Roscón de Reyes – The Cake of Kings

4 Jan

A final post on Festive Food from me here.  The Twelve Days of Christmas come to an end on Twelfth Night, the evening of 5th January.  Traditionally in Spain this was the night to bake your Roscón de Reyes to be eaten the next day, Epiphany, which celebrates the arrival of The Three Kings.

For the children of Spain this means polishing their shoes to be put outside, awaiting the arrival of the Kings to fill them with gifts.  I guess little gifts were the norm way back, although that has changed over time.  Naughty children were left Carbón, or coal….so get polishing and I hope you´ve all been good.

The Roscón is a light, brioche like sweet bread which is filled and covered with candied fruits and often split and filled with whipped cream or sweet custard.  Additionally it is traditional to bake or put into the cake a small trinket (it used to be a figure of the Christ child) and a dried bean.  The finder of the trinket in their slice was King for the day, and the finder of the bean had to pay for the cake!

This is the first year I´ve attempted to make a Roscón, but I was pretty pleased with the results.  I hope my neighbour is too as I am taking this over to her this afternoon as a little thank you in return for a huge basket of Persimmons she gave me.  Happy Epiphany to you all on 6th January!


  • 200g approx of sultanas, glacé cherries and candied peel, soaked in alcohol if desired (see my Boozy Fruits recipe)
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 sachet of quick/easy blend yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150 ml milk
  • 100g softened butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Grated zest of one orange and one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • To decorate – about 6 roughly crushed sugar cubes or 6 heaped teaspoons of sugar dampened with a few drops of water and thick slices of candied peel (see this excellent post on how to make your own over at Rufus´ Food and Spirits Guide) and some glacé cherries.  You will also need one beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of apricot jam diluted with a little water to glaze when the cake is baked.

Mix the flour, yeast and salt together. In a separate bowl beat the sugar, zests and butter until fluffy then gradually add the beaten egg, vanilla essence and milk.  It doesn´t matter if it curdles.  Now add the flour and knead to form a dough – if it is too dry, add a splash of milk.

Now add the fruits and knead for 5 minutes on a well floured surface with plenty of flour for your hands – things could get messy!  Put the dough into a bowl, cover and leave to double in size (about 2 hours).

Now knead again briefly and push a hole into the centre of the dough so that you can start to form a ring.  Imagine you are making a pizza doughnut with a hole in the middle.  When it is about the size of a large dinner plate, put it onto a lined baking sheet.  You can tuck the trinket/bean wrapped in foil under the cake now or put it into the cooled cake later if you are using. Note, next time I make one, I´ll make the hole in the middle larger as the dough rises quite a lot during baking.

Leave for about an hour until it has doubled in size and brush with beaten egg before pressing the candied fruit in around the top and sprinkling the sugar over.

Bake at 180º for about 45 minutes (check after 30 mins) and brush with the jam when it has cooled a little.  Leave to cool completely.  You can now serve it as it is or split it though the middle and fill with whipped cream or confectioner´s custard. Warning – this is a HUGE Roscón and will serve about 10-12 people.  It does keep for a few days, and if unfilled is also good sliced and toasted.

Adapted from a BBC Good Food Recipe.


82 Responses to “Roscón de Reyes – The Cake of Kings”

  1. Mad Dog January 4, 2012 at 16:07 #

    I’m sure your neighbour will love it – it’s looks terrific!

  2. nancy todd January 4, 2012 at 16:14 #

    Your rascon much fatter and fruitier than any in the stores. yum!

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 16:50 #

      A bit like me then! It was a bit of a monster I have to say 😉

  3. Christina January 4, 2012 at 16:24 #

    Wow! I wish I was your neighbor! This Roscón looks incredible! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 16:49 #

      High praise indeed from the Queen of Baking – thank you so much!

  4. JamieAnne January 4, 2012 at 16:40 #

    Very tasty looking. Here in the south, we do a Kings cake near Lent. It’s a Mardi Gras (Carnival) thing. Even though we’re not Catholic, Lent is a big deal to my Father’s side of the family. It’s the Louisiana roots I’m sure. (AKA formerly Catholic roots) Mardi Gras
    Here’s a link to what the Mardi Gras king cakes look like.

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 16:51 #

      Oh yes – they´re pretty much the same aren´t they? I guess it all goes back to the catholic roots and traditions.

  5. Kim January 4, 2012 at 17:33 #

    It looks great! Lucky neighbours. Pretty glad the festive feeling is still strong in Spain as heading back tomorrow and going to have the blues!

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 18:22 #

      Don´t be sad – you´ve still got Los Reyes to celebrate!

  6. spicegirlfla January 4, 2012 at 17:38 #

    I was thinking about making this!! Yours looks awesome! and split and fill with whipped cream??!! oh my!! I’d be happy to be one of your neighbors!!

