Galette Des Rois (French King Cake) Recipe

If you're looking to make a unique pastry that's as tasty as it is festive, then look no further than this stunning galette des rois, courtesy of recipe developer Eric Ngo. On the outside, a galette des rois may look like an unsuspecting pastry, but on the inside, it's loaded with subtly sweet almond flavor. And, as it turns out, the pastry is a pretty big deal in France. "Galette des rois is eaten throughout the month of January... [for] a religious holiday celebrating the Epiphany," Ngo explains. The pastry's name translates to "king cake," and it's similar to the king cake that one might find in Louisiana during Mardi Gras. And much like a Mardi Gras king cake, you can even incorporate a festive little figurine into the pastry.

There's much to love about a galette des rois, even if you aren't celebrating a holiday. You'll especially love this recipe if you enjoy almond-centric desserts, though Ngo does note that you could "substitute the almond meal for hazelnut or pistachio" if you want to switch things up. This recipe also keeps things relatively simple by using store-bought puff pastry, but you could easily opt to make your own. "If you feel up to the challenge, try making your puff pastry from scratch," Ngo suggests. "This [would] elevate your galette to the next level!"

Gather the galette des rois ingredients

If you think that making such a beautiful pastry requires lots of ingredients, think again! This recipe only calls for a handful of baking staples, and because you don't have to make your own pastry dough, that simplifies things even further. For this recipe, you'll need 2 sheets of puff pastry (about 1 pound total, depending on which brand you use), eggs, white sugar, almond meal, and unsalted butter (make sure it's room temperature). Optionally, you can also throw in some dark rum and vanilla (in the form of the seeds from a vanilla bean) for extra flavor.

Mix together the creamy almond filling

Add the softened butter and sugar into a bowl, and mix with a whisk until smooth. Add one of the eggs and mix again, then whisk in the almond meal. You should be left with a smooth, cohesive filing. If you want to add the vanilla and/or the dark rum, do so now, and stir everything together. Store the filling in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

Assemble the pastry

Lay out either a silicone mat or parchment paper, then roll out one sheet of puff pastry; if the sheet is rectangular, cut into a circle. Add the almond filling to the pastry sheet, starting from the middle — you don't want to fill it all the way to the edge.

If you want to include a tiny figurine or trinket in the pastry, now is the time to nestle it into the filling. "I used a metal trinket in the shape of a chocolate croissant," Ngo explains. "They are usually porcelain figures, but every once in a while they are metal. Be careful when eating!" You could also use a large dried bean, an almond, or a hazelnut, he says. This step is purely optional, but it does add a fun and traditional element. Just use caution when eating to avoid any choking hazards. 

Brush the pastry with egg wash

Once all of the almond cream is spread on the first layer of pastry, go ahead and gently place the other pastry sheet on top. Cut away excess dough, keeping in mind that there should be about 1 inch of space between the almond cream and the edge of the pastry crust. 

Whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl, then use a pastry brush to apply the egg wash on top of the crust. At this point, place the pastry in the freezer to rest for 15 minutes, and in the meantime, get your oven preheating to 350 F. 

Score and bake your galette des rois

Once the 15 minutes of chilling time is up, pull the pastry out of the freezer and brush on a second layer of egg wash. Then, use the tip of a paring knife to score the pastry — the design is up to you, so go with a pattern that feels most decorative! Now, toss the pastry into the oven and allow it to bake for 50 minutes. Once that time is up, the top of the pastry should be golden brown and crispy thanks to the egg wash. Allow the galette to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into it.

Whether you're celebrating Epiphany or you simply want to make an authentic French pastry at home, this dessert is sure to please. "Enjoy a slice of galette des rois with a glass of champagne," Ngo suggests, though it's also perfectly delicious on its own. Now, which of your guests will you be lucky enough to find the trinket? 

Galette Des Rois (French King Cake) Recipe
5 from 22 ratings
The French typically eat this pastry in January to observe the Epiphany. But its flaky crust and sweet almond filling deserve to be celebrated all year long.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
4
Slices
galette des rois slices on plate
Total time: 70 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 rolls puff pastry (approximately 1 pound)
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • Seeds from ½ vanilla bean
Directions
  1. In a bowl, whisk the softened butter with sugar until smooth.
  2. Add 1 egg to the butter and sugar mixture; mix again until smooth.
  3. Add the almond meal, and mix once more until you have a cohesive filing. Add vanilla and/or rum if using and stir until fully incorporated. Store almond cream in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. Place 1 roll of puff pastry, cut into a circle, on a tray lined with either parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  5. Add almond cream to top of the puff pastry and spread into an even layer, starting from the center. If including a small porcelain figure, place somewhere toward the edge of the almond cream. Leave a border of at least 2 inches between the edge of the pastry cream and the edge of the pastry.
  6. Cover with the second sheet of puff pastry and cut away excess (a cake ring will help maintain a uniformly round shape). Once trimmed, there should be 1 inch between the almond cream and the edge of the puff pastry.
  7. Whisk the second egg in a small bowl. Using a brush, apply a thin coating of egg wash to the top of the pastry.
  8. Rest the pastry in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  9. Remove pastry from freezer and apply a second layer of egg wash. Use the tip of a paring knife to decorate the top of the galette.
  10. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake the galette for 50 minutes.
  11. Allow the galette to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 392
Total Fat 29.5 g
Saturated Fat 10.7 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 110.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 25.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.8 g
Total Sugars 13.2 g
Sodium 91.0 mg
Protein 7.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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