🇵🇹 Portugal: Bolo Rei

Bolo Rei, also called “King’s Cake,” is a staple dessert in any Portuguese home during the Holidays–but it’s normally not eaten until January 6th!

“Bolo Rei, or King´s Cake, is a traditional Portuguese cake, typically eaten during the holiday season, until January 6 (Kings´ Day). It is a staple dessert in any Portuguese home. It has a hole in the center and is baked from a soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts, and crystallized fruit inside.”


🇵🇹 Bolo Rei

Servings 1 Cake
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 45 mins


  • Mixer with a beater and a hook


  • 7 Cups All purpose flour
  • 1 Cup Fine sugar
  • 6 Eggs at room temperature
  • 1.25 Cups Butter at room temperature
  • 1.5 tsp Active dry yeast
  • 0.75 Cups Warm milk separated
  • Cups Warm milk separated
  • Cups Port wine
  • 2 pinches Salt
  • Cups Pinenuts
  • Cups Walnuts cut into pieces
  • 6 Walnuts in perfect halves (for decoration)
  • Cups Blanched silvered almonds
  • ¼ Cups Golden raisins
  • Cups Red and green candied cherries cut in quarters
  • 6 Red and green cherries whole (for decoration)
  • 1 Cup Candied fruits cut in small pieces
  • 2 Half candied pears
  • 2 Half candied oranges quartered (for decoration)
  • Icing sugar (for decoration)


  • Warm up the milk in a saucepan on medium heat until it reaches the point of boiling. Remove from the heat as soon as it does.
  • In a bowl, dissolve the yeast with 1/3 of the warm milk until totally dissolved.
  • Sift the flour and put 1 cup in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the yeast with the milk, a pinch of sugar and sprinkle some flour on top.
  • Leave it for 10 minutes to let the yeast rise.
  • Put the remaining 6 cups of sifted flour in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Add the flour and yeast from the bowl, the sugar and the remaining milk. Attach the flat beater and mix slowly.
  • Mix on medium speed until all ingredients are mixed well and have a smooth and even consistency.
  • Add the butter at room temperature, the Port wine, and the salt. Add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture very well before you add the next one.
  • Mix on medium speed to obtain a smooth and consistent dough.
  • When the dough starts to detach from the sides of the bowl, change the flat beater to a spiral dough hook and beat at medium speed for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little flour and cover it.
  • Allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled.
  • Put the bowl back in the stand mixer with the spital dough hook attached and deflate the dough.
  • Add all the nuts and candied fruit and mix to spread these evenly in the dough.
  • Take a 2 1/2 diameter cookie cutter and wrap it with a 5 inch wide strip of parchment paper all around. Tuck a bit of the parchment paper under and inside the cookie cutter so it doesn’t open.
  • Grease the outside of the parchment paper with butter or cooking spray.
  • Transfer the dough with the ingredients onto a lightly floured baking sheet.
  • Dust your hands with flour and shape the dough into a long log.
  • Make the dough into a circle leaving a wide hole in the middle and attach the ends of the log.
  • Put the lined cookie cutter in the middle of the circle so the cake doesn’t close in the center as it cooks.
  • Cover the cake and let it rise for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle.
  • Decorate the cake with the halved walnuts, the cherries and the strips of candied pear; and let it bake for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cookie cutter from the center and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool completely and dust with the icing sugar. Serve.

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