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.”
– DOMINGOS FEZAS VITAL, AMBASSADOR OF PORTUGAL
🇵🇹 Bolo Rei
- 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
- ⅛ Cups Warm milk separated
- ⅓ Cups Port wine
- 2 pinches Salt
- ⅓ Cups Pinenuts
- ⅓ Cups Walnuts cut into pieces
- 6 Walnuts in perfect halves (for decoration)
- ⅓ Cups Blanched silvered almonds
- ¼ Cups Golden raisins
- ⅓ 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.