Home » Visit » Flavours of Lisboa » Bolo-Rei (King Cake)

Bolo-Rei (King Cake)

Symbol of the Christmas season in Portugal, the King Cake is an indispensable food item in the Portuguese “consoada” (traditional Christmas Eve supper).
The king cake became very popular in the nineteenth century in Portugal and first sold at Confeitaria Nacional, in Lisbon, in 1869. The recipe was brought from Paris by Baltazar Castanheiro, son of the founder of the confectionery. The crown-shaped cake stuffed with nuts and candied fruit was a hit and soon other confectioners began to produce some convincing imitations.
Traditionally a trinket and a dried fava bean were placed inside the cake batter and the person who gets the fava has to buy the cake the following year.
A few years ago, for security reasons, was forbidden to put the trinket inside the cake.

750 g flour
30 g fresh yeast
150 g butter
150 g sugar
150 g candied fruit (cherry, pear, apricot, fig, peach, orange, tangerine)
150 g dried fruits (raisins, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts)
4 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1 dl port wine
1 dessert sp. salt

. Chop half the candied fruit, leave them to macerate with port wine and reserve a few whole for garnish.
. Dissolve the yeast in 1 dl of warm water, add 1 cup of the flour and leave 15 minutes to rise.
. Beat the butter, sugar, lemon and orange zest. Add eggs, one at a time beating, and yeast dough.
When everything is well mixed, add the rest of the flour, dried fruit, chopped candied fruit, salt and port wine.
. Knead well and make a ball, sprinkle with flour and cover with a cloth and leave to rise until doubled in volume. .
. Place the dough on a board and make the crown. Leave it to stand over 1 hour.
. Brush the cake with egg yolk, garnish with candied fruit, sugar cubes, nuts and bake in a hot oven for about an hour.
. After cooking brush the cake with jelly diluted in a warm water, to give a shiny finish.