Tomeo Arbona at Fornet de la Soca in Palma with his Tortell dels Reis. | Forn de la Soca

The traditional sweet cakes of the Epiphany festival in Mallorca date back to ancient times and were once called greixoneres dels Reis, but in recent decades they’ve been re-established as roscón de Reyes.

They’re freshly made and deliciously irresistible and you can buy them in almost any pastry shop in Palma.

At Forn de Ca na Teresa, they’re busy preparing the roscones de Reyes that they make every year, but apparently the real magic happens overnight when craftsmen are hard at work producing these tasty morsels.

Forn de Ca na Teresa offers several options, including the 'Tricolor' which is made with truffle and two kinds of cream and the 'Smooth' which is the traditional one made exclusively with cream. This year there’s also a brand new addition called the 'Cardinal donut' which is made with meringue, a very thin sponge and a layer of Kinder cream.

“The plain ones sell the most, but the 'Tricolor' is the real star because it has three flavours and is very popular with families,” says Forn de Ca na Teresa Manager, Marilena Rodríguez.

At Fornet de la Soca, pastry chef and confectionery researcher Tomeu Arbona has made a Tortell dels Reis and the results are spectacular. He decided to tackle it after a customer requested it and says making it was a real challenge.

This tortell used to be made by the fine confectioners at Cas Net and Can Frasquet in Palma," explains Tomeu. "These are two more refined specialities that are made with all natural ingredients, the quarto embetumat or royal cake. The first ones are filled with yolk, with their corresponding surprises, some with just meringue and others with chocolate and meringue and there is also a tortell de gató.”

At Forn Fondo in Palma, Confectioner Neus Llull is following in the family tradition, making typical greixoneres dels Reis. It’s one of the very few establishments that still makes them and of course they also add other surprises.

"This custom is deeply rooted in our establishment and despite the circumstances we live in, Godparents and Grandparents usually come looking for them to give as a gift with toys," says Neus.

“The greixoneretes are a recreation of the typical Majorcan sopes dish and I make them with a sponge dough to simulate bread soups," says Neus. The vegetables, such as beans, peas, turnips and carrots, I make with marzipan dough, food colouring, and a glazed egg, then charcoal is added as a joke for both adults and children, champagne bottle candies, gold coins, or chocolate chips. Lately we have been incorporating butter cookies of the Three Wise Men, decorated with icing and they’re very large this year,” adds Neus. “We still make plain roscones de Reyes covered in sugar for those who don't like candied fruits and other fillings, with cream, truffle and marzipan, all with surprises.”