The Dreikönigskuchen, in englisch King Cake oder King’s Cake, in French Galette des Rois, in Spanish Roscón de Reyes, is a traditional cake to celebrate January 6th which is the Dreikoenigstag – the day of the three holy kings. This cake is not especially something typical German but it had been brought to Germany via France and Switzerland. One piece of the cake contains a bean or an almond and who finds the piece will be the king of the day.In the year of 1561 the German writer Johannes Böhm wrote about this cake the first time („Mores leges et ritus omnium gentium“) and mentioned to place the bean or the coin in the King’s cake.
Martin Lienharts dictionary from the Alsace mentions in 1572 „noch werden die bonen im königküchen auff die heyligen dreykönigtag gefunden“. It means that the bean will be found in the king’s cake that is made for the holy three kings day.
The tradition was known before the reformation. In an abbey of the city Düsseldorf the bean was substituted by a penny. (1607). Happy Baking.
½ cube fresh yeast or 1 package dry yeast
250 ml milk, warm
50 g butter
1 egg yolk
500 g flour, all purpose, unbleached
1 tbsp salt
5 tbsp sugar
80 g raisins
1 almond or 1 piece of chocolate
1 tbsp heavy cream or milk, or coffee cream
You can decorate the cake with coarse sugar or almonds.The person who finds the almond that is hidden in the cake will be the king of the day!