La Galette des Rois

Between all of the feasting and merrymaking of the holidays, we are practically guaranteed a month of culinary indulgence. But now that the Bûche de Noël and bubbly have been have polished off, it may feel like the fun’s over. Don’t put away your appetite yet, the Kings’ Cake has arrived! And it was worth the wait.

The Kings’ Cake, or Galette des Rois, originated in France in the 12th century. A traditional accompaniment to the Feast of the Epiphany, which fêtes the arrival of the Three Wise Men twelve days after Christmas, the Kings’ Cake is enjoyed in many countries around the world.

Buttery layers of puff pastry encase a layer of rich frangipane, making it a perfectly delicious treat. Per tradition, a fève – a fava bean, pea or porcelain trinket – is baked at the center. The person whose slice contains the fève is declared King (or Queen!) for the day, and is believed to have good luck in the year ahead.

kings cake

Tirer Les Rois

Taking part in this tradition is just as exciting as eating the cake itself. Participants gather around the table, “pour tirer les rois,” or to find the kings. The cake is sliced, and the youngest in the room ducks beneath the table to direct which slice goes to whom, as it is said the youngest (and therefore, most innocent) is most fit to divide the slices in a fair manner. Of course, this is very important considering there will only be one lucky recipient of the fève!

Take Part in the Tradition

At Le Pain Quotidien, our Kings’ Cake is baked with a chocolate-covered almond in the center, and comes with a porcelain souvenir and a gold paper crown for you to celebrate properly!

Pick up your Kings’ Cake and take part in this age-old tradition with friends and family. Be sure to check #LPQKingsCake on Instagram to see others taking part in the fun and post your own photos!

So tell us, what would you do as King or Queen of the day?

kings cake

Porcelain trinkets and paper crown from LPQ’s Kings’ Cake