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Bolo De Bolacha (Portuguese No Bake Biscuit Cake)

July 28, 2014

Being the thrifty (stingy) types that we are, our recent trip to Portugal was mainly decided by cross referencing the Guardian’s Top 100 Budget Boutique Hotels list with the cheapest budget airline destinations. As a result we were working on a hand luggage only rule and so were limited in the things we could bring back (also good for the budget!). This meant that the post-holiday treats for work were going to have to be made at home. Not wanting to let Team Bland down I thought I’d try a Portuguese speciality, the Bolo De Bolacha, which is a type of fridge cake.

Bolo de Bolacha fridge cake from portugal

Easier to make that Pasteis de Nata

The filing varies depending on who you talk to but it’s basically some form of buttercream, whether meringue-style or bog standard. Mine is a simple but egg-enriched one. Mr B’s Polish colleague said that there is a very similar type of cake which is popular in Poland too which makes sense since, having been delighted to bring the official “Maria” biscuits home, I saw them for sale yesterday in our local Polish supermarket!

Biscuity Layers

It’s easy to make (don’t panic if the first couple of layers look awful) and it’s not a sickly-sweet as you might imagine. Not quite.

Bolo De Bolacha

1 pack of Maria biscuits or Rich Tea Biscuits
1 egg yolk
125g butter
125g icing sugar
2 tbsp milk

1 cup of very strong coffee
or for non-coffee lovers
2 heaped tsp cocoa powder dissolved in a cup of hot water

Make the cocoa or coffee and leave to cool. This is important or the biscuits will fall apart too quickly.

Cream the butter and icing sugar together add the egg and then the milk and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
Beat some more until lighter and fluffier!

If you want to move this after making it, line a plate with clingfilm leaving plenty of spare around the edges. If not create your “bolo” straight onto whatever you will serve it on.

With the liquid in a mug dunk the biscuit very quickly, no hanging around because we all know that Rich Tea are ‘One Dips’ (see below). You don’t want lots of residual liquid as it’ll bake the butter layer difficult.

Place the biscuit on the plate, dip the next and place it next to it. I did mine in a circle of 6 but you could do in pairs in a row or however you fancy. Do this until you have one layer of biscuits.

Using a palette knife carefully spread a thin-ish layer of the butter mixture over the biscuits making sure to go to the edges. Don’t worry if they disintegrate a bit, you’ll get better at it. Remember, the butter mixture needs to go between every layer and a good slathering on the top (and sides maybe) to finish.

Keep repeating dunk, layer, spread, dunk, layer spread until you run out of biscuits. If possible, keep one biscuit to crumble over the top (or crumble a different biscuit eg bourbon for interest and colour)

Cover with a tin or bowl and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

Eat chilled.

Most wonderful blog reader award goes to Beckie who noticed that I’d forgotten to say to put the egg in when you cream the butter and sugar. Oops


I’m adding this the SuperGoldenBakes CookBlogShare which I have been very remiss at getting involved with. It’s a collection of recipes from each week with interesting ones highlighted by Lucy

10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2014 7:42 pm

    Looks very like the American’s “ice box cake” but with a bit more effort! Silly question, but where do you add the egg yolk?

  2. July 28, 2014 8:56 pm

    DUR!! Sorry, and thanks for spotting. I’ve heard of icebox cake but I assumed it was like refrigerator cake that we make. I shall go and look it up. The egg goes in with the butter and sugar once it’s started to cream together. x

  3. July 29, 2014 9:29 am

    Gosh this sounds dreamy. I love a good fridge cake and the use of coffee here sounds great. I will definitely be trying this one. Did it travel well to work? I think my colleagues would like it.

    • July 29, 2014 9:50 am


      Yeah Steve’s colleagues loved it. I made sure I made it straight onto the lid of the cake tin (with parchment underneath). It goes pretty solid after a night in the fridge so it’ll travel well as long as it doesn’t get too warm. You’d want to put it in the fridge when you get to work just in case.

  4. July 29, 2014 5:20 pm

    This has gone straight onto my Pinterest board for delicious pudding-y things. I love how simple it is- I reckon even I could manage dunking a bunch of biscuits then slathering them in buttercream 🙂 xxx

  5. July 30, 2014 7:41 pm

    This looks like something my mother used to make in Greece – but much, much better. I think if I started nibbling on it I would finish entire plate. Love!
    Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare – check out the other entries on Pinterest
    and Google+

  6. Kyla permalink
    December 3, 2017 7:21 pm

    Great recipe, made this for my mum as she loves it and it turned out amazing. Thanks for sharing this and this recipe will be used a lot .

    • December 4, 2017 9:23 am

      Brilliant! So glad you and your mum enjoyed it. Next time you make it – send a photo?

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