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Traditional French Twelfth Night Cake Recipe

The twelfth night after Christmas marks the end of the celebrations and is the time for taking down the decorations. The French still keep the medieval tradition of baking a cake containing a dried bean. The person who gets the bean is the King or Queen for the evening, and is crowned with a paper crown. He or she is all powerful and can demand favours and forfeits from the guests, so make sure you know where the bean is hidden in the cake. Just use gluten free flour and gluten free baking powder to make the cake gluten free.

Customer Rating:
5.0 (4 votes)

Posted by: Michael




1 - 2 hrs

Skill Level




Courses etc.

Baking Sweet
Christmas Recipes

You will need

175g or 6oz butter Available only in our Edinburgh shops More products
175g or 6oz sugar More products
175g or 6oz white flour OR More products
175g or 6oz wholemeal flour OR More products
175g or 6oz gluten free flour More products
1 1/2 tsp baking powder OR More products
11/2 tsp gluten free baking powder

Coming soon

More products
75g or 3oz ground almonds More products
6 tbsp evaporated milk
3 egg whites Available only in our Edinburgh shops More products
a dried bean (broad, kidney or haricot)
50g or 2oz crystallised ginger, chopped More products
100g or 4oz diced dried pineapple More products
75g or 3oz chopped candied orange and lemon peel More products
75g or 3oz glacé cherries, halved More products
75g flaked almonds More products
3 tbsp warmed apricot jam This item is only sold by the case More products
100g or 4oz chopped dried apricots or dried fruits or your choice More products

Need help converting measurements? View our recipe measurement conversion tables here.


  • Pre-heat the oven to 160C or 140C if you have a fan oven. Grease and line a 20cm/8inch round deep cake tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder and ground almonds, add the evaporated milk and fold together.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold into the mixture with the fruits (except the apricots) and almonds. Press the bean into the mixture.
  • Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until firm to the touch in the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Brush the top of the cake with the apricot jam and press over the dried apricots in a pattern.

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Shopping List

Strong White Bread Flour ORGANIC
Real Foods
Baking Powder
Real Foods
Baking Powder Gluten Free
Barkat (100g)
Coming soon
Raw Cane Crystallised Ginger Pieces
Real Foods
Diced Pineapple with SO2 added sugar
Real Foods
Red Glace Cherries Natural Colour Whole
Real Foods
Flaked Almonds ORGANIC
Real Foods
Chopped Apricot
Real Foods
Blanched Fine Ground Almonds ORGANIC
Real Foods
Mixed Peel Orange & Lemon
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Diabetic Apricot Jam no added sugar
Stute (430g)
This item is only sold by the case.
Click for details.
Caster Sugar ORGANIC
Real Foods