Roscón de Reyes

January the 6th is a special day in Spain. Known as ‘El Dia de Reyes’ (Three Kings Day), this holiday commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus. Every child in Spain look forward to this holiday as traditionally, instead of receiving gifts from Santa Claus or Papa Noel, children receive them from the Reyes Magos.

In addition to the gift-giving aspect of the day, there is also a culinary treat that is specific to the holiday that makes this day so special. Known as ‘Roscón de Reyes’ (Three King’s Bread), this sweet bread is shaped into a round, and decorated to signify a king’s crown. It also holds a two special surprises: a small plastic or porcelaine favor, and dry bean. Whoever finds the figurine will have good luck and be the king of the party, while whoever finds the haba must pay for the roscon.

Instead of decorating the King’s bread in the traditional way, this year I have used some elastic icing (Sugar Veil) To attach the sugar laces to the breads, I just used some simple syrup. Enjoy!

Roscón de Reyes

Roscón de Reyes

{Three king’s bread}

Description: Ring-shaped sweet bread, traditionally eaten in Spain on January 6th, and the night before


    For the sponge

  • 70 g lukewarm milk
  • 10 g fresh yeast (or 1 sachet instant yeast, about 4 g)
  • 130 g strong wheat flour
  • 1 tsb sugar
  • For the rest of the recipe:

  • 120 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 60 g lukewarm milk
  • Grated rind of half lemon
  • Grated rind of half orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 15 g fresh yeast (or 1 sachet dry yeast, about 4 g)
  • 450 g strong wheat flour
  • 30 ml orange-flower water (optional)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 70 g butter at room temperature


  1. Start preparing the sponge. In a bowl dissolve 10 g fresh yeast into 70 ml milk, add 120 g of flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Knead and make a ball. Place the ball in a bowl and cover with lukewarm water. Let the ball rest until it floats and doubles its size, the time will depend on the type of yeast used and the house temperature, but it usually takes about 15 minutes.
  2. Then prepare the rest of the dough. Put the flour and yeast in a bowl and combine. Add the sugar and salt, eggs, grated rinds and milk into the bowl.
  3. Use a large spoon (or pastry scraper) to mix everything together.
  4. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead. You will feel the dough become elastic after kneading for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the butter and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is soft, pliable, and smooth.
  6. Put the dough into a bowl and cover with a cloth.
  7. Let the dough rise in a warm place until its size doubles (about 2 hours depending on the room temperature).
  8. Take the dough out of the bowl, deflate it by touching lightly.
  9. Cut the dough in two.
  10. Shape one piece of dough into a ball, and then making a hole in the middle, shape it into a ring
  11. Cover with a towel, and let it rest for about 2 hours, until it doubles size.
  12. Cut the other half of dough into 6 pieces (70-80 g each), and roll each of them into a ball.
  13. Place them on a round cake pan, forming a circle, leaving some space between them to rise (about 2 cm)
  14. Cover with a damp cloth and let them rest for another 2 hours, until the balls have doubled their size.
  15. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  16. Bake each roscón for about 18 minutes
  17. Let the sweet breads cool, and enjoy with hot chocolate!

Preparation time: 30 minute(s) plus resting time (about 4 hours)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): makes 2 sweet breads


  • The roscón de Reyes is traditionally served filled with sweetened whipped cream or custard.
  • To decorate my sweet breads I have used some elastic icing laces, made with Sugar Veil. To attach the lace to the sweet bread, I used some simple syrup (50 g sugar, 50 g water, boil for a couple of minutes and ready to use)
  • This sweet bread it is best eaten the same day. It can be kept in the fridge, inside a plastic bag, or in the freezer
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