On January 6 for Three Kings Day, the once-a-year iconic pastry also known as Spanish Kings Cake is enjoyed. This round, sweet yeasted bread is shaped to represent the crown worn by the kings and baked inside is typically a toy baby (or king) and a dried bean.

At José Andrés' Mercado Little Spain and Jaleo restaurants you can order the famed Roscón de Reyes from January 3-6, for pick up or delivery, in New York and Washington, DC.

Below is the go-to recipe from Rick Billings, executive chef for ThinkFoodGroup’s Global Tapas.  

Roscón de Reyes

Serves 8

For the cake

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons granulated yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • Zest from 1/2 an orange
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Candied orange peel, for garnish
  • Candied cherries, for garnish
  • 1 bean
  • 1 ceramic king or baby figurine

Place the bread flour, yeast, milk, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low for 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes more.

Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and add the butter. Once incorporated, increase speed one setting and continue to mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 12-15 minutes. 

Coat a large container with non-stick cooking spray, add the dough and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area, such as an oven, and let rise for 24 hours. Remove the dough and roll it into a ball on a floured surface. Let rest for 30 minutes more.

Punch the dough down and create a hole in the center. Continue to shape and stretch the dough outwards into a doughnut shape, about 14-16 inches in diameter. Transfer to a parchment lined tray and proof approximately 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and yolk with 1 tablespoon of water to make the egg wash. In a separate bowl, combine 1-2 tablespoons of sugar with equal amounts water. Brush the dough with the egg wash and place the candied fruit on top, then the wet sugar.

Bake until golden brown, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool.

For the whipped cream filling

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium until stiff peaks form and transfer to a pastry bag with a star tip. 

Cut the roscone in half. Pipe the cream on the bottom half, then place one bean and one king figure on the cream and place the other half on top.