Gâteau des Rois | Kings Cake and Paper Crowns

7 January 2016



Happy New Year!  We’re back from the holidays and I’m so happy to meet you here.  I’m hoping you’ve had a wonderful holiday season! Ours has been wonderful and the feeling is still in the air.

In Sweden, January 6th is a National Holiday called “trettondeknut. For us, and I’ve learned, for others, too,  around the world, this is the day that we celebrate Kings Day; while other’s celebrate Kings Day on Epithany Sunday this coming weekend. (And then, some years we celebrate twice.)

Since it was also the last day of the kids holiday break, we woke up to sun on a shimmering of snow, the morning was just magical filled with this buttery, cinnamon scent of the baking cake. I have another reason that I love this day: this is a project that my husband and kids make.  My husband treats us every year with  his mother’s recipe from southern France and this yearly celebration. The kids make paper crowns.

Join us below for our recipe and how to make your own simple paper crown.


Gateau des rois | King’s Cake Recipe:
This recipe is the more traditional southern, French, brioche version. The recipe is made in two parts.
You start the recipe at night and complete it in the next morning.

Ingredients for evening before:

1 cup luke warm milk

1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup luke warm water
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup softened butter
Ingredients morning 
– 1/4 cup softened butter
– 3/4 cup sugar
– cinnamon
– seedless raisins*
– dried fruit*
– 1 beaten egg
Evening – blend the yeast in the water
– mix together sugar, salt, milk. Add 1 cup of flour and the yeast.
– add another 2 cups of flour and beat in a bowl until smooth
– mix in 2 beaten eggs and the butter
– add the rest of the flour and knead the dough until smooth
– let the dough rest 5-10 minutes
– put the dough in a large bowl, cover it with ceran wrap and let it rest in the fridge over night.
Morning after: – divide the dough in two
– flatten into two rectangles
– mix together butter, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and dried fruit
– spread butter mix on the dough
– roll the dough, hide the “king*” and put the ends together to form a circle (you will have 2 brioches)
– put the dough on baking sheet, spread the beaten egg on the surface of the dough with a kitchen brush. Add some sugar.
– Bake in oven at temperature of 180 C (350 F) for 20-25 minutes
Let cool slightly and it’s time to serve.
Top the cake with a crown. In the case of this recipe, we prepare two cakes so you will need 2 crowns.
*The King is a porcelain figure that you can purchase in France. If you don’t have a bakers safe figurine, we’ve used an almond.
How to Make a Paper Crown:
Cut one long strip of paper that will reach around a head.
If your paper isn’t long enough, tape the pieces together to lengthen.
– Fold the crown in an accordion fold
– Cut Crown shape
– Unfold
– Close the crown circle by adhering the ends together with tape.
-Place on top of the cake and celebrate!
The person who receives the “king” in their piece is the “King for the Day.”
We wish you all of the shimmer and luster of the season!

Willowday Wishes

If you’re looking for more projects to make,  | HERE |  or items from the kitchen | HERE | 

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