Three Kings' Day (Rosca de Reyes) Bread Recipe

Our tradition is to take down the Christmas tree on Three Kings' Day (January 6). The kings have been traveling around our house, searching for the Creche. When they arrive we will all celebrate with bread and hot chocolate while packing up ornaments. 

There are healthier versions of sweetbread but I feel the treat of of this bread combined with the sadness of taking down our tree is worth the extra crunches.  

I hide a few pieces of chocolate in the bread. Traditionally a porcelain doll (symbolizing the baby Jesus) is used and the person finding it has to throw the next year's party. In our house who ever finds a piece of candy gets a special wish. Surprisingly enough each of my children usually find the lucky gift. 

Three Kings' Bread Recipe


  • 4 cups flour 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick of softened butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 warm water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 teaspoons of yeast (about a package and half)

Substitutions: 1 (1/4 oz) package dry active yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons = 1 (.06 oz) cake compressed fresh yeast


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1 egg
1/4 cup flour

Optional: add a 1/2 c raisins to the batter or decorate with dried fruit
Dissolve the yeast into the warm water (about 85º F.) Mix with all other ingredients and beat the batter well until smooth. On a large baking sheet, shape the dough into a ring, resembling a large wreath. 
Cover the ring with a clean cloth or towel and let it sit in a warm place for two hours. After the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350º F. 

While the oven preheats, prepare the glaze by creaming the butter and sugar together, beating in the egg and gradually mixing in the flour. Paint on the glaze from the center of the ring out, like rays of sun. 

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.
I do not hide an infant in the bread or practice any of the other Rosca de Reyes traditions. I do hide a few candies in the bread before it bakes and the kids get excited about who finds the treasure, just the opposite of finding the baby. If you'd like to hide the infant in the cake, tuck a miniature porcelain doll inside and warn people to be on the look out for glass in their food. ;-) 

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 activities. 


Oh wow, I wasn't aware of this tradition. I love it.

Popular posts from this blog

Crafts: Aldo Leopold Bench Plans

Adirondack Treats: Make Your Own Mirror Lake Inn Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe)

Fall/Autumn Fun Facts: Apple Fruit Trivia Questions