Celebrate the Epiphany with this classic Galette des Rois with Frangipane, also known as a French King’s Cake.
What is a Galette des Rois?
A Galette des Rois is a cake or tart which is traditionally eat in France on 6 January to celebrate the Epiphany.
A Galette des Rois is comprised of a top and bottom layer of puff pastry, with a filling made from ground almonds (called a frangipane).
Hidden inside the Galette des Rois is a bean or small trinket (called a fève), and whoever discovers this inside their slice is crowned king or queen for the day.
Types of Galette des Rois
Usually right after Christmas, many bakeries and supermarkets will start selling Galette des Rois on their shelves.
The traditional Galette des Rois has a frangipane filling made from ground almonds, but it is not uncommon to find some made from ground hazelnuts or other nuts, or even with chocolate added.
Fève for Galette des Rois
The fève you will find in most store-bought Galette des Rois is a small plastic figurine of a religious figure.
Some high-end bakeries might, however, use porcelain figures instead, which means that adults and children have to be careful when biting into their slice of Galette des Rois!
Long before my daughter was born, I began collecting little vintage porcelain Hello Kitty trinkets which are, although collectible, intended to be used as a fève in a Galette des Rois. I first came across these trinkets at a flea market in France and have slowly been adding to my collection whenever I see ones that I like.
These days, you can even find fun ones at the supermarket; my most recent find were the Minion characters which were sold with packets of ground almonds, and I knew my son would love them.
Galette des Rois Recipe
The first time I made a Galette des Rois, I followed Rachel Khoo’s recipe for Galette des Rois which uses ground hazelnuts in the filling and is baked into the shape of a crown.
The Galette des Rois recipe below is a more traditional recipe which uses an almond frangipane filling. Here, the frangipane is mixed with a thick custard (crème pâtissière) to produce a more creamy and substantial filling.
I usually end up making at least Galette des Rois every year, just to give each child a chance to find the fève 😉
More French Recipes
If you are looking for more French recipes, you might also like:Print
Galette des Rois with Frangipane
Celebrate the Epiphany with this classic Galette des Rois with Frangipane, also called a French King’s Cake.
- Prep Time: 45 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 to 8
- Category: Cakes, Baking, Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: French
To make the crème pâtissière
- 1 egg yolk
- 125ml (1/2 cup) milk
- 12g cornflour (cornstarch)
- 30g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
To make the almond cream
- 100g icing sugar (powdered sugar)
- 80g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 120g ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon rum (optional)
- 2 sheets of ready-made puff pastry (preferably made from butter)
- 1 egg yolk plus 1 teaspoon milk to make the egg wash
- 1 porcelain fève, large dried bean or large coin wrapped in foil
- a gold crown
To make the crème pâtissière
- In a medium bowl or jug, whisk together the egg yolk, 2 tablespoons of the milk, cornflour (cornstarch), icing sugar, and vanilla.
- Place the rest of the milk into a medium saucepan and heat until it is just about to come to the boil, but do not let it boil.
- Slowly add the warm milk to the other ingredients, whisking quickly as you do.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, return the saucepan to the heat, and continue whisking slowly until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Once the custard has thickened, take the saucepan off the heat, and whisk in the butter.
- Pour the custard onto a plate and and cover with clingfilm, with the clingfilm directly touching the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Leave to cool completely.
To make the almond cream
- Using a stand mixer, beat all of the ingredients together until you have a thick paste.
- Once the crème pâtissière has completely cooled, mix it together with the almond cream. This forms the frangipane filling.
- Place a sheet of puff pastry onto a large sheet of baking paper.
- Using a plate or a cake tin as a guide, cut the puff pastry into a large circle, about 23-26 cm in diameter.
- Gently prick the puff pastry with a fork, but leave a good 2cm (1 inch) border.
- Spread the frangipane filling over the puff pastry, but within the border.
- Hide the fève in the frangipane filling towards the edge (it is better hidden towards the edge than towards the centre).
- Brush the border with some egg wash.
- Cut a second sheet of puff pastry to the same size as the base.
- Carefully cover the frangipane with the second sheet of puff pastry. You may need to stretch it a little as you press the edges together.
- Seal the edges however you like – the easiest way is to simply press down with the tines of a fork. I like to use a small paring knife to make small incisions every 2cm (1 inch).
- Place the galette into the fridge for about 30 minutes to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), and place a metal baking tray in the oven.
- Brush the top of the galette with some egg wash.
- If you like, you can create a decorative pattern on top of the galette by using a sharp knife to score the pastry (but make sure you do not cut into the pastry the whole way).
- Place the galette on a sheet of baking paper and onto the hot metal baking tray.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, or until it is golden and crisp.
- Serve the Galette des Rois at room temperature.
- Whoever finds the fève in their slice of Galette des Rois is crowned King or Queen!
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: Serves 4 to 8
- Calories: 638
- Sugar: 18g
- Sodium: 192.9mg
- Fat: 43.4g
- Carbohydrates: 49.3g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Protein: 12.9g
- Cholesterol: 82.5mg
This recipe was first published on 5 January 2018. It has been updated with new photos and more comprehensive recipe notes.