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 18:22 #

      Have just got back from visiting and she and her husband were really am feeling very happy and about to make another one for a family get together on Friday!

  7. ChgoJohn January 4, 2012 at 17:43 #

    This looks delicious, Tanya. I must say, you have such a diverse accumulation of recipes at your disposal! You are knowledgeable and accomplished in 3 distinct cuisines and are equally at home fixing recipes from each of them. Good for you! And even better for “Big Man”! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 18:24 #

      Well…you only get to see the best. We have had a few less successful outcomes, but the less said about them the better! Thanks for your kind words…I think the same could be said of you 🙂

  8. The Spain Scoop - Scoopette January 4, 2012 at 17:51 #

    Looks yummy! I’ve been told rascones are hard to make!

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 18:25 #

      A little time consuming, and I´m not a very patient woman, but not really difficult if you are comfortable making bread.

  9. katherine January 4, 2012 at 18:02 #

    Hi Chica, I have to tell you of my boozy fruit disaster. For starters, I didn’t follow your recipe and I got the bright idea to replace the syrup from my maraschino cherries with brandy. I don’t know what possessed me! Anyway, last night we tried them and they were so potent. I just thought brandy and cherries go together right? Oh my, that jar is toast, even Greg couldn’t eat them. We both were unladylike and literally spit them out in the sink. Oh goodness, anyway this looks fantastic and thanks for the shout out.

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 18:27 #

      Oh Katherine, I am feeling faint at the thought of you and Greg having a kitchen disaster. Hard to believe so you may have to come round and revive me with some of the potent brandy! Such a shame…it probably needs something gentler otherwise you have to leave it for 6 months (like the cherry brandy) so that it “softens” a little. Am chuckling now, so have clearly revived! Thanks for going public on the disaster Katherine 🙂

  10. fati's recipes January 4, 2012 at 19:28 #

    Mmm.. That does look good.. Think I’ll try this with just sultanas because I love sultana bread and this looks like a fancy way of doing it.. But I’m not sure, would sultana bread taste anything similar to my little idea??

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 19:42 #

      I think that would be perfect – it is effectively a sweet bread with or without fruit!

  11. Lauren (Spanish Sabores) January 4, 2012 at 19:30 #

    Your Roscón looks perfect! Your neighbor will be impressed!

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 19:42 #

      Thanks Lauren – she seems pleased when I gave it to her this afternoon 🙂

  12. Malou Prestado January 4, 2012 at 19:31 #

    Wow, I love this! We have something similar here in Holland which we can buy from the shops. It is bread like with raisins, candied fruits, nuts and a filling of marzipan.

    This Spanish version is far nicer and indeed fit for a king.

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 19:43 #

      Ooh that sounds a little like Stollen I think?! Very nice too, fresh marzipan has a wonderful taste.

  13. Caroline January 4, 2012 at 20:25 #

    Thanks for the background info, super interesting. I really wish I lived closer to you so I can have a big slice of this! Looks incredible. x

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 21:02 #

      I love all the traditions and how they came about! Would be lovely to have you over to share a slice of cake 🙂

  14. Just A Smidgen January 4, 2012 at 20:30 #

    Beautiful.. your neighbor is so lucky! I think it would be great on it’s own without the filling…

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 21:02 #

      I like it with or without the filling and I also love it toasted with butter!

  15. peasepudding January 4, 2012 at 20:49 #

    I’d be happy with the results too, it looks delicious. Everyone keeps asking me why I have my Christmas tree up and I said we don’t take them own till the 5th but i couldn’t remember why…the 12th day of Christmas of curse!

  16. kathryningrid January 4, 2012 at 21:09 #

    Obviously this is not only a “HUGE Roscón” but also a huge success! And with Boozy Fruits? And Greg’s candied peel? Perfection! Happy Epiphany indeed.

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 21:30 #

      Ah – it was a “team effort” I think with the contributions from Greg! And yes, seems to have been a big success 🙂

  17. promenadeplantings January 4, 2012 at 21:14 #

    Oh that looks delicious! Please Miss I’ve been polishing my ski boots can I have some 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 21:31 #

      Of course you can, and I think we can fit quite a big present inside a ski boot!

  18. gardenfreshtomatoes January 4, 2012 at 21:55 #

    So pretty!
    In lots of Latin America they celebrate 3 Kings…I was always jealous of those kids in my class who got that AND Christmas!
    Enjoy your cake, and your Epiphany Celebration!

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2012 at 23:28 #

      Lucky kids eh?! Most of them here only get gifts on 6th Jan, but the “Papá Noel” tradition is now also slipping in too.

