Rosca de Reyes, Mexican Christmas Bread Recipe

Rosca de reyes is a Mexican Christmas bread filled with candied peel and mixed dried fruit, and ornately decorated with nuts and cherries.

There are various versions, and they are not just exclusive to Mexico. Many Spanish speaking countries have them on celebrations. For me it is one of the most beautifully decorated breads I have ever seen or made. While it might look difficult, it is not. If you have ever made cinnamon buns, then you will feel right at home making this.

The best part is that you can decorate how ever you wish. You can use different nuts, seeds, dried fruit and more. The design can also be made more elaborate, or you could simplify it. That is totally up to you. Just make sure you let it ferment well and let it rise to avoid having a dense loaf. The fillings do weigh it down, so it will take a while to rise. If you need to leave it for longer, then do so.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

250g (8.8oz) strong white bread flour

40g (1.4oz) soft butter

35g (1.25oz) sugar

3g (0.1oz) salt

3g (0.1oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast

1 medium sized egg

100g (3.5oz) cold milk

To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


For the filling

20g (0.7oz) soft butter

15g (0.5oz) sugar

2g (0.07oz) cinnamon

30g (1oz) chopped nuts (I used pistachios)

100g (3.5oz) mixed candied peel

1 orange worth of zest


For the topping

Candied cherries

Dried kiwi

Sliced almonds


1 egg for brushing

Of course, you can decorate it with whatever you fancy.


For the glaze

30g (1oz) sugar melted in 30g (1oz) water.

You can brush it with butter instead if you do not want to make the syrup.


  1. In a bowl combine the milk, yeast, salt, sugar, egg & mix to dissolve the sugar and hydrate the yeast.
  2. Add the flour & mix to a dough.
  3. Knead for 3 minutes. Tear in the butter & knead for another 3 minutes. Desired dough temperature 25-26C (77-79F).
  4. Cover and proof for 1 hour.
  5. Fold.
  6. Cover and proof for 1 hour.
  7. Roll out the dough to a large rectangle. Brush with butter leaving an edge. Sprinkle with the filling mix all over leaving an edge.
  8. Roll the dough up in a tight roll. Brush the naked edge with water to make it stick and seal it up.
  9. On a tray with parchment paper wrap the dough around a small bowl tucking the ends into each other. Cut with scissors around the edge. See video!
  10. Cover and ferment for 1 – 1.5 hours. During this time preheat your oven to 170C (340F) fan on.
  11. Brush the crown with egg & decorate. Remove the bowl from the middle of the loaf.
  12. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 94C (200F).
  13. Glaze with sugar syrup whilst still hot.

Cool down and enjoy!

Watch the video here

More Posts In This Category