One of the most common things you will see in bakeries in Spain during the Christmas holidays is a large bagel-shaped cake, usually cut in half long-ways and filled with whipped cream or other sweet fillings.
This cake is called a Roscón de Reyes. Roscón is the large bagel shape of the cake itself and the Reyes refer to the Three Kings that Christians recognize as the Three Wise Men who brought the baby Jesus gifts on the 6th of January. And, for any true Spanish celebration of the Epiphany, you should definitely have a Roscón de Reyes on your table. While you can make your own version, it is not uncommon to buy a cake at a local bakery.
Like many traditions, the Roscón de Reyes has many potential origins. While some people believe that it has always been part of a Catholic celebration, others tie the sweet cake with candied fruit to similar traditions carried out by the Romans celebrating Saturn where a comparable cake was made.
Despite the official origins, this Roscón has been part of the celebration of Reyes from around the 12th century as we can see its appearance is several written works by different authors around Spain. Although the celebrations had different names in different regions of Spain (and can even be found in other countries such as France), today they have commonly come together to represent the celebration of the Epiphany.