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Recollections of Kings cake on January 6 | By Ann Marie Craig

West Bend, WI – I had an epiphany moment on Sunday morning after church. January is National Baking Month and January 6 is the traditional Feast of the Epiphany/Three Kings Day/Adoration of the Magi/The Twelfth Day of Christmas. In many parts of the world, this final day of the Christmas season is celebrated with cake.


Clearly, I needed no other excuse to bake and I knew exactly where the recipe for an authentic German cake, perfect for this week’s celebration, was kept.

Click HERE for more stories by Ann Marie Craig and Century Farmhouse Soaps

My father’s cousin Josephine (my godmother; we called her Aunt Josie) immigrated to the US after World War II at the age of 28 and brought her family traditions with her. Often at Christmastime, we’d troop to her third-floor apartment in an Old World German-style building in downtown West Bend to exchange presents and eat ourselves silly with her fruitcakes, rum balls, cookie curls, and Koenigskuchen, a rich, fruit-filled cake that I particularly loved to eat because we only had it once a year. Aunt Josie’s Koenigskuchen (in German, Königskuchen) was something to be savored with a glass of milk when you were ten, and a cup of coffee when you were older. Oh yum.

Unlike the Kings Cakes that are made with yeast in the south of Germany, this cake is rich with butter and eggs and filled with dried fruits, particularly raisins and currants. It is rather like a sweet quick bread or shortcake and it pairs perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea.

When Aunt Josie wrote out the recipe for me long ago, she converted it to American measurements. I converted it back for my international friends so everyone can enjoy it. Also, I should tell you that I made a few tweaks to it in the cake I made today. For example, I didn’t have all the dried fruits the recipe called for so I used just currants and raisins, adding a bit more of each to the bowl. I also didn’t have rum or lemon extracts, so I used almond extract. This cake will taste wonderful with any flavoring such as vanilla, almond, rum, lemon, or orange extracts. The flavor differences between them are subtle but each flavoring will create a cake with a distinctive flavor to go along with all that glorious butter.

Do you see all the little crumbs on the cake in the photo? Sorry, I couldn’t wait to… Click HERE to read the rest of the story at CenturyFarmhouse.com

Click HERE for the downloadable recipe for koenigskuchen.


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