Cakes have always been extremely popular on special occasions and celebrations in Portugal: orange, lemon, and other fruit cakes are just some of the traditional flavors. Breaking from this norm, is the classic – and super easy – bolo de bolacha (biscuit cake). This no-bake cake goes into the fridge and is ready in a few hours.
I remember my grandma making this cake for me when I was a little girl – and I’m sure all children in Portugal remember their favorite bolo de bolacha fondly as well. It’s the type of cake that is associated with happy memories, and an easy way to pass on a little bit of Portuguese culture to the next generation because it’s perfect for all ages.
250 g (8.8 oz) butter, softened
250 g (8.8 oz) granulated white sugar
3 egg yolks (optional)
2 packs of Maria cookies (you probably won’t use the entire two packs)
1 cup freshly brewed coffee, room temperature
1. Beat the butter until creamy. Add the granulated sugar until you achieve a homogeneous texture. If you’re adding the yolks, do so at this point and beat until the texture and color are even throughout. Add a couple of tablespoons of the coffee to the cream and mix it in. Set aside.
2. Place the coffee in a bowl. Quickly dip a Maria cookie into the coffee – do not let it get soggy or it’ll break. The aim is to just give the cookies a coffee flavor. Place this cookie in the middle of the cake tray or plate you plan to serve it on. Dip six more cookies in the coffee and place each one around the first cookie in order to get a flower-like shape. (Alternatively, you could create a rectangular shape by placing the cookies in rows and columns.
3. Add a thin layer of buttercream on top of the cookies. Then, dip another seven cookies in the coffee, stack them on top of the cookies and cream, and keep alternating between cream and coffee-dipped cookies. Finally, end with a layer of cream on top and cover the sides with cream as well.
4. Decorate with crumbled Maria cookies or coffee beans. You can also decorate with fresh berries or whatever your stomach desires!
5. Leave in fridge to set for approximately 4 hours. And that’s it! Your bolo de bolacha is ready to eat and you’re ready to start making some delicious memories.
If you love using Maria cookies in your sweet treats, be sure to check out my recipe for Portuguese chocolate salami.