In France, January 6 is the Épiphanie, which celebrates the day the three wise men visited baby Jesus. Epiphany, or the fête des rois (festival of kings), is celebrated by eating a galette des rois (cake of kings), a tradition that has existed in France since the 14th century.
A traditional galette des rois is a round cake (symbolizing the sun) made out of puff pastry and frangipane. Inside, a small porcelain or earthenware charm, or la fêve, is placed, and the person who gets the slice with la fêve is crowned king or queen for the day. In the south of France, the galette is replaced by a brioche des rois, a ring of brioche with candied fruits on top.
Here are our picks for the best galettes des rois in Paris for 2022.
Every year, the French Bastards team up with a different chef to realize their galette des rois. This year, it’s pastry chef François Daubinet. Together, they have created a pain des rois which resembles head boulanger-pâtissier of the French Bastards Julien Abourmad’s signature tourte de seigle.
Inside this trompe l’œil is an almond cream, roasted powdered almonds, and broken raw almonds. They “bastardize” the recipe by adding a unique bread praline, inserted after cooking, which slowly melts into the heart of the galette. They also have a galette traditionnelle.
Cyril Lignac honors his southern roots with his gâteau des rois, a ring of brioche made with Charentes butter, delicately flavored with orange blossom, and decorated with candied oranges, sugar grains, pistachios, and caramelized hazelnuts.
In addition, their caramelized Charentes butter puff pastry is available with almond cream and almond milk for those looking for a traditional galette, or with gianduja for chocolate lovers.
It’s the first Christmas for the Ritz Paris’ new pâtisserie Le Comptoir, run by pastry chef François Perret. Delight yourself and your loved ones with his classic galette des rois, with an inverted puff pastry, melting frangipane, and almond macaronade. You can also get individual, bar-shaped crousti-galettes.
Cédric Grolet and his pastry chef François Deshayes’ galette des rois for Le Meurice is a soft flaky brioche, delicately coated with smooth almond cream and pecan cream. The latter is punctuated with a crunchy praline with pecans.
The Molitor’s square galette des rois features a butter puff pastry with a hazelnut, almond, and cocoa frangipane. On top is a 70% chocolate glaze with roasted almonds and hazelnut chips. The galette comes with not one but three fêves! If you find the clover you will win: a 30-minute facial treatment at the Spa by Clarins; the ladybug: two entrances to the pools, hammam, sauna, and gym; and the horseshoe: a one-night stay for two people.
Pastry chef Maxence Barbot has partnered with the renowned Maison Bucherer to create this prestigious galette des rois. Enjoy a gourmet creation and discover special lucky charms in the form of small keys, designed by Bucherer, that will unlock unique experiences at the Shangri-La.
Popular boulangerie Mamiche will have their famous galette des rois which is 100% homemade, including the pâte feuilletée, and features classic frangipane.
- For a couple more, there’s also Délicatisserie by Nina Métayer or the Four Seasons Hotel George V.
- If you love baking, check out Molly Wilkinson’s book French Pastry Made Simple.
- Read about how to spend New Year’s Eve in Paris.
Written by Ali Postma for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Plum Guide and our Marketplace for fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long or short term, or buy in France? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates or click here. Looking to bring France home to you or to learn online or in person? Check out our marketplace shop and experiences.