Roll Cake

The roll cake, or bolo de bolo, is the most traditional fall dessert in Brazil. Coming from the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, bolo de rolo is unique because of its numerous fine layers, made of alternating thin sheets of cake and a traditional guava paste filling. In 2008, bolo de rolo was officially considered a cultural legacy of the state of Pernambuco because of its special contribution to the Brazilian cultural gastronomy.

The bolo de rolo was originally developed in the seventeenth century as a version of colchão de noiva (bride’s mattress), a Portuguese dessert consisting of a sponge cake with an almond filling. When the white ladies from Portugal arrived in Brazil, they decided to substitute the original filling with guava and sugar, which were both commonly found in northeastern Brazil. Just like most of Brazil, the  bolo de rolo was born from the mixture of the European world and the native South American world.

Nowadays, bolo de rolo consists of many fine cake sheets rolled with any type of filling, such as fruits, doce de leite, chocolate, coconut and passion fruit, for example.Its main characteristic remains the total number of fine layers.

Most Brazilians prefer to eat it in any time of the day, pairing it with white cheeses and coffee. Do not miss the chance of sampling this delicacy if you ever visit Brazil; if not, you can make your own with some simple ingredients:


  • 5 eggs
  • 250g of all-purpose flour
  • 250g of refined sugar
  • 250g of unsalted butter
  • A pinch of salt
  • Enough guava paste
  • Enough sugar
  • Enough water


  • In a mixer, cream the softened butter and the sugar
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between each addition
  • Using a fuet, delicately incorporate the sifter flour in the batter]
  • After it is well incorporated, start using an electric mixer again and beat it until it is light and homogeneous
  • Using a spoon, carefully spread the batter in three baking sheets
  • Bake it in a 400° pre-heated oven for five minutes

Meanwhile, prepare the filling

  • Melt the guava paste with sugar to your taste and the water in a pan
  • As soon as you remove the sheets from the oven, spread a thin layer of the filling
  • Start  to tightly roll it from one of the sides
  • Keep rolling so that it ends up in a rolling pin shape
  • Repeat the baking process in three more sheets and keep adding and rolling layers until the desired size is reached
  • Finalize it by trimming the edges and sifting some icing sugar on top

Serve it warm and bom apetite!

By: Dora Hauache

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