Cakes & CookiesChristmas & HolidayJulie WhitmarshProvencal RecipesTaste

Celebrating the Epiphany with Cake Brioche des Rois

The Epiphany in France is an excellent opportunity to make (and eat) cake. Although not just any cake, the day is traditionally celebrated with either a Galette or a Brioche Des Rois, recognising the 12th day of Christmas, when the three Magi arrived to offer gifts to the newborn baby.

It’s a tradition that dates back centuries, with well-recognised rituals that come with eating the scented and delicious cakes. I say cakes, as there are two different types,

Firstly, the Galette des Rois, based on the Pithiviers cake, formed of flat, golden discs of light and flaky puff pastry filled with an almond-scented frangipane filling. A decadent and delicious patisserie.

The second, and seems to be much more of a tradition here in Provence, is the ‘Brioche des Rois’, a rich, buttery, brioche hoop, scented with orange-flower water studded with pieces of the local fruits confits.

Although you can find both variations in Provence, the Galette Provençale or Brioche des Rois is more traditional in the region.

Galette Provençale - Christmas Cake
Shaped like a wreath and decorated with dried fruit, the galette Provençale is a seasonal favourite. This recipe takes a bit of time, but like all holiday baking, the result is delicious and well worth the wait.
Check out this recipe
Galette Provençale a Traditional Holiday Recipe

This religious feast is celebrated on January 6th, but Epiphany is not a holiday. It can be celebrated on the second Sunday after Christmas. The French celebrate Epiphany throughout January. Throughout this period, magnificent Galettes des Rois adorn the windows of bakeries and pastries to the delight of young and old.

Cette fête est une fête religieuse. Elle est célébrée le 6 janvier. L’Epiphanie n’est pas un jour férié. Elle peut se fêter le deuxième dimanche après Noël. En réalité, les Français célèbrent l’Epiphanie tout au long du mois de janvier. Pendant toute cette période, de magnifiques galettes des rois ornent les vitrines des boulangeries et pâtisseries pour le grand plaisir des petits et des grands.

Made with puff pastry and filled with frangipane, the Galette des Rois is a crowd pleaser and easy to make.

Galette des Rois
A classic Christmas cake made from puff pastry, filled with frangipane and a small treasure or feve hidden inside.
Check out this recipe
Galette des Rois Kings Cake Provence @CocoaandLavender

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Julie Whitmarsh

Julie Whitmarsh

Julie and her husband Andy started visiting the Vaucluse area 25 years ago & over the years have increased the amount of time they spend there with their growing family. She has a deep affection for the area, finding it is a great place to visit, where the whole family can relax and enjoy time together.

She longs for the day when she can ‘up-sticks’ from her home on Dartmoor & relocate to the Luberon and spend her days cycling, walking, visiting markets & brocante fairs and of course enjoying the local food and drink.

Her blog VaucluseDreamer gives her a space to highlight some of her favourite things about the area from places to visit to particular activities that she and her family all enjoy.

She hopes one day it will be a place where she can share the process of renovating a house in France, but at the moment that will have to wait.

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