Catalan bakers expect to sell one million Tortell de Reis cakes

Traditional Epiphany pastries will cost the same as last year thanks to easing inflation

Traditional 'Tortell de Reis' cakes
Traditional 'Tortell de Reis' cakes / Albert Hernàndez
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

January 4, 2024 10:47 AM

January 4, 2024 11:28 AM

Catalan bakers are expecting to sell around one million traditional Tortell de Reis cakes during the final stretch of the Christmas season, the president of the Bakers Guild Antoni Bellart told the Catalan News Agency (ACN). 

The one million figure has been consolidated for the past five or six years and, according to Bellart, has an explanation: "We are eight million people, and it's customary to have one Tortell for every eight people," he explained. 

Thanks to a moderation in inflation, the typical dessert eaten on Epiphany in Catalonia will have the same price as last year.   

"People will have the same Tortell de Reis for the same price as last year," Bellart said, pointing to a slight decrease in costs such as electricity and raw materials throughout 2023. 

Tortells de Reis cakes before they are baked
Tortells de Reis cakes before they are baked / Albert Hernàndez

Bellart expects that the sales of this artisanal product will exceed those of last year, which were already "good". Once again, the peak day of sales will be January 6, when about 80% of sales are made. 

The marzipan and cream-filled 'Tortells' are the most sought after by customers, but Bellart points out that there are innovations such as gianduja and lemon pie gaining ground on the tables.

What is the Tortell de Reis?

The Tortell de Reis is a brioche-like ring-shaped cake that is eaten for dessert on January 6, Epiphany. It usually has a marzipan filling, although custard, cream, and even chocolate fillings can also be found. 


Candied fruit and nuts decorate the top of the cake but hidden inside there are two more surprising ingredients to look out for – a king figurine, and a bean. 

Whoever is lucky enough to find the miniature king in their slice of tortell is named king for the day and gets to wear their very own crown, albeit one made of paper or card. 

As for the unlucky person that bites into the bean, tradition dictates that next year's cake is on them.