Healthier Whole Wheat Rosca de Reyes Recipe | CFYL @ Fred Hutch
CFYL Rosca De Reyes

Whole Wheat Rosca de Reyes

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5 out of 5 stars (based on 15 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 45 min prep
Clock Icon for Prep Time 120 min total
Person Icon for Serving Size 12 servings

Rosca de Reyes is a sweet Holiday bread eaten all over the Spanish speaking world at Christmastime, especially at breakfast on January 6th, the Day of the Three Kings. The Spanish speaking world is wide...



    1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast (see Chef Tips)

    ½ cup lukewarm whole milk

    ½ cup granulated sugar

    2 cups whole wheat flour

    2 cups all-purpose flour

    ½ teaspoon salt

    2 teaspoons grated orange zest

    1 tablespoon orange blossom water

    4 large eggs, lightly beaten

    2 large yolks

    ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

    4 pieces of dark chocolate

    1 tablespoon canola oil


    ½ cup all-purpose flour

    ½ cup confectioner’s sugar

    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Glaze and Decorations (see Chef Tips)

    1 large egg, lightly beaten

    2 ounces candied orange strips

    12 maraschino cherries

    3 dried figs, soaked in warm water and cut into halves

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Nutrition Facts


411 cals


18 g

Saturated Fat

10 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

5 g


55 g


19 g


4 g


9 g


135 mg


  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast, lukewarm milk and 1 tablespoon of the sugar, stir to combine. Let stand until the mixture bubbles slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. (If the yeast doesn’t bubble, discard it and start again with new yeast).
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (see Chef tips for hand kneading), add the yeast mixture, the remaining sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, orange zest, orange blossom water, eggs, yolks, butter and knead with the hook attachment until you have a uniform and elastic dough, about 10 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured work surface for about 2 minutes until it forms a smooth ball. The dough should be smooth but still slightly sticky. Transfer dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place (about 70°F) until doubled in size, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and press dough gently to form a 12 by 8 inch rectangle. With the long side of the rectangle facing you, lightly press in the chocolate pieces along it, evenly spaced, and about 1 inch from the edge. Fold this bottom third of the dough over towards the center, then fold the top third over it as you would a business letter. Fold the dough again, in half lengthwise, to form a thick log 12 inches long. Seal all the edges with the heel of your hand.
  4. Gradually stretch the log until it is about 3-inches thick. Bring the ends of dough together to form an oval ring. Stretch again until the oval is roughly 12 x 8 inches. Place seam-down onto the prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, In a medium bowl combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, butter and vanilla, mix well until well combined and form a dough. Divide streusel into 6 pieces and press each pieces of streusel to form a 4 by 2-inch wide strips. Set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F and position a rack in the center of the oven.
  7. When the Rosca is ready, using a pastry brush, generously brush the surface with the beaten egg. Place each strip of streusel on top of the bread evenly spaced. Decorate in between with pieces of candied or dried fruits. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Let bread cool completely on a wire rack.

Chef Tips

Dried yeast can come in packets of 7 to 8.5 grams. 7 grams is ¼ ounce. If you have the larger 8.5 gram packet, for this recipe take out a scant ½ teaspoon and use what’s left.
For hand kneading: Mix the rest of the sugar, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt on a work surface. Make a well in the center. Gradually pour the yeast mixture, orange zest, orange blossom water, eggs, yolks, and butter into the well while mixing with your hand. Knead until you have a nice, uniform dough, about 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth but still slightly sticky.
In Spain, they don’t decorate the Rosca with the streusel, just the egg glaze and dried and candied fruits, so if you want to miss this step, it’s OK. Whichever style of Rosca you choose to make, you can use any kind of preserved fruits to decorate it – dried figs, candied cherries, candied citron, candied orange peel, angelica – whatever takes your fancy.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society

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