Epiphany and Three Kings Cake in Germany

January 6, 2012

Family, Holidays & Celebrations

Today is January 6th, also known as Epiphany or the Christian feast day recognizing the three wise men who visited baby Jesus in Bethlehem.  It is also the official beginning of Mardi Gras the season of Carnival or the Twelfth Night.


One tradition for this holiday in Germany is preparing a Dreikönigskuchen or “Three Kings Cake” which was also brought to New Orleans with the French, and simply called the “King’s Cake”. Both are a yeast rising sweetbread dough. The Three Kings’ Cakes of Germany are arranged balls of dough into a flower cluster of smaller rolls, whereas the King’s Cake of Mardi Gras is made into an oval shaped loaf and decorated with traditional purple, green, and yellow colors.

There is always one large bean, an almond, or in New Orleans a small toy, hidden in the cake for one lucky person to discover – they then become the honorary “King” for a day!


In Germany it is also a tradition for children to go singing door to door dressed as the three wise men singing songs about the star of bethlehem. After receiving treats and praise, the initials of the wise men and the year are written in chalk on the door frame to bless the household in the new year.


Since I didn’t have the ingredients necessary to make a traditional King’s Cake, I decided to make a Pumpkin Spice cake and Cream Cheese icing in honor of the day. (Stop by tomorrow if you’d like the recipe. And trust me… you do!)


Do you celebrate the beginning of Carnival, Mardi Gras, or the season of Epiphany?

What winter holidays do you celebrate with your family?


About Ann Marie @ Household6 Diva

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4 Responses to “Epiphany and Three Kings Cake in Germany”

  1. Z.D. Says:

    I’m originally from Puerto Rico. We celebrate 3 Kings Day today. The night before, all the kids grab a cardboard box (usually an old shoe box) and fill it with grass for the camels to eat. It’s kind of like leaving cookies for Santa Clause. They put the box underneath their beds and the next morning they wake up to no grass, but lots of gifts! I wish I was back at home celebrating this day. Happy New Year and Happy 3 Kings Day! :)

  2. Allie Says:

    My mom always got us a king cake on fat Tuesday. I love them! She even sent me some in college! I’ll had to try your recipe ;)
    Allie recently posted..No SleepMy Profile


  1. Epiphany and Three Kings Cake in Germany | Ekum News Blog - January 6, 2012

    [...] Epiphany and Three Kings Cake in Germany 0savesSave If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. This entry was posted in News and tagged baby jesus, cakes, flower cluster, initials, lucky person. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Get Into the Hip Hop Music Internship Scene [...]

  2. Pumpkin Spice Cake with Homemade Cream Cheese Icing | Household6Diva - January 7, 2012

    [...] #2 Instead of using a proper Bundt Cake pan to make a proper Bundt Cake… (Because proper King Cakes are supposed to be an oval.) I used a Sunflower Cake pan and cut the center [...]