The queen’s cake

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In 1875, the owner of Confeitaria Nacional, a pastry store in downtown Lisbon, brought from France the recipe for “gateaux des rois,” the king’s cake. Decorated with crystallized fruit, the cake quickly became a staple of Portugal’s holiday season.

In recent years, an alternative to the king’s cake has gained prominence. Aptly called the queen’s cake (“bolo rainha”), it replaces the garish crystalized fruits with walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds. The dough is the same as that of the king’s cake, its lightness born from the alchemy produced by yeast combined with flour, eggs, sugar, and port wine.

We don’t want to press you to take sides. But still, we’re curious: which royal sweet is more likely to seduce your taste buds, the king or the queen’s ’s cake?

 

7 thoughts on “The queen’s cake

  1. I prefer Bolo Rei, but I have to say that all Bolos Rei are made equal. I have had some that were a bit on the dry, dense side. You need to buy it from a good ‘pastelaria’. Usually the good ones are well known because word gets around…

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