The calling card of Vizela, this Vizela Bolinhol Recipe shows you how to make a sponge cake that is as light as air. Only using eggs, flour, and sugar.  I learned how to bake Vizela Bolinhol during my recent journey to this municipality located in Northern Portugal. In Vizela the Bolinhol recipe is a very hot topic with several specialized bakeries claiming the most authentic and original recipe. The 3 main bakeries: Kibom, Pastelaria Fina and Pão-de-Ló Delicia all compete fiercely to see who makes the best Vizela Bolinhol. And I had the opportunity to visit all of them. The recipe is basically the same, with little nuances, that in the end are only perceived by a Vizela Bolinhol connoisseur. Something that I certainly am not. What did strike me in the several versions of the Vizela Bolinhol that I tried is how incredibly light and fluffy the dough is. Especially when it is achieved without any baking soda or yeast. So this is the main reason why I bake Vizela Bolinhol at home: to make a  sponge cake that is as light as air and delight my guests with this little piece of heaven.

Vizela Bolinhol Recipe

Vizela Bolinhol Ingredients (for 6 pax ):

  • 4 eggs
  • 20 egg yolks
  • 300 g of caster sugar
  • 150 g of  white flour (well sieved)

Vizela Bolinhol Method:

Preheat the oven to 200º C or 180º C if you are using a fan oven.

Take the eggs out of the fridge beforehand, as doing the mix with cold eggs normally leads the dough not to rise (so much).

Add the eggs, the egg yolks, and the sugar to the Kitchen Aid bowl and set the mixing speed to 4 during 20 minutes. You will see the mix become increasingly thick and lighter in color until it reaches a light yellow.

You will see that the mix is done when it doesn’t run from the mixer blades.

Gently, very gently whisk the flour into the bowl, setting the speed to 1 for about 2/3 minutes.  This part is important, as we just want to introduce the flower to the mix and create a dough and not beat the mix any further.

Now line the baking tray (or trays if you are doing smaller batches) with baking or parchment paper. Make sure all the corners are well covered, so cut the paper into shape accordingly.

Pour the dough into the trays, being careful only to fill up to about a third. Otherwise, the dough will overflow the edges of the tray/pater and make a mess inside your oven.

Cover the tray(s) with a single sheet of paper and bake for 18-20 minutes.

It took me a few tries to get the right consistency and baking time, so it’s better to check around the 15min mark to see how much more baking it needs.

Don’t forget that the dough still cooks for a few minutes after being taken from the oven.

Let rest for 10/15 minutes to cool down.

Vizela Bolinhol photo gallery with all the steps:

Sugar Syrup Glaze

The particularity of the Vizela Bolinhol, and what separates it from all the other Pão-de-Lós in Portugal is the fact that it is covered with a sugar glaze. I prefer mine without this glaze. However,  if you want to try, add 200 g of caster sugar to 25o ml of water and bring to a simmer long enough for the syrup to thicken and start making bubbles on the surface of the pan. Then just add a large spoon and glaze the bolinhol on every side, with the top part receiving the thicker part of the glaze.

…and Pronto!

Your Vizela Bolinhol is ready to be eaten, or to be used as a lighter than air sponge cake for your baking creations.

This Vizela Bolinhol Recipe was written under my partnership with the Municipality of Vizela. All opinions are my own.