Home > Reyes > Roscón de Reyes (Wise Men Cake)
06 Jan

Roscón de Reyes (Wise Men Cake)

Posted by 23 comments

I am not sure if this tradition is so famous everywhere. I certainly know there are other countries beside Spain which also celebrate this holiday. Anyway, today is Día de Reyes in Spain. Yesterday’s eve (5th January) the Reyes Magos (aka Wise Men) make all their way to Spain by camels. These Wise Men go first to offer their gifts to Jesus Christ Baby. Afterwards, they visit every house in the world in give every child a gift.

The night Wise Men are coming to spanish houses, every family leave for these men and their camels something so they can rest and enjoy a little bit. I used to leave lettuce leaves and a bucket of fresh water for camels. My parents told me Wise Men like champaigne and turrones (spanish christmas sweets).

But what we really always have done on the 5th january in my family is one of the best traditions ever: Eating Roscón de Reyes all together. Roscón de Reyes is a brioche – like pastry aromatized with orange blossom water and covered with almonds, sugar and iced fruits.

I love Roscón de Reyes. One of my favourite pastries ever. The smell of orange blossom water… ohhh. It’s usually filled cream or chocolate cream as a sandwich for a meal between lunch and dinner in Spain. Bear in mind that in Spain lunch is at 2 pm and dinner at 9 pm. So around 5 pm is when meet with your family and eat this delicious treat. With milk, drinking chocolate… whatever. It’s lovely.

I just posted these pictures in my spanish blog. I was intending to take some more pictures to the rest of Roscones I just baked today, but I didn’t want to delay this entry.

The recipe of Roscón de Reyes is from a blogger friend of mine. It always gives great results.

Have a happy day!!!

Update: Roscón de Reyes Recipe

Adapted from Albahaca y Canela

Ingredients for 2 roscones (1 big and 1 medium size)

– 650 g strong flour
– 250 ml milk room temperature
– 25-30 g fresh yeast (in cubes) equals to a packet of instant yeast
– 120 g sugar
– 120 g butter room temperature
– 2 eggs and one egg yolk
– 1 tsp salt
– 3 tbsp orange blossom water
– 3 tbsp rum (optional)
– Grated peel of an orange and a lemon

For garnish:

– Candied fruits to taste. I always put only candied orange (I candy oranges always this way), as I don’t like other candied fruits.

– Sliced almonds to taste.

– Sugar and water mixed (3 tbsp sugar + 1 tbsp water, don’t mix them until it’s time to garnish).

– 1 beaten egg to brush.

* We also put a surprise inside the roscon. It uses to be an oven proof piece treat, for example, a porcelain shaped wise man. My thing is that I always forget to buy it before baking, so I never put it in… The tradition says that whoever finds it, will pay roscón. Anyway, nobody is going to pay mine ;) Traditionally, it was a dried legume instead a porcelain piece. For instance, a big bean. Last time I improvised putting a bean and everybody in my family were worried thinking the finder will break their tooth… So I don’t improvise anymore.


0. Starter dough: Put half of the milk with two tbsp of the flour and yeast. Mix them altogether and cover it during an hour. It double its volume.

0. Aromatize sugar with orange and lemon peels. Mix with your hans both peels with sugar. You will see how sugar gets colored and citrus aromatized.

0. Mix rest of the flour and salt.

1. Put in a bowl of a stand mixer sugar, eggs and mix them. Add in orange blossom water and rum.

2. Add in the starter dough, milk and rest of the flour.

3. Last ingredient to add: butter. Always has to be the last addition. The dough will get a bit sticky, but that’s gives the lovely moisture to roscón.

4. When all is completely mixed, knead the dough for 10 minutes.

5. Make a bowl and cover with a kitchen cloth for 2 hours. It will double its volume.

6. Knead a little bit again and divide dough in two parts: one bigger and one smaller.

7. Shape them like doughnuts but make the hole much bigger and thinner sides. It should look like a hawaian flower necklace. People form the dough either on a rectangle or a circle (according to your taste and available plates at home ;)).

8. Brush the dough with egg for the first time. Leave it to rest another hour covered with a kitchen cloth (I put something higher than the dough in the middle so egg brush doesn’t stick to the cloth.

9. Start preheating the oven at 350ºF degrees / 200ºC degrees.

9. Brush it again with egg and garnish it, how:

Put candied fruits, and sparkle sliced almonds and sugar+water mix. The sugar+water mix should be like small rocks. I brush a little bit once again.

