Pão de Ló – Portuguese Sponge Cake

Pão de Ló – “Sponge Cake”  Just as the translation is easy, so is the recipe. This cake is so easy to make that you’ll find yourself making it again and again. The recipe uses no oil, butter or fats so it’s virtually fat free!

This classic dessert is so versatile that you can make it for all the holidays, special occasions, bring it to a pot luck diner as a dessert, or just make one when you’re craving a simple cake.  Enjoy!….. and…..Happy Holidays!

This is a Christmas photo of the classic – Portuguese – Pao de Lo which I give as home made Christmas gifts for my family and friends.

*Please note: There is Silk – Poinsettia in the center

(Do not use real Poinsettias with food items)

Pao de lo recipe:

You will need an extra large bundt pan to cook the cake. If you don’t have an extra large pan be sure to use parchment paper all around so the cake doesn’t over spill.

Here’s our youtube video cooking the recipe.

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10 brown eggs (room temp)

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups sifted flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp (grated lemon peel – Optional)


Make sure your eggs are room temp or place them in a bowl of warm water for about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl beat the eggs until foamy. Add sugar and beat for at least 20 minutes until batter becomes very thick,  stiff peaks. (Add lemon at this point if desired)

Note: If using a kitchenaid mixer, mix for only 10-15 minutes until stiff peaks form.

While the sugar and eggs are beating, mix flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.

When the batter is ready, add the flour mixture very slowly 1/4 cup at a time on low speed or fold in with a spatula. 

This should only take about 3-5 minutes. (Don’t over beat, this is important) 

Grease a large tube pan. (Aluminum works best). If your pan is smaller, line the top few inches of the cake pan with parchment paper in case the batter rises over the top. Poor batter into the pan and shake slightly to spread evenly. 

Cook at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes. Invert the cake pan right side up onto a serving dish.

(Note:  This cake freezes well so you can make it ahead of time. Slice into pieces for individual servings or freeze the whole cake. Make sure it’s completely cooled, wrap in saran wrap and heavy foil or in Freezer bags.)

Pao de Lo – Easter Decoration


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9 Responses

  1. kaitlyn luis says:

    eu amo este bolo tanto que é tão gostoso

  2. julianna almeida holtby says:

    My grandmother’s recipe uses just three ingredients–eggs, flour, and sugar. Absolutely perfect every single time.

  3. Nelo Esteves says:

    Same recipe my mother used, except she would separate the eggs into yolks and whites. Cream the yolks with sugar, beat the egg whites, then fold into the batter at the end.

  4. Luis Goncalves says:

    I miss it so much! I’ll try to make it this Christmas, thank you 🙂

  5. Clara araujo-Goette says:

    Hi Maria

    I grow up with this cake, it was the only one my mom made from strach. I have made this cake twice now. Both times I made it, it seemed more like a pound cake then the air cake my mom made. I followed ur recipe to the T. I just remember it being very light and moist. I asked my mom but she lost her recipe years ago. That’s why she stopped making it. I have a kitcken aid blender and I use the tip that looks like a beater. Should I use the bread tip?

    Thanks clara

  6. Tia Maria says:

    Hi Clara, Try beating the egg whites separately, then folding them into the batter. Tips: be sure the eggs are room temp. Beat 20 minutes or more. Do not overcook. Some ovens require less cooking time. Keep cooking! Tia Maria

  7. Lorrie says:

    I tried making this recipe waiting to fold the egg whites in at the end-before I put the egg whites in, the dough was EXTREMELY thick and heavy. What did I do wrong??

  8. Odete Goncalves says:

    thank you, my mom and I have been making one, and i know she’s going to want to try yours! Can’t wait 🙂

  1. July 19, 2012

    […] Pão de-Ló Portuguese sponge cake – this recipe is perfect. […]

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