Widely celebrated in Spain, Latin America and the Caribbean, and by many U.S. Latinos, Three Kings Day is a venerated tradition. The holiday celebrates the traditional Christian feast day of Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men brought gifts to the baby Jesus in recognition of his divine nature, according to the Biblical nativity story.
For many Hispanics, el Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos is more symbolic of Christmas, with children waking up January 6th to presents and sometimes candy left by the three Wise Men Gaspar, Melchor and Baltasar.
Celebrate Three Kings Day with this Rosca de Reyes recipe. Finding baby Jesus in your slice of cake is an honor - celebrate by throwing a party on February 2 with tamales and atole for all your guests.
For the Decorative Paste & Toppings:
· 1.6 cup flour
· 1 cup margarine
· ½ cup icing sugar
· ½ cup granulated sugar
· 2 cups candied fruit strips
For the Cake:
· 3 TBSP margarine
· 1 cup granulated sugar
· 4 eggs
· ½ cup whole milk
· ½ tsp salt
· 2.5 cups flour
· 1.7 TBSP yeast (activated in warm milk)
· 1 cup lard
· ¼ stick unsalted butter
· 2 small ceramic baby Jesus figures
For decorative icing:
1. Combine all ingredients except dried fruit (reserve for decoration to use later).
2. Mix for 5 minutes or until you get a paste the consistency of butter.
For make cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Combine and mix butter, margarine and sugar for 3 minutes.
3. Add eggs, milk and salt and mix for another minute.
4. Add flour and yeast you’ve activated in warm milk. Mix for 2 minutes.
5. Add the lard and mix 8 minutes or until mixture doesn’t stick to bowl.
6. Cover mixing bowl with a towel and allow dough to rest for an hour or until it doubles in size.
7. Place bowl in refrigerator and let the risen dough rest for another 30 minutes.
8. Roll and shape dough by hand into the donut-like rosca de reyes shape on an unfloured board.
9. Then place dough on baking tray greased with unsalted butter.
10. Let the shaped dough rest uncovered in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
11. Add decorating paste to the top of the shaped dough.
12. Insert one ceramic baby Jesus figurine into the bottom of each cake, hidden from sight.
13. Place decorated rosca de reyes in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
14. Let cake cool, then add dried and candied fruit to the top.