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PORTUGAL: Bola de bolacha (Cookie Cake)


5-6 people

Ready In:

1h + time to chill

Good For:



About this Recipe

By: Rita

Bola de bolacha, which means “biscuit cake”, is a traditional Portuguese cake that is easy to make because it has to be chilled, not baked! Using biscuits soaked in coffee and buttercream, it is the perfect Portuguese dessert. 

Thanks to Rita, a member of the International Women’s Association of Pittsburgh (IWAP) for this recipe. Rita came to Pittsburgh from Portugal in 2019. She says, “Moving to America, in particular Pittsburgh, has been a fantastic experience. I have met wonderful people that made me feel at home.”


spain on a map
  • 2 dL coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8.8 oz butter, room temp
  • 14 oz Maria cookies
  • 4 Maria cookies, minced
  • 3 egg yolks, XL

Maria cookies, which are similar to tea biscuits, are eaten by kids all across Portugal and Spain. This cake often creates a sense of nostaglia!

almonds placed on basbousa
coffee and basbousa


Step 1
Prepare the coffee ~2 dL, then pour it into a bowl or deep dish.
Step 2
Dice the butter into a bowl, then add the sugar.
Step 3
With a mixer, beat the mixture until a cream is obtained and, without stopping, mix the egg yolks one by one until the mixture is uniform and creamy.
Step 4
Prepare a square tray.
Step 5
Soak the biscuits one by one in the coffee and place them side by side in the tray until they cover the bottom and spread them with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat successive
layers of crackers and cream until you reach 3/4 layers of crackers.
    Step 6
    Refrigerate tray for at least 4 hours (ideally) before serving.
    Sprinkle with the pre-ground cookies.