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What would a traditional holiday be without a traditional dish? St John's Eve, 23rd June, is Catalonia's popular midsummer festival, and the dish Catalans are set to eat almost two million of this year is the coca de Sant Joan. The restaurant Caelis, with chef Romain Fornell and head pastry chef Eddi Arteaga, shows us all the secrets to how to make it.

The coca de Sant Joan is a sweet, brioche-type pastry. As you might imagine, there is a wide range of opinions when it comes to toppings; our chefs have gone for very traditional candied fruits and pine nuts. Plus, they recommend filling it with whipped cream.


Ingredients for a coca de Sant Joan (serves 12):

  • strong or bread flour - 500g / 17.5oz
  • butter - 300g / 10.5oz
  • eggs - 250g / 9oz
  • sugar - 62.5g / 2oz
  • lemon - 1
  • orange - 1
  • yeast - 20g
  • salt - 10g
  • milk - 50g
  • water - 25g


  1. Zest the lemon and the orange
  2. In a bowl, mix the zest and the sugar (if possible, leave this covered overnight in the fridge before continuing)
  3. Mix the yeast into lukewarm milk
  4. In a new, large bowl, add the flour, most of the eggs and the sugar and zest mixture
  5. Add the salt on one side of the bowl, the yeast and milk mixture on the other, trying to keep them separate initially
  6. Mix into a dough
  7. Once it starts coming together, cube the cold butter, and add it slowly, starting to incorporate each batch before adding the next
  8. Add and combine the water
  9. Fold the dough into a smooth ball, cover and leave to prove for two hours
  10. Half the dough, work each half into its own smooth ball and cover with sunflower oil then clingfilm
  11. Leave to sit for 45 minutes
  12. Lightly oil your work surface and roll the dough out to shape (see video)
  13. Leave it to prove for another two hours at room temperature
  14. Brush the dough with the remaining egg
  15. Top with the candied fruit, pine nuts and a sprinkling of sugar
  16. Prove the dough for a final 45 minutes at room temperature
  17. Bake in a preheated over for 18 minutes at 175ºC / 350ºF
  18. Leave to cool
  19. Half and fill with whipped cream if desired
  20. Serve