Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bolinhos de Laranja "Little Orange Cakes"

Recipe by Paula.

I love the simplicity of Portuguese desserts. These little cakes have a lovely orange flavour and are so moist and delicate. They are perfect for an afternoon tea, wedding or baby shower. These little cakes are easy to make and be sure to make lots, they won't last long. Enjoy!

Makes 24

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
grated zest of 2 oranges
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sanding sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 2 muffin pans.

2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and orange zest.

3. In a separate bowl combine eggs and sugar and beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until the eggs are pale yellow and fall in ribbons. Stir in orange juice, butter and vanilla until well combined.

4. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. The mixture will froth a little. Pour the batter into the muffin cups filling them 3/4 of the way up.

5. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Sprinkle the top of each cake with some sanding sugar and return pans to the oven. Turn the oven off and leave them in there for 2 minutes.

6. Allow the pans to cool 5 minutes then run a knife around the edge of each cake and gently unmold. Let the cakes cool completely.



  1. Paula, I made these for a party last night! They were a big hit! My new favorite! Thank you and happy new year! xoxo

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the cakes! They are one of my favourites. :)

  2. Can these cakes be made eggless. I mean any egg substitute. Thanks

    1. I haven't tried using an egg substitute but give it a try and let me know how it worked out.

  3. I baked these for our Girl Scouts troop for our World Thinking Day booth and they were a big hit! Thanks for posting. I have been asked for the recipe multiple times and have been sharing your page.

  4. Paula, I just read your menu for the St. Lawrence Market supper club and my mouth is watering. My mother did not make lamb, but I learned to love it eating at friends' homes in Toronto. If you ever need an Azorean side-kick, I think I can equal your passion for Portuguese and other foods and have a couple of recipes that will knock your socks off. Please accept the friend request I am about to send you and, if you are curious, have a look at the recipes in my "notes" section. All the best, Anna

  5. Hi Paula: I made these for a graduation party and they were fantastic. Mine seemed to be denser than yours but nonetheless they were a hit. When you combine the eggs with the sugar do you use the paddle or whisk on the mixer?

  6. What nice little "treasure" cakes. I will have to try them soon, I'm a huge fan of orange anything! Thank you for posting.

  7. I just made these and they're lovely. I only have one muffin tin so I baked 2 batches. The first batch I filled a little more than 3/4 while the second batch I did less than 3/4. The first batch didn't get as nice and brown as the second did even though I left it in longer. I also didn't have sanding sugar but made a glaze instead because they definitely needed the extra sweetness and texture! Thankfully the cakes soaked up the glaze nicely :)

    Thank you for sharing!

  8. Could I use a mini muffin pans to make these or do they works best at regular size muffin pan, thank you.
    Geri Cederholm

  9. Hello Paula, someone had prviously asked this question is this for mini muffin pans as the look like they are not the regular size ones.