The Day of Kings (el Dia de Reyes), or Epiphany, is celebrated on January 6 to commemorate the day the magi arrived bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. The Day of the Kings is observed by Latin cultures with the making and eating of a rosca de reyes, a sweet yeast bread similar to Louisiana's King cake, with a hidden tiny plastic baby (or a dried bean), representing the baby Jesus, inside. If you get the slice with the "baby", you will have good luck all year. The Solo filling is generally found in the supermarket near the pie fillings. From the Texas Monthly magazine. Prep time includes rising time.
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 1⁄2 cup warm water
- 1 cup milk, warm
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter or 1 cup Crisco, melted
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs, beaten
- 6 cups flour (may need up to 8 cups)
- 1 (12 ounce) cansolo almond filling (Substitute Danish - Almond Filling, marzipan or the jam of your choice if you can't find the Solo Almond Filli)
- 2 dried beans (for the babies)
- colored sugar sprinkle (optional) or candied fruit (optional)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
- Combine yeast and water in a small bowl, stirring until dissolved, and set aside until yeast is proofed.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the milk, sugar, and butter, stirring until dissolved.
- Add the salt, eggs, and yeast mixture and blend thoroughly.
- Beat in 3 cups of flour to make a smooth batter Add additional flour to make a soft dough (dough will be very sticky).
- Turn out onto a floured board and knead approximately 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed.
- Dough may be made with a standing mixer and dough hook.
- Round into a ball and place in a warm buttered bowl, turning to lightly coat top with some of the butter.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
- Punch down the dough and divide in half.
- To prepare rings, divide dough in half and flatten into a long oval.
- Spread 1/2 can of Solo almond filling on each oval, place one bean into each oval, and roll each piece into a rope.
- Join ends together leaving large oval hole in the middle.
- Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
- While the bread is rising, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake rings for 30 minutes in the preheated oven or until golden brown and sound hollow when thumped.
- Remove and let loaves cool on wire racks.
- Icing: Mix all the icing ingredients together until fluffy and well blended.
- To serve, frost cooled loaves with icing.
- Decorate with different colored sugars or candied fruit.
If you are interested in delicious sweet breads, this is for you. I mixed up the dough in the bread machine, using about 4 cups of flour for one cake. I misread the recipe and used most of a can of apple pie filling (instead of just half). I sprinkled the cake with turbinado sugar, and it is beautiful! Chunks disappeared overnight! Out of curiosity, I did google this. I learned that the bakery that provided the recipe is a Mexican family bakery, and it makes this cake with four fillings. Other recipes suggest kneading in the candied fruit, rather than leaving it on the top, or using a filling much as is suggested here. Still others insisted that only candied cactus be used. The recipe is part of the heritage of Spain and the rest of Latin America, not just Mexico. That's a pretty large territory, and I suspect that what is "traditional" is going to be different from place to place.
I have never made a King Cake before but have had plenty in my day. I really love the addition of the almond filling and living in TX, I didn't have a problem finding it. The cakes rose beautifully and since the recipe makes 2 cakes, I was able to share one with neighbors. After frosting, I sprinkled them with the traditional yellow, green and purple colored sugars. The only thing I would suggest is to lightly grease an empty can and place in the center of the ring to ensure the integrity of the circle. This will become my traditional Mardi Gras cakes. Thanks for posting!
Hello Molly53; I do not know what was meant by this not being a "traditional recipe" by one of the reviewers. This is totally irrelevant and the recipe as is, is fantastic, traditional, new, or whatever. You should be proud that you submitted such a tasty recipe. It is too bad that the ratings don't go higher than #5 as this recipe of yours deserves a much, much higher rating. I have never made a sweet yeast bread such as this one. The dough rose so well on the first rise and after I punched it down and rolled each segment of dough out, placed the filling, rolled it up, twisted into a rope like shape, joined the ends, placed it on a baking sheet, covered the dough and let it rise again. WOW, it rose so big. Baked it at 350 F for 30 minutes, let cool for about 10 minutes and then I spread the lovely icing over the entire top, sprinkled the top with colored sugar sprinkles, and then just had to cut a piece to try. The inside was so soft and the outside had a very slight crust to it. Oh My, was this every tasty. I could not find any solon Almond Filling, so I used Marzipan instead, JUST GREAT. I will make this recipe again when we have company as I am sure that they never had anything as tasty as this marvelous Bread/Cake. Thank you so much for sharing and continue with more great recipes. "Uncle Bill"