Rosca de Reyes or Three King's Bread
Prep time
Total time
A Mexican sweet bread flavored with almond extract, orange zest and decorated with craisins and zultanas. Celebrate el Dia de Los Reyes Magos or Three Kinds Day with this bread.
Recipe type: Bread, Sweet, Baked,Holiday
Cuisine: Mexican, Holiday,Baked
  • 350 g all purpose flour
  • 350 g whole wheat flour
  • 150 g light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 180 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange zest (from one medium orange)
  • 50 ml juice from zested orange
  • 1 tsp almond extact
  • 4 lightly beaten medium eggs (egg weight between 53-63 gm)
  • 150 ml tepid whole fat milk
  • 1 pack (12g) instant dry yeast
  • 1 lightly beaten egg for wash
  • craisins, to decorate and use as many as desired
  • golden raisins (sultanas), to decorate and use as many as desired
  • red and yellow food coloring
  • a cup of Mexican hot chocolate
  1. In a small bowl cover the craisins and sultanas with warm water and set aside to soak. Meanwhile, melt the butter and set aside to cool slightly. Once cooled mix in orange juice and almond extra and set aside. In a large bowl mix all of the flour, salt, sugar and zest until well combined. In a separate small bowl mix the tepid milk and dry yeast, lightly beating to help it along. Make a well in center of bowl with flour, pour the milk-yeast mix, melted butter, and the 4 lightly beaten eggs. Mix and knead the dough until smooth. You may need extra flour depending on conditions in your kitchen. Cover the dough with clean kitchen cloth and allow to rise for one hour or until doubled in size. **I made two small breads, one baked right away and one frozen to baked another day. If you would like to do the same then cut full dough in half, allow one half to rise and freeze the other right away.**
  2. Preheat oven to 180c or 356f and prepare large baking sheet. Lightly punch dough down. Cut off a small piece to create the decorative braids. Then divide that small piece into two. Knead each small piece with a drop or two of red and yellow food coloring separately until color is blended well -use extra flour if needed. Between your balms work the dough into long thin strands -- you'll need 3 per braid. Braid the small dough pieces and set aside. Knead the large risen dough into a large oval shape, punch a whole through the center just like a doughnut. Continue until the dough is shaped like a large doughnut with a slight oval shape. Lightly brush the bread dough with egg wash. Drain the craisins and raisins, place the decorative braids on top like in the photos. Next use the craisins and raisins to decorate the bread. Use my pictures as a guide or be creative. Brush the fruit and decorative braids with egg wash then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Make sure the whole bread is coated.
  3. Bake for 20-35 the time will depend on the thickness the dough was as well as whether the whole dough or half was baked. After 20 minutes check the bread by inserting a knife into the center if clear it is finished baking. Make sure that the color is golden and that when tapped the bread sounds hollow. For the full recipe more baking time is needed, and if the fruits are begging to brown cover the bread to prevent burning and continue baking until finished. Allow to cool completely before serving. Serve with Mexican hot chocolate or your favorite hot chocolate.

Feel free to replace the craisins and raisins for candied fruit of your choice. It is important not to skip the soaking time to avoid burnt toppings. Additionally I used half all purpose and half whole wheat flour but feel free to use only all purpose if you like. It is important to use a scale for accurate weight measurements. The recipe makes one large bread, I cut the dough in half before rising and froze one half and baked the other.

Recipe by Mexican Made Meatless™ at