  19. ceciliag January 5, 2012 at 02:32 #

    wow that looks gorgeous and your first attempt? i would be pleased.. I love the history too, especially polishing the shoes- not something they do much nowadays.. c

    • Chica Andaluza January 5, 2012 at 10:13 #

      Thanks Celi. And you´re right re the shoes. I always remember my grandfather (an ex Royal Navy man) always polishing his shoes each evening plus those of me and my brother ready for school/work the next day)!

  20. bitsandbreadcrumbs January 5, 2012 at 05:01 #

    What an impressive and beautiful cake, one I hadn’t heard of before and I love the story behind it. No wonder your neighbor was pleased with such a lovely thank you gift. Happy Epiphany to you, too!

    • Chica Andaluza January 5, 2012 at 10:11 #

      Thank you so much – am just making another one for the visit of Big Man´s daughter and her family tomorrow. Now I feel more confident!

  21. spree January 5, 2012 at 05:57 #

    I so love the looks of this. Now I have three things of yours I MUST make. I’d better get with it!

    • Chica Andaluza January 5, 2012 at 10:14 #

      Ah, I feel honoured! And I am sure that whatever you make will look and taste incredible with your magic “touch”!

  22. Kay aka Babygirl January 5, 2012 at 06:19 #

    If this is the cake of kings.. I can’t wait to see the cake of queens.. and I hope it’s chocolate LOL. I absolutely love this recipe

    • Chica Andaluza January 5, 2012 at 10:14 #

      Never thought of that…will have to investigate what the Queens got!

  23. Tandy January 5, 2012 at 07:15 #

    my luck, I would find the bean! Thanks for the history lesson behind the recipe 🙂

  24. thecompletecookbook January 5, 2012 at 09:41 #

    It’s great learning about traditions from all around the world Tanya! You are clearly a natural baker too!
    🙂 Mandy

    • Chica Andaluza January 5, 2012 at 10:16 #

      Well, I finally have an oven (second hand but I don´t mind) that reaches the temperature it´s supposed to reach…it helps enormously! I love the traditions too…and so many that we all share with their own special “tweak”.

  25. PendleStitches January 5, 2012 at 11:08 #

    Oh my word! That looks de-lic-ious!

    • Chica Andaluza January 5, 2012 at 11:14 #

      Well, it smelt amazing (all citrus-y) and I made a tiny little bun which tasted gorgeous – like a yummy sweet bread!

  26. TBM January 5, 2012 at 12:37 #

    I leave my running shoes outside of my front door, but they aren’t polished. Will I get coal in them? Looks great!

  27. Karen January 5, 2012 at 13:29 #

    Your kitchen must have been filled with the best aroma. I love sweet breads lightlty toasated in the morning with tea. Your neighbor must have been thrilled with the roscon that you baked for her.

    • Chica Andaluza January 5, 2012 at 14:37 #

      It did smell pretty good I have to admit! I´m lucky in that she often bakes things for me too…good neighbours here 🙂

  28. sportsglutton January 5, 2012 at 16:30 #

    The Cake of Kings indeed! I’ve passed this along to my wife, the breadmaker in the house, so that she can make it more me. 😉

    • Chica Andaluza January 5, 2012 at 17:04 #

      Look forward to seeing what she comes up with…The Cake of Sporting Kings!

  29. ....RaeDi January 6, 2012 at 00:12 #

    Beautiful and a very lucky neighbor! You have been so busy in the kitchen this holiday, everything looked delicious….RaeDi

    • Chica Andaluza January 6, 2012 at 10:12 #

      It´s been fun – but back to “sensible” food for a while now 🙂

  30. rsmacaalay January 6, 2012 at 02:11 #

    Wow thats a very fruity cake! I would prefer this more than fruit cakes

    • Chica Andaluza January 7, 2012 at 10:16 #

      Yes – it´s very different to a traditional fruit cake – more of a fruity bread!

  31. chaiselongue1 January 6, 2012 at 19:27 #

    Oh, that looks wonderful! I’ve never tried to make it – just lazy I suppose, as the boulangeries are full of them at this time of year, but home made must be so delicious!

    • Chica Andaluza January 7, 2012 at 10:17 #

      The same here – they´re everywhere, which is why I´d never attempted one before. So glad I did though!

  32. foodblogandthedog January 7, 2012 at 15:10 #

    I have to say your roscon looks better than those really sweet cakey ones in the pastelerias. I always find Spanish pasteles too sweet but this sounds lovely more like a panettone, hope you had a good Reyes xx

    • Chica Andaluza January 7, 2012 at 21:02 #

      Thanks Natalie – it was a lot less sweet and you´re right, more like a panettone. Hope yours was fun too!

  33. Tammy January 7, 2012 at 16:56 #

    It looks fantastic. I had sort of forgotten about roscon. Hope your New Year is off to a great start.

