Chocolate and Vanilla Rosca de Reyes


Chocolate and Vanilla Three Kings’ Bread

Chocolate and Vanilla Three Kings’ Bread

Rosca de Reyes de Chocolate y Vainilla

Recipe Yield

15 servings; makes 1 large ring-shaped bread

Cooking time

45 minutes

Rate this recipe

3.58 from 7 votes


For the starter:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk heated to lukewarm
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the dough:

  • 1 tablespoon orange blossom water or rose water (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes, at room temperature, plus more for the bowls
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

For the topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter or 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for brushing

To Prepare

To make the starter: 

  • Whisk the milk, yeast, and granulated sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk in the flour. Cover with a clean kitchen towel, set in a warm, draft-free place, and let stand until the mixture begins to bubble, 20 to 25 minutes.

To make the dough: 

  • Attach the bowl to the mixer stand and fit it with the paddle attachment. Add the orange flower or rose water (if using), vanilla, orange zest, eggs, flour, granulated sugar, and salt to the starter and beat on low speed just until combined. Scrape the bowl and beater and switch to the dough hook. Beat on medium speed for 10 to 12 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to make a slapping sound.
  • On low speed, add the butter in 4 to 6 additions, incorporating each addition before adding the next one. From time to time, scrape the bowl. When all of the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and beat for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough slaps against the sides of the bowl again. It will still be sticky, but don’t be tempted to add more flour.
  • Butter two medium bowls. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl, divide it in half, and return one half to the bowl. Shape the other piece into a ball and transfer to one of the buttered bowls.
  • Add the cocoa powder to the dough in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until incorporated. Turn the dough out, shape it into a ball, and place in the other buttered bowl. Cover each bowl with plastic or a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
  • Gently deflate both portions of dough with your fist and shape into balls again. Cover and let rise in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or for as long as overnight.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and set, still covered, in a warm, draft-free spot for about an hour so it comes to room temperature and rises.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the doughs from the bowls and shape each one into a ball. Press each ball down to flatten it slightly. Place the vanilla round on top of the chocolate round and stretch it so that it completely envelops the chocolate round, turning the dough over to stretch it over the bottom. Make a hole in the center of the dough by pushing your fist through it, then gently stretch the dough out to make a 9-x-13-inch oval.
  • Place the dough on the baking sheet. Insert a couple of plastic Baby Jesus figurines into the dough, if using. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for an hour or so, until the dough has puffed.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350℉ degrees, with a rack in the middle.

To make the topping:

  • Combine the flour, confectioners’ sugar, butter or shortening, and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix together into a smooth paste with your hands. Divide the paste in half. Add the cocoa powder to one half and knead and mix well until evenly incorporated. Divide each of the pastes into about 6 portions and shape into balls.
  • Gently brush the bread with the egg wash. Roll each paste ball into a log and then press to flatten it into a strip about 7 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch thick. Arrange them on the bread, alternating chocolate and vanilla strip, at approximately 2-inch intervals.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and makes a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a rack before slicing.


22comments inChocolate and Vanilla Three Kings’ Bread

  1. Anonymous

    Jan 09

    Faltó decir a cuantos grados se debe hornear.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 30

      350℉ degrees, with the rack in the middle of the oven, enjoy!

  2. Anna Estrada

    Dec 19

    I hope you make this bread on an episode. My son (10) and I love watching your shows. We get tickled everytime you say the word “this”. 😂

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 08

      I have this video of me making this bread in case you guys want to take a look 🙂


    Apr 30

    I would like to see today’s recipes I’m unable to locate information

    1. Pati Jinich

      May 07

      Hi! Please let me know which episode you watched and I will send you the links to the recipes! Thank you 🙂

  4. Tom

    Jan 26

    This Chocolate and Vanilla Three Kings’ Bread is so interesting!

    Does this recipe get shown in one of your television program episodes (season/episode)? I don’t see a notation on the recipe itself.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 08

      Hi Tom, I have yet to make a video for this recipe, it is not from any of my shows. It is included however, in my latest book “Treasures of the Mexican Table”. Enjoy!

  5. Marissa

    Jan 09

    Gracias por la receta!

    Salió deliciosa. En casa no podemos esperar hasta el próximo 6 de enero. Tendremos que repetir la hazaña pronto.

    Siguen los tamales del 2 de febrero.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 04

      Jaja, ya se! Espero que hayan disfrutado unos ricos tamales 😉

  6. Ari

    Jan 05

    Pati, tu receta es excelente! Sólo hice la mitad, porque somos dos en casa, y casi siempre termino comiéndome todo el pan que hago yo sola. Por fin encontré una receta que sabe exactamente como debe saber, y es mucho más suave que muchas que puedes comprar en México. Muchas gracias! La casa olía a panadería mexicana mientras la rosca se estaba horneando.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jan 07

      Que alegria que te haya gustado Ari, muchisimas gracias por tu comentario. Te mando un abrazo!

  7. Renee

    Dec 27

    I baked this bread. Doubled the recipe, made two loaves, however, next time I will make two or three loaves.


    I do have not consume caffine so I used carob instead.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 27

      Yay! So glad you liked it so much Renee, gracias!

  8. Gerardo Gormley

    Dec 25

    Sounds wonderfully time -consuming. I’m up for the challenge on my next day off, 2 days necessarily. And, I will tell you how I did.
    Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 26

      It is worth it Gerardo, believe me! Happy Holidays 🙂

  9. Rosa Mezquita

    Dec 22

    Muchas Gracias Pati, todas sus recetas son buenísimas. La extraño

    Feliz Navidad y prosperidad Año Nuevo🎄🍾

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 26

      Gracias a ti Rosa, un abrazo 🙂

  10. Teresa

    Dec 21

    We like to hide several Baby Jesus figurines inside the Rosca. When you discover a figurine in your piece of cake, you are required to pull out a task written on a folded piece of paper inside a bag. Tasks/responsibilities include: the venue, the entrée, paper/plastics, drinks, desserts, appetizers, and more figurines for what ever else people crave. If all the kids and their families show up, we are a total of 21 people. Did I mention that my daughter was born on Feb. 2? I think it’s time for me to learn to make my own Rosca! Thanks for sharing your recipe. Will there ever be a video included?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Dec 26

      What a fun idea Teresa!

      1. Teresa

        Dec 28

        Thank you for reading my comment, and for being such an authentic and creative Mexican gourmet cook.

        1. Pati Jinich

          Dec 29


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