Published On: January 6th, 2014
3.2 min read

King cake or “galette des rois”

A few weeks back we were treated to the most excellent sweet homemade pie baked up for Christmas to warm our tummies during our first-ever winter in Europe … yeah, that’s pretty dang good.

But it gets better. You see, we were couch surfing in beautiful Lyon with possibly the city’s three nicest residents, Raphaël and his housemates Julia and Mathieu.

And it turns out this scrummy almond pie is an annual tradition in France to celebrate Epiphany on January 6, so it’s baked with a special present hidden inside. Delicious and fun!

Of course, king cake isn’t normally vegan but the lovely Julia and Mathieu went out of their way to customise the recipe just for us … and you guys. So kind!

And then for the game. Tradition has it that the youngest in the group must climb under the table and pick which person is given each piece. The lucky one who finds the special surprise hidden inside (for us, this was an almond) is crowned king or queen and gets to choose their companion.

Julia, being the youngest, jumped under the table …

Julia under the table

Selected a delicious piece of pie for us all ..

King cake or “galette des rois”

And quite randomly ended up picking her boyfriend, Mathieu, as the guy who took the winning piece. King crowned.Mathieu is crowned king

And guess who he picked as his companion?

Julia is crowned queen

So cute! This is basically the funnest pie we have ever eaten and incredibly tasty to boot.

Wanna know how to make it?

Epiphany pie

What goes in:

Filo pastry sheets – enough for the base and crust

100 grams of crushed almonds
50 grams of vegan butter
50 grams of sugar
A few drops of almond extract
A dash of soy milk or other vegetable-based milk

The surprise:
1 almond
1 crown

How you do it:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Mix the almond filling then hide an entire almond (or any other small, funny surprise that will survive baking in the oven) inside the mix.

Line a 30cm cake or pie tin with baking paper then lay a filo pastry base covering the bottom and sides. Smooth the almond mix evenly across the base.

Lay more sheets of filo across the top to make a crust, then fold and press the edges together so they firmly close. Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork – but not too many or the filling will be too dry.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden and crusty. Hand out the pieces and decide who is king or queen for a day.

King cake or “galette des rois”

King cake or “galette des rois”

King cake or “galette des rois”

King cake or “galette des rois”

King cake or “galette des rois”

King cake or “galette des rois”

And after loads of laughs, mountains of great food and a bunch of tops wine, this is what we were left with…

King cake or “galette des rois”

And we enjoyed it all while watching over this rather fabulous view of the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. These lucky guys have one of the best terraces in the whole of Lyon, right?

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon, France

Thanks, Raphaël, Julia and Mathieu for gifting us such a wonderfully memorable stay in Lyon … and for generally being totally excellent. Needless to say, we’re rather in love with Lyon now.

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