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We have done this before when we focused on the Christmas story through the eyes of the wise men, discussing the traditions of many cultures who celebrate the wise men coming and bringing gifts to the child Jesus.

One year we used a "real" recipe -- it was delicious, but very involved. We did it as a supplemental activity, not during our normal SS time. We actually took orders from the congregation ahead of time and sold the cakes as a fundraiser for a mission project.

We've used crescent roll dough to make simplified versions that can easily be done during a 45-60 minute class session. Tear off the dough into rectangles (not triangles) and give each child a rectangle. Have them press the perforations together to make one solid rectangular piece. Brush with melted butter and bake according to directions. When done, brush lightly with more melted butter and sprinkle with green, gold and purple colored sugar!

Easy, festive and yummy too!


I've never made a King's Cake and looking at on-line recipes it looks like a lot of work and limited participation on the student’s part.

Idea: King's Cupcakes Food Workshop

Children will make two King’s Cupcakes, one to eat and one to give-away.  Here is an example of a TWO layered cupcake. Photo  from the now inactive site: thecupcakeblog-com-assorted-three-layer-cupcakes.Assorted-Three-Layer-CupcakesYou INSTEAD WILL BE doing FOUR LAYERS (three cuts): one for each gift - gold, frankincense, myrrh, and the top will be their gift to Jesus —their HEART (cinnamon heart).

NOTE: when decorating have the kids just add sprinkles onto the iced sides only, so they can be see the gifts on their completed cupcake (like the orange rinds can be seen in the above picture.

They will also create a King’s Cupcake in a Jar —to give away. This one they will decorate each section BUT, then drop each section gently into a small canning jar, similar to picture below, could pre-cut paper circles they could insert between the two canning lid pieces with a message or title.

Sprinkles – I looked and found all but one carried by – Wilton

Limit amount they can use and have them only sprinkle a tiny amount around each outside edge (to limit the amount of sugar) and so they can be seen when finished.  Might help to give each child a small paper plate and dole out small piles of each gift and they can use their CLEAN fingers to sprinkle from what’s on their plate onto their cupcake iced side area and in some cases they will only be adding 1 or 3 of a specific sprinkle.

Lesson Idea

1) Read the scripture.

2) King's Cupcake Food Activity

Have two pre-made cupcakes, per student. Maybe chocolate to represent the journey on the road?  Give each student one cupcake to start and a plastic knife.  Have some bowls of easy spread icing or cool whip, one for every two students.  Map.

Have them cut the cupcake tree times, so they have FOUR sections.

Discuss the length of their journey and it is believed they arrived possibly up to two years after Jesus was born – look at a map showing possible routes they took! 

Layer One (bottom): Star – Wisemen - Gold

SPREAD on Icing or Cool Whip

Always ask first what they know, before telling them the facts on each item.

ADD - 1 Star to side ( Wilton’s Gold Star Sprinkle)Star

TALK about what is known about the star.

ADD – 1st Wiseman  (Wilton’s Gingerbread Man Candy Sprinkle) Gingerbread-sprinkles

TALK about the wisemen - the bible doesn’t say their names or how many-kings, magi? – where did their names come from -Armenian tradition identifying the "Magi of Bethlehem" as Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India, etc.

ADD – Gold  (Wilton’s Gold Sugar Pearls Sprinkles)Gold

TALK about what gold would mean for the family.

Layer Two: Frankincense

SPREAD on Icing or Cool Whip

ADD – 2nd Wiseman  (Wilton’s Gingerbread Man Candy Sprinkle)

ADD – Frankincense250px-Frankincense_2005-12-31

SHOW pictures or samples (touch & smell) of Frankincense and tell them what the family could use it for.  Why give this as a gift?

(USE gold chunky sugarPearly_Gold_Chun_4f5638a61163e_1



ADD – dash of vanilla - to represent the sweet smell (could add it to a bit of icing on their plate and mix, then apply to cupcake)

Layer Three: Myrrh

SPREAD on Icing or Cool Whip

ADD – 3nd Wiseman  (Wilton’s Gingerbread Man Candy Sprinkle)

ADD – Myrrh220px-Commiphora-myrrha-resin-myrrh

SHOW pictures or samples of Myrrh and tell them what the family could use it for.  Why give this as a gift?

Pearlized sugar gold

(USE Wilton’s Pearlized Sugar-Gold Sprinkles)

ADD – dash of cinnamon (to represent the sweet smell)

Top of Cupcake: Mecinnamon_overlay

 SPREAD on Icing or Cool Whip

Talk about what gifts they could give (do on Jesus’ behalf this coming year).

ADD – the most important thing they can give Jesus is their heart – top off their cupcake with a Cinnamon Heart.


Have them decorate a King’s Cupcake to give away. Give each studeOrange-Dreamsicle-Cupcakes-in-a-jar-640x640nt one cupcake.

Hand out canning jars.  Decorate same as above except this time show them how to drop each decorated section into the jar.

Add Jar Title: KING’S CUPCAKE IN A JAR  (You could pre-cut paper circles they could insert between the two canning lid pieces with a written title or message.)

Close with a prayer to help them be useful to Jesus over the coming months giving their gifts to others.... and may the recipient of their jars feel the heart of Jesus touch their souls..... or something....

Your suggestions/changes/adaptations most welcome...



Images (10)
  • Assorted-Three-Layer-Cupcakes
  • Orange-Dreamsicle-Cupcakes-in-a-jar-640x640
  • Star
  • Pearlized sugar gold
  • Pearly_Gold_Chun_4f5638a61163e_1
  • 220px-Commiphora-myrrha-resin-myrrh
  • 250px-Frankincense_2005-12-31
  • Gingerbread-sprinkles
  • Gold
  • cinnamon_overlay
Last edited by Luanne Payne

The Writing Team has a full lesson plan for Epiphany with King Cake and good background information. It's open to our Supporting Members.

Students will create, bake, and take home their own traditional "King Cake" to celebrate the revealing (epiphany) of Christ as the newborn king heralded and worshiped by the Magi. As part of their Bible study, they will design a parchment paper cover for their cake that shares insights from the lesson.

See all the lessons in this set  |  See just the King Cake Lesson


The lessons are open to supporting members. The background and summaries are open to all.


Images (1)
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Here is a fun idea (and a fun video to go with it!): The Great British Episcopal Baking Show, from St Stephen's Episcopal in Charleston, shared on Building Faith.

"...a delightful multi-generational formation experience for Epiphany – one that could be replicated for Shrove Tuesday! Inspired by the Great British Baking Show (GBBS), her parish hosted a King Cake baking competition, inviting the rector, the deacon and a vestry member to bake at home and asking parish families to evaluate their efforts. Their attempts were video recorded and Andrea edited a GBBS-style video, complete with commentary from discerning judges.

The 12-minute video was shared with parish families on Epiphany Eve. Accompanied by a link to the King Cake recipe, it also served as an invitation to parishioners to submit their own baking photos and videos. The goals for the activity were to help people learn about Epiphany, celebrate it in a different way, and have some fun. And of course, eat cake."

Here is the video:

Wonderfully edited, and so much personality!

Lots more details and suggestions as well as analysis of why it worked in the blog posting: The Great Episcopal Baking Show: Digital Ministry That Inspires:



Images (1)
  • WEB-Episcopal-Bake-Show-780x400
Last edited by Amy Crane

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