What is a King Cake?

Swiss King Cake by Wilma Kleger

Wilma Kleger

A small king made of plastic is baked into the Swiss "king" cake.
Homemade Swiss King Cake by Wilma Kleger
French King Cake by Dawn Lemaitre
Spanish Roscon de Reyes King Cake by Rosa Mariotti
Rosca de Reyes King Cake by Virginia Hernandez
Mardi Gras King Cake by Shehla Iftikhar

Swiss King Cake Recipe

This recipe for a homemade Swiss King Cake is not difficult to make at home.

Most Swiss do not bake their own Epiphany cake, they buy it, complete with a golden paper crown, at the supermarket or bakery. A small king made of plastic is baked into it, and whoever gets it will be king (or queen) for the day. Of course, this is very exciting for kids, they certainly will want to be wearing the crown! 

close up of Swiss King Cake



  1. In a small bowl, crumble the yeast into some of the warm milk and allow it to sit and bubble for a few minutes. In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour with the sugar and salt. Add the yeast mixture, remaining milk, and melted butter. Knead well to make a soft dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 2 hours.

2. Divide the dough into 8 pieces of equal size. Roll 6 of them into balls and hide a nut or plastic king figurine in one. Roll the remaining two pieces together into one large ball. Put the big ball into the middle of a cake dish and arrange the 6 smaller balls around it. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).

3. Brush with beaten egg-yolk and sprinkle with coarse sugar or almond flakes. Bake in the oven until risen and golden, 20-25 minutes.