I live in Spain, however, being a Brit, Jan 6th really isn't high on my list of holidays - but what the heck!

Tonight I have a few Spanish friends coming over, so I have made a bit of a buffet, laid down quite a bit of alcohol and want to make the cake that they all seem to think is obligatory for Epiphany - help!

I have a whole raft of ideas in front of me, the basic cake is not the issue, it's the decoration and any significance to the decoration - I really don't want to offend anyone...

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    I don't think you can offend good Christians by trying your best to show respect to their holidays and traditions. So whilst I can't really answer, I wanted to point out that you shouldn't worry too much, even if you will make some mistakes it shouldn't be any issue, maybe a bit of friendly laugh. – Mołot Jan 5 '17 at 12:44
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    Edit clarified you're asking about decorations and didn't affect the meaning of your question, as far as I see. – Mołot Jan 5 '17 at 12:50
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    You should be able to get the information you want by doing a Google search. I did a quick search for a Spanish epiphany cake and got tons of results. I saw a lot of different recipes and lots of cakes decorated in many different ways. You may want to look for something that is specific to your region in Spain. – Cindy Jan 5 '17 at 12:50
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    We are a food site, not a culture site. If you have religious etiquette questions, they don't really fit here. I edited your title because it was not descriptive of your actual question. Titles should themselves be questions, not just a group of keywords. Please stop thinking of edits as criticism. We are trying to help you succeed. – Catija Jan 5 '17 at 13:00
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    disagree, but what the heck I will take this to meta as my thoughts are not welcome here. – dougal 5.0.0 Jan 5 '17 at 15:18

If you do a google image search for roscón de reyes (Spanish spelling) you'll find them usually decorated with candied fruit, either just red (glacé cherries), red and green or red, green and orange. Sources vary, whether the fruit are supposed to stand for the jewels, the Three Wise Men brought to Bethlehem or for the jewels on a crown per se. Coarse sugar and chopped / slivered almonds are also rather frequent. Overall, there seem lots of different layouts and decorations, so I think, if you somewhat stick to "(alternating types of) candied fruit arranged on top", you're good to go.

If you do have a bit of a perfectionistic attitude, remember that the traditional decoration may vary from region to region, even from family to family. While I personally believe that your friends are probably already deeply moved by your gesture (otherwise I'd have them bring the cake), if you want some inspiration, I suggest you take a walk and check the window displays of your local bakeries - they'll have what's considered "the right" version in your place.

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  • Not a perfectionist, and yes, I have seen what is in the windows and the supermarkets, but I like my friends and want to do something a bit special but not offend them. As suggested to me, this is not cultural, however, culture plays an integral part in cooking, and in no way should be ignored. I have made my cake (hence the time I have been away from this site), and hope that my friends enjoy it, I trust that this is the end of this discussion, it was only meant to ask a question, not start a war. – dougal 5.0.0 Jan 5 '17 at 15:25
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    Also, and I in no way wish to diminish anyone on ANY site, anyone can do a google search, if that was the way forward then why have this site? – dougal 5.0.0 Jan 5 '17 at 15:27
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    @dougal because not everything can be googled. This site lives from real problems that need real people to understand the questions and answer the specific problem. So while google might give a bunch of answers for certain key words, we trust the comunity to pick and vote for the answer(s) that solve the specific problem. And sometimes we have to ask for details in comments, which is also hard to do via google. – Stephie Jan 5 '17 at 15:34
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    @dougal And I certainly agree that cooking happens in a cultural context (remember our chat about the pretzel?), so yes, your question is perfectly fine imho. I don't think the roscón de reyes is loaded with too much symbolism in the decoration, though. Have a nice party and of course we'd love to see the finished cake in the Seasoned Advice Chat! – Stephie Jan 5 '17 at 15:37

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