This year’s Bolo Rainha is finally here! Bolo Rainha is a traditional Portuguese Christmas Cake whose name roughly translates to “Queen Cake”.
I say this because every year I try to make a cake like this, but I only remember right around Christmas. And can you guess what the result is?
It always comes out a big mess, because it’s made in a hurry! I cannot test several recipes because I remember this aim too late and then I run out of time. And well, instead of a wonderful Bolo Rainha, the result is a ruined cake!
But this year it was different! YEEEEEY
This year I made it! I researched in advance, tested several recipes, and HABEMUS AN AMAZING RECIPE of Bolo Rainha! (please, clap your hands, I deserve it. eheh).
I researched a lot and came up with this recipe, which resulted in a WONDERFUL, drooling cake and I tell you now that I am bursting with excitement.
As I’ve told you in the past, I don’t love Christmas consumerism, but if there’s one thing I do enjoy about this time of the year it’s cooking.
Cooking a lot of tasty things for my people!
Cooking with lots of love and care, with the sole goal of bringing people together around the table and seeing them smile.
Is it a cliché? Maybe! But for me, Christmas is just that, people, smiles, and well…. bolo rainha to the mix. ahah
Let’s check the recipe step-by-step?
BOLO RAINHA RECIPE:
- 300g whole spelt flour
- 300g rye flour
- 2 sachets of dry baker’s yeast
- Salt to taste
- 100ml warm milk (you can use plant-based drinks or lactose-free milk)
- 100g Origens Bio Coconut Jelly
- 1 package pine nuts
- 1 handful of sliced almonds (or almond sticks)
- 1 package walnut kernels
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 5 eggs (1 of them is for sprinkling at the end)
- Zest of 1 whole orange
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- 3 tbsp aguardente (i.e., Portuguese brandy)
- 3 tbsp Port wine
- Start by coarsely chopping the walnuts (they can be of different sizes, some in halves, others more finely chopped. The idea is to have them half broken, but not too crumbly).
- Place the chopped walnuts in a large bowl, along with 3/4 of the almonds and 3/4 of the pine nuts.
- Add the brandy and Port wine to the bowl and mix well. Set aside.
- Slightly heat the milk so that it is warm (without letting it boil) and add the baker’s yeast. Mix well and let it rest for 2 or 3 min.
- Pour the spelt and rye flour into a large bowl and mix them together. Make a hollow in the middle and add the 4 eggs, salt, coconut jelly, coconut oil, orange zest, and the baker’s yeast milk mixture (that you prepared before).
- Mix it well until a homogeneous and consistent dough is formed.
- Add the nuts with the brandy and port wine to the dough and incorporate them well.
- Make a kind of ball with the dough, place a damp cloth over it, and let it rest in a warm place (I usually leave it inside the oven or the microwave) for 2 to 3 hours or until it begins to rise.
- When the dough is almost double in size, place it on a surface dusted with flour. Knead it lightly.
- Make a ball with the dough and open a cavity in the middle.
- Transfer the dough to a baking pan previously lined with baking paper
- Cover it once more with a damp cloth for 30 minutes, so that it rises a bit more.
- Preheat the oven to 180º.
- After letting it rest for 30 minutes, take the cloth off and brush the bolo rainha with egg.
- Drizzle with orange juice. I advise you to poke the dough so that you can drizzle it without the orange juice falling to the edges. Otherwise, it will burn the bottom of the cake. In the end, you can also brush it a little with the rest of the orange juice, to give it that “sticky” consistency.
- Add the remaining dried fruits on top, to make it look more appetizing.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked (use our beloved method: the toothpick test).
- Let it cool and serve.
Suggestion: You can use whatever dried fruits you enjoy. For example, you can add raisins or hazelnuts. I like walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts…
You can use just Port wine or brandy. Or if you don’t like it, you can use none of these drinks. If so, replace them with the juice of 1/2 an orange, so you can macerate the nuts.
If you want to be more modern, you can make this cake with chocolate or nutella (which is very trendy!). Just add the filling to the dough or poke the dough so that you can put portions of the filling you want.
This cake is not very sweet, so if you like sweeter cakes, add more coconut jelly, honey, or brown sugar.
Although very tasty, the cake is not super fluffy, because I used a mixture of rye and spelt flour. You can use only spelt flour, or you can mix it with others like wheat flour or buckwheat flour for example. Use your imagination or make it with what you have at home.