This article is also available in German.
This Three Kings Cake doesn`t require eggs, milk or plastic. Instead, a chocolate surprise is hidden inside in place of the regular plastic king. Which doesn`t in the least diminish the joy and excitement for young and old. This vegan and plastic-free Three King Cake without plastic is airy and doesn’t taste too sweet. Once you`ve tried it, you`ll never buy a storebought one ever again!
On 06 January the day of the holy three kings is celebrated. The customs on this holiday vary from country to country. Here in Switzerland, we eat a Three Kings cake. A sweet yeast pastry with almond slices and sugar crystals as a topping, which is presented in the form of a wreath. In the middle is a larger piece, surrounded by 6 to 8 smaller pieces.
A plastic king is hidden in one of the cake pieces. Most bakeries also sell a paper crown with the cake. The person who gets the piece of cake with the plastic king is crowned king of the day and must wear the crown. A particularly joyful and exciting tradition for children! In our household, the king can choose his favourite dish.
Vegan and plastic-free Three Kings Cake
For the Three Kings yeast dough, butter and milk, as well as eggs, are used. And of course the plastic king. But you can confidently do without all of these. You don’t need any animal ingredients for a deliciously airy cake. It works just as well with plant-based alternatives. You ask yourself how?
Instead of butter, you use vegan butter or margarine. Personally, I prefer to use Naturli*’s “Streichzarten Block”* for buttery yeast pastries. Since this butter is already slightly salted, I simply leave out the salt in the recipe.
I replaced cow’s milk with vegetable milk. Choose the vegetable milk which you like and tolerate best. I chose vanilla-flavored soy milk* because it has a sweet taste. By the way, I also used it to baste the dough. With soy milk coating the pastry will brown just as nicely as with eggs.
The most unnecessary thing is the little plastic king. In most cases, it simply ends up in the garbage. Not exactly sustainable. That’s why I`ve removed it from the list of ingredients for this recipe. I’ll tell you what I took as an alternative to make it fun to eat below.
You see a vegan and plastic-free Three Kings cake isn`t witchcraft. Just try it and you won’t notice any difference from the original. In addition, this version is much healthier than the classic one because of it`s purely plant-based ingredients.
How to rock yeast dough
You can find detailed instructions on how to make the perfect yeast dough here. I summarize the most important points again.
Always dissolve the yeast in lukewarm liquid. And don`t forget to add a teaspoon of sugar as food for the yeast. And I really mean sugar, not sugar substitutes like birch sugar or erythritol! The liquid (milk in this recipe) should be pleasantly warm and never exceed 37 degrees! Otherwise, you`ll kill the yeast.
After you have dissolved the yeast in the sugar-milk mixture, you let it work its magic. Leave it to stand for 10 minutes. It should start to form bubbles on the surface. Please note only use one teaspoon of sugar. The remaining sugar – in this recipe coconut blossom sugar – is added to the flour. Also, add the salt to the flour and not to the yeast.
The yeast dough must be kneaded well. Bubbles should form inside the dough. I always knead mine with my food processor and the kneading hoook until the dough sticks to the hook. In principle, the dough is ready when it no longer sticks to the bowl.
Then you put the dough into a bowl. You can flour it like that you can take the dough out more easily afterwards, but this is not necessary. Cover the bowl with a cloth and put it in a warm place. During winter, a place next to the heating is suitable (don`t set the heating too hot though). Alternatively, you can put the dough in the oven at about 25-30 degrees. For the right humidity you can moisten the towel.
After you have formed the Three Kings cake, let it rise for another 30 minutes.
To prevent the toppings from burning, I recommend you bake the cake on the second-lowest groove of your oven at 180 degrees.
Alternatives to soy & almonds
You’re allergic to soy or nuts? Or one of these ingredients just doesn’t taste good to you?
No problem, you can just use any other plant-based kinds of milk. For the dough as well as for basting the cake. You can add a pinch of turmeric or some oil – neutral in taste – to make sure your cake browns perfectly.
