Top 10 of the most impressive King Cake in the world

king-cake-selection-world

If you missed our article about the history and traditions around the King Cake, catch up here! We give you precious informations about this popular tradition.

In this article, we collected 10 (according to us) incredible King Cake! Then, open your eyes right now!

1. La galette des rois

king-cake-french

Country: France | Date:from  January 6th to the end of the month

La galette des rois celebrates Epiphany. Tradition affirms that the cake is to “draw the kings” to Epiphany. A figurine (la fève) is hidden in the king cake and the first who finds it becomes the king or the queen. Usually, the youngest person goes under the table and name the recipient of the share which is indicated by the person in charge of the service. Anecdotic fact: the president is not allowed to designate a king because of his fonctions. Therefore, a traditional galette without figurine or crown is served at Elysee Palace in January. In northern France, the galette des rois consists in flaky puff pastry layers with a dense center of frangipane, chocolate or also apple. In the west of France, a sablé galette is made, a form of sweetcrust pastry. Finally, in southern France, it is a brioche with candied fruits and sugar, full colored and it looks like a crown.

2. Vasilopita

Vasilopita-king cake-greece
Country: Greece | Date: on January 1st at midnight
Saint Basil’s Feast Day is observed on January 1, the beginning of the New Year and the Epiphany season known as the Vasilopita Observance. Nonetheless, in popular tradition, vasilopita is associated with a legend of Saint Basil. According to one story, St. Basil called on the citizens of Caesarea to raise a ransom payment to stop the siege of the city. Each member of the city gave whatever they had in gold and jewellery. When the ransom was raised, the enemy was so embarrassed by the act of collective giving that he called off the siege without collecting payment. St. Basil was then tasked with returning the unpaid ransom, but had no way to know which items belonged to which family. So he baked all of the jewellery into loaves of bread and distributed the loaves to the city, and by a miracle each citizen received their exact share, the legend goes.
On New Year’s Day, families cut the vasilopita to bless the house and bring good luck for the new year. A coin is hidden in the bread by slipping it into the dough before baking. At midnigt the sign of cross is etched with a knife across the cake.

3. The Traditional King Cake

king-cake-fat-tuesdayCountry: United States (Southeastern regions) | Date: January and February
King Cake is eaten during Carnival before Fat Tuesday and a baby trinket is putted inside. The most simple cake is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll style dough topped with icing or sugar. They can have additionnal foodstuffs as cream cheese, praline, cinnamon or strawberry. Some bakers sell King cake for another occasions like Christmas, Valentine’s Day or St Patrick.

4. Bolo Rei

king cake-bolo-reiCountry: Portugal | Date: from December 25th until Epiphany
The recipe is from France since 19th century when the National Confederation (Confeitaria Nacional) opened an official bakery in 1829. Therefore the Confeitaria introduced the recipe. The bolo rei is baked from a soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts, and crystallized fruit. Also included is the characteristic dried fava bean, and tradition dictates that whoever finds the fava has to pay for the bolo rei next year. Take your wallets guys! A small prize (usually a small metal toy) was also included within the cake. The inclusion of the prize has been discontinued since mid-90s, due to potential choking hazards.

5. Rosca de Reyes or Roscon de Reyes

king cake-rosca-de-reyesCountry: Mexico and Spanish-speaking countries | Date: January 6th
Rosca de Reyes is also called tortell in Catalonia. The shape is oval. The tradition to put a trinket is very old. The baby Jesus symbolizes the flight of the Hole Family, fleeing from the King Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents. The person who finds the figurine has to bring it to the nearest church on February 2. In Mexcian culture, person is hosting guests for a dinner and providing tamales and atoles. For decoration, figs, quinces, cherries or dried and candied fruits are used.

6. Dreikönigskuchen in Switzerland

king-cake-DreikönigskuchenCountry:Switzerland | Date:  January
The custom of the bean king was revived in Switzerland after the Second World War by the bread researcher Max During. The corresponding Epiphany Cake is now spread across the country and enjoys great popularity. Dough is formed into balls arranged flower shape and sprinkled with almonds and coarse sugar.

7. Pongal

pongal-india-epiphanyCountry: India | Date: from January 13th to 16th
In India, people don’t eat the traditional king cake but rather pongal, a popular rice dish and the Tamil cuisine of Sri Lanka. It is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Tamil people. Pongal is made from rice and milk including cardamom, jaggery (unrefined indian sugar), raisins, Green gram (split) and cashew nuts. This special dish is usually prepared in sunlight dedicated to the Sun God, “Surya”. People cook pongal in a clay pot which is decorated with coloured patterns called “kolam”. The rice is served on banana leaves.

8. Pitka or Pita

king cake-pitka-roumania-bulgariaCountry: Bulgaria and Roumania | Date: night before Christmas Eve
It is a round bread loaf with flavours sometimes in addition. On the night before Christmas Eve, each housewife prepares a pitka (or pita) and decorates it with symbols to bring fertility  to the cattle and a rich harvest from the fields, as well as prosperity to each member of the household. A coin is hidden on it and the one whoever finds will become the wealthiest and healthiest of the family.

9. La galette

king-cake-galette-guyanaCountry: Guyana | Date: January 6th
La galette (filled with coconut or goyava cream or frangipane),is savored during Carnival : from Epiphany to Ash Wednesday (day after Fat Tuesday) and often served with Champagne.

10. Discover the most original king cakes

If you like original flavours, visit this website who gives you the best recipes of the world famous king cakes.

Wherever you are located, if you desire to share with us your King cakes, post your pictures on our Instagram and Twitter!

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