10. Put it in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes until it’s slightly golden (if it’s too golden, it’s almost burnt, oven light can be a bit tricky). I also open the oven 5 minutes before the baking end and brush once more again. The reason why I brush for a third time is because dough increases its volumen again within the oven and some parts look like “broken dough” without any egg wash. I think it looks better this way.

11. Leave it in a cooler tray.

Serve it with whipped cream or chocolate whipped cream.

Roscones last around 3 days or so with a nice texture. Just be careful and cover them well while you’re not eating it ;)

Whipped Cream ingredients:

250 ml whipping cream (35% fat at least)

3 tbsp of icing sugar

Whip cream and sugar until it forms peaks.

Chocolate whipped cream ingredients:

250 ml whipping cream (35% fat at least)

4 tbsp of icing sugar

2 tbsp cocoa podwer

Mix them and whip them until cream form peaks.

Categories: Reyes
  1. Granny
    January 6th, 2012 at 23:56 | #1

    That looks so good and I love to bake bread, so I was hoping for the recipe . . . .

  2. January 7th, 2012 at 00:12 | #2

    Could you post a link to your friend’s blog with the recipe. I just made a Three Kings Cake today for the first time and I’d like to see what other versions are out there. Your Roscon is gorgeous!

  3. January 7th, 2012 at 01:10 | #3

    That’s a lovely tradition. This cake is a winner. It looks amazingly delicious.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Ana
    January 7th, 2012 at 01:56 | #4

    Thanks for your comment! I’m glad you like roscón.
    I updated this entry with the recipe ;) I hope you like it! Let me know how comes out if you do it :)

  5. Ana
    January 7th, 2012 at 01:59 | #5

    Gracias for your comment!
    Wow! I want to see your roscón! Did you like it? Have you tried it before?
    I hope you like the recipe, I follow this recipe every year, I love it.

  6. Ana
    January 7th, 2012 at 02:00 | #6

    @Simply Tia
    Tia, gracias a lot!! I’m happy you like it :)
    Have a fantastic weekend you too!!

  7. Tt in nyc
    January 8th, 2012 at 05:28 | #7

    Hola! Im so glad to have found your blog and i love that i now know more about this holiday! I am soooo in love with spain and hoping to find work and move to barcelona (im a fashion designer, offers seem hard to come by) but i have been to madrid a few times- very fond memories of tortilla since im vegetarian i ate a bunch of them traveling! Planning to use your instructions to make one sunday :)

  8. Ana
    January 8th, 2012 at 15:56 | #8

    @Tt in nyc
    Hola Tt!! Glad to have you here too!! I hope your tortilla de patata comes out fantastic!

    Good luck with your job search in Spain!!

  9. January 8th, 2012 at 23:30 | #9

    Ana! No conocia tu blog, que gran descubrimiento :)
    Me parece genial todas las recetas que podido cotillear (me quedare un ratito mas por aqui!).
    El roscon te ha quedado con una pinta estupenda, yo es el primer año que lo preparo y quizas lo que mas recelos me da, es el ron que tu le has puesto (bien marcado que era opcional!) pero seguro que te quedo delicioso.
    Te siguiré a partir de ahora jiji, un beso!

    • Ana
      January 9th, 2012 at 13:05 | #10

      ¡Hola Cristina! Me alegro mucho de que te guste el blog :) La verdad es que hasta este año nunca me había lanzado poniendo ron, pero vale la pena :) Muchas gracias por tu comentario ¡Un beso!

  10. January 9th, 2012 at 05:28 | #11

    Your roscón looks beautiful! I love the little shaped orange peels — such a clever touch! I made a rosca for the very first time this year — it was quite the adventure but in the end it was AMAZING.

    • Ana
      January 9th, 2012 at 13:10 | #12

      Hola Yvette!
      Thanks a lot! I’m happy you like it! Shaped orange peels have been a succes these christmas :) I didn’t know what a rosca was until now that I’ve been seen it in your blog, interesting and very nice looking! I’d love to try it!

  11. January 10th, 2012 at 15:45 | #13

    so pretty! love the way they look!

    • Ana
      January 11th, 2012 at 00:46 | #14

      Thanks a lot, Michelle!!

  12. January 13th, 2012 at 15:16 | #15

    I just got around to posting the Rocsa I made for Three Kings Day on my blog here. I used the recipe from King Arthur Flour as you didn’t have yours up at the time. I can’t wait to give yours a try though. The Whipped cream filling looks like a wonderful addition!

    • Ana
      January 16th, 2012 at 11:38 | #16

      Thanks for the link!! I will comment you right away!!
      Let me know if you try this version! It’ll be nice to know if you like it.
      And, I confirm you whipped cream is addictive, highly addictive ;)

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