Choose whatever topic you like! You don`t have to use almonds, sugar crystals or raisins. Here are a few ideas for toppings and the dough itself:
- vegan chocolate drops
- cocoa nibs
- dried cranberries
- candied orange or candied lemon peel
- other dried fruits
- a salty pretzel-like version
- hemp seeds
- poppy seeds
- sesame seeds
- any other nuts
Sustainable vegan and plastic-free Three Kings cake
It’s time to reveal the secret. As I said, I’m going to say no to plastic this Epiphany. Instead, I just used two pieces of vegan chocolate instead of the king. There’s nothing wrong with chocolate, don’t you think? It’s much better than any plastic anyway! Just stick the chocolate pieces in one of the small buns of the cake and there you got your perfect plastic king substitute.
Meal prep anyone?
Of course, you can prepare this cake in advance. If you keep one thing in mind, it tastes best fresh. So you should bake it on the day you want to eat it.
But the yeast dough is easy to prepare the night before. Simply mix the dough together, cover and place in a bowl in the fridge overnight. At the cooler temperature, the dough takes longer to rise, but overnight it will have enough time. Like that you can start right away on the next day without waiting for the dough to rise first.
Why you should bake this vegan and plastic-free Three Kings cake:
- comes with a sweet chocolate surprise
- without a plastic king
- zero plastic
- extremely tasty
- easily prepared
- the filling is changeable to your liking
- suitable for meal prep
More sweet vegan pastry ideas:
- marzipan rolls stuffed in a baked apple
- rhubarb coconut crumble cake
- cherry pie
- chocolate maple pecan pie
- vegan Easter cakes
- carrot slices
If you are trying this vegan and plastic-free Three Kings Cake, I would love your feedback here in the comments. If you share your creation of this recipe on Instagram, please don’t forget to link @velvetandvinegar and use the hashtag #velvetandvinegar. So my community and I won’t miss your contribution.
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Vegan Three Kings Cake
This Three Kings Cake doesn`t require eggs, milk or plastic. Instead, a chocolate surprise is hidden inside in place of the regular plastic king. Which doesn`t in the least diminish the joy and excitement for young and old. This vegan and plastic-free Three King Cake without plastic is airy and doesn't taste too sweet. Once you`ve tried it, you`ll never buy a storebought one ever again!
- 500 g white all-purpose flour organic
- 1/2 tsp salt organic
- 100 g coconut blossom sugar organic
- 1 handfull raisins* organic
- 300 ml soy milk* vanilla-flavored, organic
- 1 tsp cane sugar organic
- 25 g fresh yeast organic
- 80 g vegan butter organic
- 2 pieces of vegan chocolate organic
- 20 ml soy milk* for basting, vanilla-flavored, organic
- 1 handfull almond slices as a topping, organic
- 1 handfull sugar crystals as a topping, organic
Mix flour, salt, and coconut blossom sugar together in a bowl.
Heat soy milk until it`s lukewarm, add sugar and yeast. Dissolve yeast completely and let rest for 10 minutes until bubbles are starting to form.
Pour yeast-milk-mixture over the solid ingredients. Add butter and raisins. Knead the dough with your kitchen machine and a dough hook until the dough sticks to the hook.
Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes.*
Remove six equal pieces of dough (each appr. 100-120g) and start forming buns. Hide two pieces of chocolate in one of the buns. Make sure the dough completely covers the chocolate for the perfect surprise.
Use the remaining dough to form a bigger bun. Place that one in the center of a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Align the smaller buns around the bigger one. Cover the cake with a towel and let rest for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.
Baste the surface of your cake with soy milk, sprinkle on some almond slices and sugar crystals. Bake on the second-lowest rack of your oven for 25 minutes.*
Use chocolate chips instead of raisins.
You can use any plant-based milk you like.
You can put the dough in the oven as well (temperature between 25 and 30 degrees). If you prepare it in advance, this is where you want to put your dough into the fridge over night.
Please note that ovens are different and so may be the outcome. Your cake may need a little bit longer or is done within a shorter time. Please make sure to check on it frequently.