Portuguese Easter Cake (Pão de ló) Recipe

Portuguese Easter Cake (Pão de ló) Recipe
Every country, it seems, has special dishes that they serve for Easter, and I ran across a Portuguese cake that is traditionally served on Easter in Portugal. The cake was easy to make, had minimal ingredients, and turned out beautifully. This version of Portuguese Easter Cake (Pão de ló) was adapted from a recipe I found on Pinterest from an excellent blog called 196 Flavors. It is a plain cake, but can be dressed up with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or a scoop of fresh berries and whipped cream.
According to Food 52, this cake dates back to the 15th century, and was taken to Japan by Portuguese sailors where it became widely popular; in Japan it is called Kasutera. The cake is simple enough that it can be varied in dozens of ways, and is now my go-to cake when I want something basic to dress up. I’ve found that a heavy-duty mixer makes it easier to beat the eggs with the sugar, but if you are strong and have plenty of stamina, you can do it by hand (I doubt they had heavy mixers in the 15th century, and they managed to make it then). I plan to decorate it a little this year and serve it at my Easter brunch. It is also a good cake for trifle.

12 Servings

10 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar

2 cups flour
teaspoon baking powder, 1/2
zest of 1 lemon

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Spray a 9" springform pan with non-stick spray, line with parchment, then spray the parchment with non-stick spray.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl on high speed; gradually add the sugar.
  4. Continue beating about 20 minutes until the mixture is lemon colored.
  5. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a fine strainer set over the egg mixture; shake through and carefully fold in.
  6. Add the lemon zest and lightly mix.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  8. Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and let sit 5 minutes.
  10. Unmold and let cool thoroughly.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 203 Calories from Fat 39
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 19% Protein 15% Carb. 66%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 177 mg
Sodium 82 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 17 g
Protein 7 g

Vitamin A 5% Vitamin C 4% Calcium 0% Iron 5%

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