become flimsy and nearly unable to work when this occurs.  Remove from the cooler and let sit for about 8 minutes. You want it to be flexible but able to hold its shape. Basically you need two whole sheets.

Cut two circles the size you want your cake. Place one on your parchment cookie sheet as the base. Stencil a circle on this dough one inch smaller than the dough itself. Use that as a marker of how much almond cream to fill it with. Place your almond cream in a piping bag and pipe a spiral from the marking to the center of the circle. Insert the whole almond “féve”. Egg wash the edges of the dough. Place the remaining puff pastry circle on top and seal it to the base. Pinch the edges. Score hash marks on top. Gently egg wash the entire cake and bake 375F for 35-40 minutes. Top with a gold paper crown and celebrate the Epiphany!



Almond Cream (Frangipane) Recipe

by Keli Marks of Bakery 28



Almond Flour                                                              ½ cup

Granulated Sugar                                                       ½ cup

Unsalted Butter                                                           ½ cup (or one stick)

Eggs                                                                               2 large eggs

All Purpose Flour                                                        2 tablespoons

Dark Meyers Rum (optional, but encouraged!)          1-2 tablespoons



  1. Place the almond flour, sugar and softened butter in a mixer with paddle attachment.
  2. Mix on low speed for 10 seconds then increase to medium speed and cream until smooth.
  3. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
  4. Add eggs and mix again until it comes together.
  5. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides.
  6. Stir in the flour and rum.  Stop once it comes together.


This can be used right away or refrigerated for up to one week.  If you choose to refrigerate, make sure the frangipane comes to room temperature first because it will be too firm to spread or pipe.



Photos courtesy of Keli Marks
Banner and feature photos courtesy Pixabay.com




Pastry Chef Keli Marks

Pastry Chef Keli Marks is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She received a full year education at the French Pastry School in Chicago, IL in exchange for being the very first assistant to Jacquy Pfeiffer & Sebastien Canonne, MOF when they opened the school in 1996.

Keli has been on the Food Network on three separate occasions: Sugar Rush, Romance Novel Cake Challenge and The Holiday Baking Championships. In addition, she was on the Chicago chapter’s board for Les Dames d’Escoffier from 2009 – 2011 and was a guest pastry chef at the famed James Beard House in NYC in 2013.

As the pastry chef owner of Bakery 28, she incorporates local ingredients from farmers within the Carolinas and promises to only use natural ingredients.



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