The French King Cake (La Galette des Rois) is traditionally eaten on Epiphany in France and all through carnival season in New Orleans. An sweet almond cream filling hides a little porcelain figure or king cake baby surprise in a flaky puff pastry shell. This is my first Mardi Gras away from home, so I'm bringing a bit of the Big Easy to college. They can be expensive and hard to find, especially outside of Louisiana, so here's how to celebrate Mardi Gras season wherever you are with a festive French King Cake.

French King Cake

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:1 hr 20 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 50 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Medium

    Ingredients

  • 100 g superfine sugar
  • 4 oz butter
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 2 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package puff pastry sheets
  • maple syrup or honey
  • one dry bean or king cake baby optional
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Luke Pottenger
  • Step 1

    While your puff pastry is coming to room temperature, add in your butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 2

    Mix in the vanilla extract.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 3

    Crack in 1 egg and mix.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 4

    Dump in half almond flour and mix. Repeat steps 3 and 4.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 5

    Unfold your puff pastry and lay flat on a clean surface. Cut a circle shape with a knife. If you want a perfect circle (but it doesn't need to be), you can trace your knife around a large bowl. Repeat with the other puff pastry sheet and set one aside.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 6

    Put a sheet of parchment paper or silpat on a cookie sheet and lay down your first puff pastry circle. Spoon the almond cream onto the center of the circle leaving 1-2 inches of space around the edges.

    milk, dough, cream, pastry, sweet, dairy product, flour, bread
    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 7

    Mix the egg yolk with 2 tbsp of water and brush or spoon around the edges to ensure a good seal with the top layer of puff pastry.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 8

    If you plan on going full out festive, you can add the dry bean or king cake baby here. Make sure to place it closer to the edge in the cream to make the cake easier to slice later.

    milk, cream, sweet, dairy product, flour, bread
    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 9

    Place the second circle on top of the almond cream and smooth it over the mixture removing any air pockets. Press the edges together again making sure to prevent any air pockets.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 10

    Pick up and fold the edges underneath for extra filling insurance.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 11

    Poke holes around the very edges of the puff pastry careful not puncture the filling. Take the egg yolk wash and thinly coat over the top of the puff pastry for a golden brown crust.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 12

    Take your knife and gently draw any design of your choice on the king cake making sure not to slice all the way through and exposing the filling. Be creative!

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 13

    Put the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 355℉. Bake for 20 minutes. Drop the temperature to 320℉ and bake for 20 minutes. Lastly, drop to 295℉ and bake for 40 minutes.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 14

    Take the cake out of the oven. While its cooling, drizzle and spread the top with honey to give a sweet glaze finish.

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    Luke Pottenger
  • Step 15

    Slice it up and whoever gets the baby is king for the day. Give them a crown and cover them in Mardi Gras jewels. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

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    Luke Pottenger