…is rosca (or roscón) de reyes: a “kings’ ring.” Though it looks quite a bit different than a French kings’ cake it functions much the same. It contains a little trinket inside that diners search for. The main difference that I can gather is that in many Spanish-speaking cultures, especially those in the New World, the finding of the prize entails more obligations that privileges. Instead of a bean, a toy or a gold coin, the hidden object is often a figure of the Christ child. The finder is sometimes obligated to bring that figure to church on the next major feast day, the Presentation of Christ at the Temple, also called Día de la Candelaria or Candlemas Day, in the first week of February. Other times, the finder (or the family of the finder) is obligated to throw a party on that day, or perhaps pay for the next years’ cake.
A rosca de reyes in form is much like a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras king cake. Both are ring-shaped, have a fluffy, brioche-like crumb and are decorated with icing and colored sugar sprinkles or candied fruit.