While Christmas and New Years may be over, Epiphany—the January 6 feast marking the Three Wise Men’s arrival—is right around the corner! No Epiphany celebration is complete without a traditional Kings’ Cake, and while you may be familiar with this buttery, frangipane-filled confection, you may not know the traditional way it is enjoyed. Read on to find out — then host a Kings’ Cake gathering of your own!

The Tradition

Kings’ Cakes traditionally have a fève – often a fava bean, pea or porcelain trinket – baked into their center (ours has a chocolate-covered almond, and comes with an additional porcelain trinket!). In a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, the person whose slice contains the fève is declared King (or Queen!) for the day, and is believed to have good fortune in the coming year.

The tradition of picking a king for a day was especially popular in France, where Kings’ Cake parties date back to the early 1300s! A small child would sit under the table, while the cake—also known as Galette des Rois—was sliced into as many pieces as there were guests. The cake cutter would then ask the child to whom each piece should go, and the child—being the most innocent guest, and thus the most fair allotter of the cake—would call out names of party guests until the cake was gone. The guest who becomes King then presides over festivities as guests bid the Christmas season adieu!

Host A Kings’ Cake Party

Hosting a modern day Kings’ Cake Party is easy – all you need is a delicious Kings’ Cake and guests.

Ready? Visit Le Pain Quotidien and pick up a freshly baked Kings’s Cake. Then, gather guests around the table and have your youngest guest sit under the table. Let the slicing begin! Per tradition, have the youngest guest assign each piece of cake to a partygoer. Dig in, find the fève and crown your ruler of the day!

If baking Christmas cookies has you wiped out, not to worry – we’ll be offering Kings’ Cakes in stores from December 26 all the way through January 11. Stop by to pick up a cake of your own, as well as a gold crown for your ruler for the day. Don’t forget to Instagram pictures of your celebration using the hashtag #LPQKingsCake!