Folar da Pascoa: Portugal's Delicious Easter Bread

Interessantamente, não leva ovos? Fica muito pesado?-Nao!!!
Portugal´s answer to the Hot cross bun? For Easter the Portuguese make Folar. Folar de Pascoa,the traditional symbolic Easter bread is almost mandatory when it comes to satisfying the insatiable Portuguese sweet tooth.There are two types of Folar, the sweet version and the savoury one, which includes preserved meats. Last year I made a savoury version so this year I decided to make a sweet one.The savoury versions are favoured more in the North,while the Algarve is home to the sweet version which is more like a cake that resembles a cinnamon roll with allspice and caramelized sugar.
There are plenty of recipes to be found online for making your own Folar da Pascoa, but many Portuguese prefer to skip all the work and choose from one of the many varieties to be found in  pastelerias and padarias across the country.Now I know why.My thinking on the subject was that this Easter "folklore" recipe warrants "caseiro"( home made) My choice was the Folar "tipo Olhão" This recipe is old as the hills that back the Algarve.Like Austrian Baumtorte it is a cake built in layers or folar (sheets).I unfortunately tried to be a little too clever and turned this old recipe on its head.I de-constructed the method and instead of layering the discs one on top of another I turned the tin on its side and lined it with the discs overlapping in a kind of spiral.My reasoning was based on a fascination with a picture of the cake I found on the internet.( how did they achieve that effect?)The recipe I selected had exactly the same ingredients and quantities.It stated stated it was for a large cake, so I halved the quantities.I cross checked other recipes and there  was no guidance in respect of what size tin to use.One recipe said line the "tins"-but again I ask, how many? Well I opted for a 15" loose bottomed tin and before I knew where I was the cake was erupting like Eyjafjallajokull all over my oven..I feel I created a Portuguese monster that was a chelsea bun/ Hot cross bun hybrid.Never again.Well, I used Algarvian orangesof course and for the liquor, Algarvian Medronho.A local cake for local people, plenty for you here.Well at least I tried. Votos de uma Páscoa Feliz!

This is the perfection that I was aiming for
and here is the original recipe in Portuguese and English....
1 kg de farinha
60 g de fermento de padeiro
Sumo de 2 laranjas
1,5 dl de água
125 g de banha
250 g de manteiga para barrar
1 cálice de aguardente
Açúcar e canela para polvilhar
1. Misturar a farinha com 125 g de manteiga, a banha, o sumo das laranjas, 1 cálice de aguardente e água com algum sal.
2. Desfazer o fermento numa pequena porção de água morna e amassar com a farinha.
3. Amassar tudo muito bem.
4. Tirar bocados de massa do mesmo tamanho e fazer bolas, estender com o rolo até ficarem circulares e planas, com cerca de 10 cm de diâmetro.
5. Barrar muito bem cada círculo com manteiga e polvilhar abundantemente com açúcar e um pouco de canela. Sobrepor vários círculos, uns por cima dos outros, dentro das formas, previamente untadas com margarina.
6. Deixar a levedar durante 1 hora no forno a 50 ºC.
7. Polvilhar abundantemente com açúcar e um pouco de canela por cima, Aquecer o forno a 180 ºC, deixar cozer durante 1 hora.
Este é um tipo de folar muito apreciado no Algarve e não só!!! Conhecido pela sua técnica de elaboração, em folhas ou camadas, cobertas por açúcar e canela. Sugere-se que sejam bem generosos na quantidade de açúcar polvilhado, pois senão este dilui-se e perde o efeito.
1 kg of flour
60 grams of baker's yeast
Juice of 2 oranges
150ml ml water
125 g of lard
250 g melted butter for spreading  
A glass of brandy
Sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle 

Mix the flour with 125 g of butter, lard, orange juice, brandy and water and salt.
dissolve the yeast in a small amount of warm water and knead into the flour.
Mix everything well.
Taking bits of dough the same size roll out circular discs, approximately 10cm in diameter.
Spread each circle well with butter and sprinkle with plenty of sugar and some cinnamon.   Overlap several circles, one above the other, within the baking tins, previously greased with butter.Leave in a warm place for 1 hour at 50 ° C.
Sprinkle with plenty of sugar and a little cinnamon on top,
Heat the oven to 180 º C and cook for 1 hour.


  1. Visions of little cakes erupting everywhere. Ha! They do sound lovely though if a little lively!

  2. Ha thank you, you're my saviour and my fall. I've been hunting around on the web for a while and this is the only recipe for Folar de Olhao that looks like it might be real. My mother just bought me one back from the Algarve and I devoured it, it was so good. Now I find out it probably had lard in it - aghhh, I'm a vegetarian! It's kind of ironic as I've just come up with a non-lardy lardy cake recipe so I could eat those sumptuous buns!

  3. Were the 10 cm (4") circles placed into a 15" pan? That doesn't seem right

  4. Yes that is correct.If you cut open a Folar you will see the structure of the cake is made up of overlapping circles.


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