Swiss Dreikönigskuchen (Bean-Based Version)

© Linsenlena

Dear Friends of the Global Bean,

We are wishing you all a happy & healthy 2023 with a lot of beans!
Let’s start 2023 with GOOD LUCK! Older even than the Princess and the Pea is the Bean King across Europe. This ancient custom ends the dark cold nights and is a beautiful feast among friends to begin the new year with lightness, sweet beans and – if you are the lucky one – even with a crown. Essential for this custom is a special cake, called “Galette des Rois” in France and “Dreikönigskuchen” in Switzerland, which you will learn how to bake.

Originally there was only one dried bean in the cake, which crowned the one who found it as king/queen. But we take the opportunity to sneak more beans into the cake, be it in the batter or in the filling, to show that baking with beans is not that difficult and even makes the cake a little healthier.


  • 330 g white flour
  • 240 g cooked white beans (equivalent to 1 can; I am sure it works with other beans as well, the white ones are just very easy to hide)
  • 180 ml milk of your choice (I used soy milk) or water
  • 20 g yeast
  • 60 g butter of your choice (I used vegan butter)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 big dried bean to hide in the bread

Decoration: Coarse sugar and sliced almonds
To make the sugar and the almonds stick and to give the bread a nice color and a bit of gloss, I use soy cream with a bit of turmeric and apricot marmalade (in the traditional recipe they use egg yolk instead).


Make sure your beans are properly soaked (approx. 12 h) & cooked (approx. 1h).
240 g of cooked beans correspond to approximately 120 g of dried beans. If you don’t have home cooked beans ready, grab a can of beans!

  1. Thoroughly blend the cooked white beans with the milk or water until it has a creamy consistency with no pieces of beans left.
  2. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Crumble the yeast and mix in.
  3. Add the bean mixture and stir a bit with a spatula to make everything stick together. Cut the butter into cubes and add them too. Knead everything into a soft, smooth dough for about 12–15 minutes by hand. If you use a food processor, 10 minutes is enough. The longer and better you knead the dough, the fluffier it will be in the end.
  4. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 1–2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Weigh out 8 portions of approx. 80 g each and shape them into balls. Put the dried bean in one of the balls. Form a large ball from the remaining dough, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, spread the small balls evenly around it (it should look like a flower), cover and let rise again at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (better for 1h).
  6. Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
  7. Brush the dough with soy cream or a bit of oil and sprinkle coarse sugar on the small pieces and some sliced almonds on the large piece in the middle.
  8. Bake for about 25–30 minutes in the lower half of the oven. 
  9. Take out and let it cool on a rack.
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