    • Chica Andaluza January 7, 2012 at 21:03 #

      Hi Tammy and thanks for your kind words…I will definitely make one again next year as it was a big hit! 2012 is great so far, hope yours is too 🙂

  34. trevorhunt January 7, 2012 at 17:50 #

    Ok, l’ve been a good boy, so what do l get? H ha. Once again the cake looks great. When is the book out? By the way what are Persimmons?

    • Chica Andaluza January 7, 2012 at 21:04 #

      Yay Trevor! I´m sending you via the Kings a lovely new home to settle into. Wouldn´t that be nice?! Persimmons are kaki fruit – just another name (and I think it sounds so much more appetizing too)!

  35. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise January 7, 2012 at 21:29 #

    This looks so good Tanya, I am bookmarking the recipe to try very very soon

    • Chica Andaluza January 7, 2012 at 22:02 #

      I think you´d make an amazing job of this as you are such a great baker!

  36. Michi January 11, 2012 at 11:56 #

    Oh my!! I can’t believe you made a homemade Roscon!! It looks so fluffy and delicious!!! I’m bookmarking the recipe for next year!! 😉

    • Chica Andaluza January 11, 2012 at 12:59 #

      It turned out well and I already have orders for next year! Go for it Michi 🙂

  37. London Eats January 15, 2012 at 16:39 #

    Looks fab – I’m becoming a big fan of fruity yeasted bakes. I’m going to pop this on the “to bake” list, I would imagine it is great for breakfast.

    • Chica Andaluza January 15, 2012 at 17:54 #

      Think you´d make a great job of it – you make some amazing, spicy bakes!

  38. Piglet in Portugal December 12, 2012 at 21:15 #

    that looks perfect! thanks for leaving the link 🙂

  39. Bluejellybeans January 4, 2013 at 16:54 #

    ¡qué buena pinta tiene Tanya! Yo espero poder publicar la mía esta noche o mañana…deseame suerte! 😉

    • Chica Andaluza January 4, 2013 at 17:34 #

      No te hace falta, pero ¡suerte!

      • Bluejellybeans January 6, 2013 at 02:13 #

        Gracias Tanya, ya me contarás a ver qué te parece 😉

  40. seminar ACLS September 26, 2016 at 09:57 #

    It looks so delicious


  1. Twelfth Night | Blue jellybeans - January 6, 2013

    […] other delicious recipes related with this, pay a visit to Tanya, A.K.A. Chica Andaluza and Barbara at Late bloomers. These gals have made two delicious recipes that I’m sure you’ll […]

  2. Roscón de Reyes | Blue jellybeans - January 6, 2013

    […] ver otras recetas similares a esta, os recomiendo los blogs de mis amigas Tanya y Barbara. Allí encontraréis un roscón con cierto aire Británico y la receta para el […]

I love to hear what you think, please leave me a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Entre El Comal Y La Olla

Una aventura culinaria


So in 2016 I turned 50. I was in Italy for my 21st, 30th and 40th. To keep this birthday tradition going I always knew I'd be in Italy for my 50! This blog starts with my 5 week adventure in Puglia but my love affair with Italy continues.....


2nd time around

Our Growing Paynes

A journey about cooking, traveling, gardening, and crafting.

the chef mimi blog

So Much Food. So Little Time.


This site is all about gluten free cooking and more.


Trying to find order in all of this chaos

The Complete Book

A little bit of everything


Tales of adventures in quilting, gardening, photography and cooking from the Kingdom of Chiconia

Gather & Graze

In the Melting Pot of an Antipodean Kitchen

Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Living well in the urban village


Roaming, at home and abroad

East of Málaga

Tales from the AUTHENTIC Costa del Sol .... and beyond

50 Year Project

My challenge to visit 192 countries, read 1,001 books, and watch the top 100 movies

Cooking in Sens

Living, Drinking and Eating in Burgundy


farming, gardens, cows, goats, chickens, food, organic, sustainable, photography,

Chica Andaluza

Sometimes Up a Mountain in Andalucia and sometimes Down by the Sea on the English South Coast

bits and breadcrumbs

where all trails lead to good food

The Material Lady

Fabric, life, and all that

Back Road Journal

Little treasures discovered while exploring the back roads of life

Promenade Plantings

from seed to plate

Mad Dog TV Dinners

Guess what's coming to dinner?

Food, Photography & France

Journal of a food photographer living in France

from the Bartolini kitchens

"Mangia e statti zitto!"


Creating now.

Lavender and Lime

a food and lifestyle blog ♥

Chef in disguise

Easy authentic middle eastern recipes

Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

A how to for everyone and anyone

florence and freddie

the house of chairs

%d bloggers like this: