Rosca de Reyes recipe from Sweet Life

Food & Drink, General

Today is Día de los Reyes Magos, otherwise known as Three King’s Day or Epiphany. In many Latin American countries, today is the traditional day that gifts are exchanged (not Christmas). It’s an important date, with long-standing traditions.

Today is also Rosca de Reyes day (not really called that). This only means that we celebrate Día de los Reyes Magos by eating a Rosca de Reyes (with a baby Jesus hidden). There’s a party with the traditional Rosca served to guests, and if you get the trinket (the baby Jesus doll) in your slice of the Rosca, then you have to host a party within the next month … or something like that.

Whatever your seis de enero traditions, the Rosca is pretty standard. And now you can find it at most grocery stores or bakeries. Just ask for King Cake (though most people equate that with Mardi Gras).

However, for those of you who want to make your own, we’re sharing a recipe from content partner Vianney Rodriguez, of Sweet Life. Enjoy!


  • 1/2 cup of warm water
  • 1 Envelopes (2 1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams) of dry active yeast
  • 4 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks mixed with 2 Tablespoons of milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon orange extract
  • 1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • Freshly grated orange zest from one orange (I used lime)
  • Non stick cooking spray


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 6 Tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • Dry fruit like figs, candied orange or cherries, pineapple, apricots
  • 1 egg beaten for glazing the bread
  • 1 Tablespoon whole milk
  • White sugar to sprinkle on top of the bread
  • 2 or 3 plastic baby dolls,


Pour warm water into a bowl, and sprinkle with yeast. Stir with a fork until yeast has dissolved, then let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 25 minutes.

Mean while mix remaining 3 ½ cups flour, sugar, eggs, egg yolks, orange extract, orange zest(lime zest), salt and butter in a large bowl until crumbly.

Add yeast mixture to the bowl and mix. It will be very sticky. Place into a floured surface and start kneading until you have smooth dough; about 15 minutes. Do not add too much flour to your working area; the texture should be very soft and manageable. If you add more flour than needed your bread will be dry.

Once your dough is smooth and elastic, place in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap that is also sprayed with cooking spray and let dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Make sure your kitchen is warm to help your dough to rise.

Preheat oven at least 20 minutes before baking at 375 degrees, with rack in lower third. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead a few times, then shape into a round cushion and making a hole in the middle shape into a large ring. Transfer to a greased rimmed baking sheet, and loosely cover again with same plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes more.

While the dough is rising, mix the following ingredients for the decoration: butter with the powdered sugar until creamy. Then add in the flour and egg yolk. Until you have a smooth thick paste. Add more powdered sugar if needed; you will want a thick dough.

For the egg wash whisk remaining egg with milk.

Brush the dough with the egg wash. Form strips with the powdered sugar paste; place over rosca dough to decorate. Place the dried fruit pressing them gently into the dough. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for additional 10 – 15 minutes more until bread is a nice golden brown color. Depending of your oven it will require more time.

Transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool. After the bread has cooled insert the plastic baby dolls from the bottom of the bread.

Rosca de Reyes can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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