Three Kings Bread (Rosca de Reyes)

This sweet bread, baked for Three Kings Day, is decorated to resemble a crown with the candied dried fruit for the jewels. Traditionally a small porcelain figurine that represents the infant Jesus is wrapped in wax paper and baked into the bread. This recipe does not contain this special surprise as it may be a choking hazard.

Serves: 24
3 hrs Prep time 35 mins Cook time
3 hrs Prep time
35 mins Cook time
  • Sprinkle yeast over warm water in small bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes or until foamy. Add 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of the butter to warm milk in medium bowl; stir until melted. Set aside.

  • Meanwhile, mix 2 cups of the flour, remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 4 of the eggs, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and salt in large mixer bowl with dough hook attachment 1 minute on low speed or until well blended. Add yeast mixture, milk and butter mixture, and orange extract; beat 2 minutes. Gradually add 2 cups of the remaining flour, beating for 2 minutes. (Dough should be soft and slightly sticky.) Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. (Dough should not feel dry but soft and slightly tacky.)

  • Place dough in buttered or oiled bowl. Roll dough in bowl and turn greased side up. Cover bowl with buttered or oiled plastic wrap. Place bowl in warm, draft -free place, such as inside of microwave oven or turned off oven. Let dough stand 1 to 2 hours or until almost doubled in size.

  • Meanwhile, beat remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter and confectioners' sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and egg yolk; beat to form a smooth paste. Divide in 6 equal pieces. Wrap with plastic wrap. Set aside.

  • When dough has almost doubled in size, punch down to remove air. With floured hands, remove from bowl onto floured surface. Knead a few times then shape into a ball. Roll dough into a 40–inch long by 2-inch wide log. Place on large parchment-lined baking sheet. Bring ends of dough together to form a large oval ring. With wet hands, press to seal ends. Cover with clean kitchen towel. Place baking sheet in slightly warm, draft-free place. Let dough stand 1 to 2 hours longer or until almost doubled in size.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat remaining egg until well blended. Brush dough ring with beaten egg. Roll pieces of confectioners’ sugar mixture into 3-inch long by 1 1/2-inch wide strips. Arrange strips decoratively on dough ring. Garnish with candied fruit pieces and sliced almonds as desired.

  • Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and dough sounds hollow when tapped. Cool completely on wire rack.

Nutrition information

(Amount per serving)

  • 213Calories: 213Cholesterol: 67mg
  • Sodium: 130mgProtein: 4g
  • Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5g
  • Fiber: 1gCarbohydrate: 29g