We are changing a bit the tradition this year with a Vegan Kings’ Cake, egg-free and diary-free
My daughter had two very bad allergic reactions to egg, so we had to switch to a no egg diet for her. It’s been challenging for me as most of my pastries contain eggs. But it is a nice challenge to try to find new ways of baking.
I am still hoping that she will grow out of it as it is very complicated to have a child with an allergy. You have to check all labels, make sure people don’t accidentally give her something to eat thinking they’re being nice, etc.
In any case, this year I decided to prepare a vegan king’s cake so she would be able to enjoy it with us. I’ll be honest with you, it tastes absolutely amazing, just like a regular brioche recipe.
Different type of Epiphany or Kings’ Cake
In France, we eat what we call Gateau des Rois ou Galette des Rois on January 6th, for the epiphany. The most known version is the Galette, a puff pastry filled with Frangipane (almond cream and pastry cream). In Provence however, I grew up eating a different version of the Gateau des Rois, a brioche with candied fruits. The candied fruits on top of the cakes are usually of bright colors and are meant to reprenset the jewels on the Kings’ crowns.
In both options, the cakes usually contain a fève and a santon. Where I am from, the fève is a bean and if you get it, you are supposed to buy the next cake and/or champagne. The santon is a little ceramic figurine, if you get it you are crowned king or queen. The King’s Cake is always sold with a paper golden crown and all the kids fight to have it.
What you need to prepare the Vegan Kings’ Cake
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A stand mixer with a hook attachment to knead the dough is a must. You can always knead by hand, but it is tedious, and I personally never knead by hand.
A scraper, always nice to have one or two in the kitchen when making any type of dough. Use it to scrap the bowl to collect all the dough.
A brush, we will use it twice: to brush the cake before baking it to give it a nice color, and to brush it with apricot jam to be able to stick sugar to it.
A baking sheet and a silpat. I love working with silpat but you can use a parchment paper.
How to make candied fruits
If you are in the US like me, it is harder than I would have ever imagined to find candied fruits. You can find a mix of holiday fruits in some supermarket but I wasn’t really inspired by them.
For this cake, I went ahead and did my own.
I would recommend you start with oranges and lemon, they are the easiest.
You can either slice the fruits, or cut pieces of the peel.
Bring water to a boil and boil the slices/pieces for about a minute.
Prepare a syrup by heating up water and sugar (if you have 100g of fruit slices, combine 100g of water with 100g sugar). Add the fruits in the syrup and keep on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Remove from syrup. You can keep in a container in the fridge for a week (it will dry with time).
Vegan Kings’ Cake
- 20 g oat milk
- 8 g dry yeast
- 380 g flour
- 50 g sugar
- Salt a pinch
- 70 g grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
- 1 lemon zest only
- 1 orange zest only
- Apricot jam
- Pearl sugar
- Candied fruits
- Warm up the milk. Activate the yeast for 10 min by stirring it into the milk (make sure it is just slightly warm and not hot or it will kill the yeast).
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, oil, zest and orange blossom water. Mix to combine. Slowly add the milk/yeast while kneading (hook attachment). Knead for another 10 minutes.
- The dough should clap on the bowl, when you stretch it, it shouldn’t break but expand (see my Instagram reel). Place the dough in a bowl, lightly flour the top of it and cover with a kitchen towel.
- Let rest in the fridge overnight.
- Remove the air from the dough. If you want, you can now add a fève.
- Form a ball with the dough. With a finger, form a hole in the center. Slowly extend it to get about 10cm/4inches (or more if you really want a big crown rather than a round ball).
- Place the dough on a baking sheet line with a silpat or parchment paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for an hour.
- Preheat oven to 170C (338F).
- Lightly brush the surface with oat milk. Bake for 25 minutes.
- Warm a tablespoon of apricot jam with a splash of water. Brush the brioche with it.
- Decorate with pearl sugar and candied fruits.