Galette des Rois

published Dec 17, 2022
Galette des Rois Recipe

An elegant dessert made of sweet almond pastry cream sandwiched between layers of flaky puff pastry.

Serves6 to 8

Prep25 minutes

Cook20 minutes to 25 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Overhead photo of sliced galette de rois. One slice is turned on its side to show the creamy almond filling inside
Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui; Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich

Celebration cakes come in all shapes and sizes, from towering rainbow-hued layers to plush pound cakes. But a Galette des Rois is a completely different kind of cake, made of sweet almond pastry cream sandwiched between layers of flaky puff pastry. (If you enjoy almond croissants, you will want to try a slice.) It’s a traditional French dessert that even a novice baker can make. Here’s how to bake a Galette des Rois at home.

Credit: Photo: Andrew Bui; Food Styling: Rebecca Jurkevich

What Is a Galette des Rois?

You may know king cakes as the colorfully frosted yeast cakes served in New Orleans, but Galette des Rois is a traditional French dessert by the same name. This king cake is made of puff pastry and almond pastry cream.

Galette des Rois looks elegant and impressive, but it is incredibly simple to make. Spread a thin layer of apricot jam on a round of store-bought puff pastry dough, then top with almond pastry cream (frangipane). Cover with a second round of puff pastry, then score the dough in a decorative pattern, and bake.

Before serving, hide a fève, often a whole almond, toy baby, or a small trinket, inside the cake. The person served the fève is named King or Queen for the day.

What Does a Galette des Rois Celebrate?

Galette des Rois is traditionally served on Epiphany (January 6) in celebration the Three Kings’ visit to Jesus. This holiday kicks off the Carnival season that ends 40 days later with Mardi Gras and the beginning of Lent.

A Few Tips for Making Galette Des Rois

  • Use all-butter puff pastry. Use store-bought puff pastry for the top and bottom of the cake. An all-butter puff pastry, such as those from Dufour or Trader Joe’s, gives the cake its buttery flavor in each flaky bite.
  • Puff pastry must remain cold. Pastry layers get their signature puff when the steam within the paper-thin layers of dough evaporates, resulting in light and flaky layers. This same effect will not occur if the dough is too warm.
  • Keep egg wash away from the edges. Egg wash acts as glue to secure the two layers of pastry together, but it can also suture the cut side of the pastry closed. If any egg wash trickles over the edge, simply cut that portion away with a sharp knife to restore the exposed edge.
  • Make frangipane in advance. Frangipane is a fancy word, but it is incredibly easy to make in advance. Let the refrigerated almond pastry cream sit out for 15 to 20 minutes, or until it is easy to spread.

Galette des Rois Recipe

An elegant dessert made of sweet almond pastry cream sandwiched between layers of flaky puff pastry.

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Serves 6 to 8

Nutritional Info


  • 1 (14- to 18-ounce) box

    frozen all-butter puff pastry, such as Dufour or Trader Joe’s

  • 6 tablespoons

    (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 1/2 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 3

    large eggs, divided

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    almond extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 1/4 cups

    almond flour or meal

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1/4 cup

    apricot preserves

  • 1

    whole almond (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon

    powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon

    hot water


  1. Thaw 1 box frozen puff pastry according to package directions if needed and keep cold in the refrigerator. Cut 6 tablespoons unsalted butter into 3 pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened.

  2. If the puff pastry comes in 2 sheets, flour a piece of parchment paper well and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Unfold or unroll 1 sheet of the puff pastry onto the parchment. Use a 9-inch cake pan or cardboard round as a guide to to cut the pastry into a 9-inch round; discard the scraps. Place in the refrigerator. Repeat cutting out a second 9-inch round from the remaining sheet of puff pastry on a second sheet of parchment, then stack on top of the first round (still on the parchment) in the refrigerator.

  3. If puff pastry comes in a single sheet, roll it out on a floured surface a 9 1/2x19-inch rectangle. Use a 9-inch cake pan or cardboard round as a guide to cut out 2 (9-inch) rounds; discard the scraps. Place each round on a sheet of parchment paper, then stack onto a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate.

  4. Make the frangipane: Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar to the bowl of softened butter. Beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a flexible spatula. With the mixer on low, add 2 of the large eggs one at a time, waiting until the first is completely incorporated before adding the second.

  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Beat on medium speed until just combined, about 1 minute (it will look curdled).

  6. Add 1 1/4 cups almond flour and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Use the spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and finish folding in the flour until combined and smooth.

  7. Place 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until combined to make the egg wash.

  8. Keep one pastry round in the refrigerator, and place the second round (on the baking sheet) on the counter. Brush a 1-inch border around the round with the egg wash, making sure to avoid the cut edges of the pastry. (Egg wash will glue the layers of cut puff pastry together preventing them from puffing and separating into crispy layers).

  9. Spoon 1/4 cup apricot preserves into the center of the pastry and use an offset spatula to spread into an even layer, stopping when you get to the egg wash border. Top with the frangipane and spread with the offset spatula into an even layer, again leaving the border clear. Tuck whole 1 almond (this is the “baby”) into the frangipane, if using.

  10. Top with the second round of puff pastry. Press the edges of the pastry layers together, making sure no filling escapes. If desired, crimp the edges into a scalloped pattern using your fingers and the back of a butter knife. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash, again avoiding the cut edges of the puff pastry.

  11. Use the back, blunt end of a paring knife to lightly score the top of the puff pastry into a chevron or sunburst pattern, being careful not to cut completely through the dough. Cut 4 to 6 (1/2-inch) slits in the top of the pastry to act as vents to allow steam to escape.

  12. Freeze on the baking sheet for 15 minutes or refrigerate for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.

  13. Bake until the galette is puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. If the pastry is browning too quickly after 20 minutes, loosely cover with aluminum foil. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon hot water in a small bowl and stir until smooth.

  14. Transfer the galette to a wire rack. Brush with the glaze. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing with a chef’s knife, the galette may deflate slightly as it cools. Serve warm or at room temperature, remembering that there is a whole almond hidden in the filling.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Galette des Rois is best eaten the day it is baked. Cover leftovers loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Make ahead: The frangipane can be made up to 1 week ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Let sit out at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before spreading it onto the pastry.