King's Day Cake - Rosca de Reyes

The person who gets the trinket will have good luck for the New Year and gets to host a party on February 2, Candlemas, the end of the Mexican holiday season.


  • 20 grams pressed yeast
  • 4 tablespoons warm milk
  • 1/2 kilo flour
  • 3  eggs, whole
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 Tbsp.  orange flower water (agua de azahar)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 100 grams butter, softened
  • 50 grams almonds, skinned and slivered
  • Candied fruit, orange peel, etc. for decoration
  • Toy trinket, coin or bean to bake inside dough


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk with 1 tablespoon the sugar.

  2. Add 50 grams of the flour and mix to make soft dough.

  3. Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place until doubled in bulk.

  4. Put the remaining flour in a large bowl.

  5. Beat the eggs together with the egg yolk and pour into the flour with the salt, rum, orange flower water and the remaining sugar.

  6. Add the grated orange and lemon rind. Mix flour and liquid.

  7. Add the yeast dough and mix well until the dough is no longer sticky, adding flour as necessary.

  8. Divide the butter into 4 parts.

  9. Divide the dough into 4 parts. On a lightly floured board work a piece of butter into each of the pieces of dough, then knead them together.

  10. Knead the dough until very smooth and elastic.  Lightly butter a bowl.   Put the ball of dough into it, turn it to coat lightly with butter, then cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let set in a warm, draught-free place for an hour or more.

  11. Punch the dough down, turn out onto the board and knead again.

  12. Insert a trinket or coin or bean (no plastic objects that will melt) into the dough. Form the dough into one or two balls and flatten them slightly.

  13. Shape into rings by inserting a finger into the center and very gently easing the dough outward to create a hole in the center.

  14. Cover and set in a warm place to rise again.

  15. Beat the remaining egg white or a whole egg and brush the cake with it.   Sprinkle the almonds and pieces of candied fruit on top.  Sprinkle lightly with sugar and bake in a medium-hot oven until nicely browned, about 35 minutes. 



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