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An overhead shot of a cooled Portuguese Honey Cake, with two slices ready for serving, with some sliced almonds on the side.
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Bolo de Mel Recipe (Portuguese Honey Cake)

A light and flavorsome cake with no-fuss preparation, this simple Honey Cake (locally known as Bolo de Mel) is an excellent treat for afternoon snacks or after-meal dessert.  Serve it with coffee, tea, or even with a glass of wine!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: portuguese
Servings: 12
Calories: 165kcal
Author: Neriz


  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, (plus more for preparing cake pan)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature & separated
  • 2 tbsp butter, (about 19 grams, plus more for greasing pan)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup & 3 tbsp dark honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp anise powder



  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan; then set aside.


  • Sift and mix flour, baking powder, and cinnamon into a medium-sized bowl.
  • Using a separate large mixing bowl, cream egg yolks and sugar.
  • Add the softened butter, honey, olive oil and aniseed powder.  Mix.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix until just combine.
  • Using a separate medium bowl, whip egg whites to stiff peaks.
  • Fold beaten egg whites into the cake batter.


  • Pour cake mixture into greased and floured pan.
  • Tap cake pan on the counter to remove bubbles on the mixture.
  • Sprinkle with sliced almonds on top.
  • Place cake pan in the lower part of the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a dry toothpick comes out when you test the center.
  • Remove pan from the oven and set aside for at least 15 minutes.
  • Transfer into a serving plate.
  • Slice and serve individually, sprinkling with more sliced almonds, if desired. 



  • Cook's Tip #1:  Do not forget to add some salt if you are using unsalted butter.
  • Cook's Tip #2:  When mixing the egg yolks with sugar, make sure that your sugar has been dissolved.
  • Cook's Tip #3:  A darker shade of honey and brown sugar will result in a deeper color of this simple honey cake.
  • Cook's Tip #4:  Tap the cake pan on top of your counter before placing it in the oven to remove bubbles from your cake batter. You will not remove all the bubbles, but this trick will surely lessen them.
  • Cook's Tip #5:  The lower part of the oven is the best place to bake this honey cake. It ensures that your sliced almonds will not get too dark too soon
  • Variation #1:  Fennel seeds ground into powder are a good substitute for anise seeds. If you can only find anise seeds, you need to ground them to use in this recipe.
  • Variation #2:  You can replace brown sugar with regular white sugar, but keep in mind that it will change your cake color.


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1mg