Recipe: La Galette des Rois

Recipe: La Galette des Rois

Tradition, tradition! La galette des rois was originally served at the Epiphany on January 6th, in celebration of the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem. Although it has religious origins, this traditional pastry, or King’s Cake has become a national favorite for all, and is served across France during the month of January.

While there are several variations according to the different regions of France (some are made with puff pastry, others with brioche and candied fruits…) one constant remains: in each galette hides a small ceramic toy or figurine. In the old days, people used a dried fava bean, so to this day it is still called la fève. Tradition dictates that the galette is cut in equal parts for the number of people present. The youngest child hides under the table and designates who gets which piece when asked « Who is this slice for? ».  The one who discovers la fève in their slice is made king of the day, and gets to wear the golden paper crown that comes with each King Cake!

Every year, during the traditional reception at the Elysée (the French equivalent of the White House), an enomous galette measuring over four feet across for 150 people is made for the President of the French republic!

This Recipe was offered to us by Bruno Ungaro, celebrated Provençal chef and teacher of the AUCP Cooking in Season hands-on cooking course.

« Simple and tasty, the galette is a classic dessert. Homemade is a must! » – Bruno Ungaro, Chef de cuisine


For the pie crust

  • 2 round puff pastry pie crusts approximately 12 inches in diameter (pâte feuilleté – usually found in the frozen food section)

For the frangipane filling

  • 125 gr ground blanched almonds (poudre d’amandes)
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 1 eggs
  • 100 gr softened butter
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 T water
  • almond and/or vanilla extract (optional)
  • fève ! (You can use a dried bean, a sterilized coin…)



Toast the ground almonds in a frying pan until fragrant and golden, let cool then mix with the softened butter and sugar until the mixture lightens in color. Add the two eggs, one by one, and continue to mix until fully incorporated.

Unroll the defrosted puff pastry onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, moisten the edges of the pastry with the egg yolk mixture.

Spread the frangipane evenly in the center of the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border around the edges. Place la fève at random! Lay the second puff pastry on on top, matching up the borders. Using a fork, press the edges together all around, turning the baking sheet as you go. Poke a hole in the center of the pastry, then gently etch a design onto the top of the galette with the point of a knife, being careful not to pierce the pastry elsewhere.

Brush the pastry with the egg yolk mixture and bake in a preheated oven (200°C/400°F) for 30-40 minutes until puffy and golden brown.


Serve warm, and be careful not to swallow la fève!  Some « gourmands » double the frangipane ingredients to make an extra rich layer of filling.  


This recipRecettes de famille (3)e posting is from Recettes de Famille, an AUCP student collection of delicious, easy-to-make recipes. Choosing their favorite dishes from their host families, students asked for the recipes, which often led to an impromptu cooking lesson in the family kitchen. They then transcribed and translated the recipe into English in order to share them with family and friends back home. The AUCP Le Blog regularly posts seasonal recipes from this, now impressive, collection of dishes. We sincerely hope you will enjoy them as much as the students who shared them with us did.

Bon appétit!

Image from « Miss Crumble »