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Lisbon Chocolate Cake Recipe – Easy Kitchen Guide

Last Updated on December 3, 2023

Lisbon chocolate cake is a rich and indulgent dessert that is a beloved treat in Portugal, known for its deep chocolate flavors and creamy texture. Made with simple ingredients, this cake is easy to make yet impressive enough to be served on any special occasion.

In this article, we will guide you through the steps to create the perfect Lisbon chocolate cake, from preparing the pan to making the creamy ganache topping.

Whether you’re a beginner baker or an experienced one, this is sure to satisfy your chocolate cravings and impress your friends and family. So let’s get started and indulge in the deliciousness of this Portuguese delicacy!

Lisbon Chocolate Cake Recipe

What is Lisbon Chocolate Cake? 

Lisbon chocolate cake, also known as bolo de chocolate Lisboa, is a rich and fudgy cake that originated in Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon. It is a popular dessert in the country, often served in cafes and bakeries.

The cake is deeply flavored with cocoa powder and melted chocolate, creating a dense and moist texture. It is usually topped with a creamy ganache, adding an extra layer of indulgence to this already decadent treat.

This cake is perfect for chocolate lovers and can be enjoyed on its own or served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delicious contrast of flavors. It’s also great for special occasions like birthdays or dinner parties, as it makes a beautiful presentation and is sure to impress any guest.

Why You’ll Love This Lisbon Chocolate Cake?

  • Simple Ingredients: This recipe uses simple and readily available ingredients, making it easy to whip up this delicious cake whenever you get a craving for something sweet.
  • Decadent Flavor: The combination of cocoa powder and melted chocolate gives this cake a rich and indulgent flavor that is sure to satisfy any chocolate lover’s cravings.
  • Easy to Make: Even though it looks and tastes impressive, this cake is surprisingly easy to make. With basic baking skills, anyone can create the perfect Lisbon chocolate cake.
  • Versatile: This cake can be served on its own or combined with other flavors like whipped cream or fruits for a different twist each time you make it.
  • Perfect for Special Occasions: With its beautiful presentation and rich flavor, this cake is perfect for any special occasion or celebration. Your friends and family will be impressed by your baking skills!

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Ingredients 

  • Unsalted butter: This recipe uses unsalted butter to control the salt content in the cake. If you only have salted butter on hand, simply omit adding the additional salt called for in this recipe.
  • Granulated sugar: Provides sweetness to balance out the cocoa powder.
  • Fine sea salt: Enhances the overall flavor balance by highlighting the sweetness.
  • Baking powder: Adds a subtle leavening effect for a delicate rise in the cake.
  • Eggs: Binds and moistens the cake, ensuring a luscious texture.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: Infuses the cake with a deep, chocolatey essence.
  • Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate: Melts into pockets of chocolatey decadence throughout the cake. Use whichever type you prefer, depending on your preference for sweetness.
  • Cornstarch: Assists in creating a tender crumb texture in the cake.
  • Heavy cream: Creates a velvety and creamy texture for the ganache topping.
Lisbon Chocolate Cake Copycat Recipe

Step-by-Step Directions 

Step 1

Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Pan

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C.
  • Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter, then dust it with cocoa powder. This will prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and add an extra layer of chocolate flavor.

Step 2

Cream Butter, Sugar, Salt & Baking Powder

  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the salt and baking powder, then mix until well combined.

Step 3

Add Eggs & Cocoa Powder

  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. This allows for a smoother and more consistent texture in the cake.
  • Gradually mix in the cocoa powder until well combined with the butter mixture.

Step 4

Melt Chocolate & Add to Batter

  • In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
  • Allow the chocolate to cool slightly before mixing it into the batter until well combined.

Step5

Add Cornstarch & Pour Batter Into Pan

  • Gradually mix in the cornstarch until fully incorporated into the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula for an even layer.

Step 6

Bake Cake & Cool Completely

  • Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely before removing it from the pan.

Step 7

Make Ganache & Spread Over Cake

  • To make the ganache, place the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it starts to simmer.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute before stirring until smooth and glossy.
  • Spread the ganache over the cooled cake, using a spatula to create an even layer.

Step 8

Dust with Cocoa Powder and serve

  • Allow the ganache to cool and set for 15-20 minutes.
  • Dust the top of the cake with cocoa powder, then slice and serve. Enjoy your delicious Lisbon chocolate cake!

Tips 

  • Make sure to use room-temperature ingredients, especially the butter and eggs. This will ensure a smooth and even batter.
  • Don’t overmix the batter after adding in the flour. This can result in a tough and dense cake.
  • For an extra rich flavor, use dark chocolate instead of semisweet or bittersweet.
  • To add a twist to the cake, top it with fresh berries, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings.
  • To prevent the ganache from cracking, make sure the cake is completely cooled before adding it on top.
How to Make Lisbon Chocolate Cake Recipe

Nutrition Information 

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How to store Lisbon Chocolate Cake?

Once the cake has cooled completely, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you want to keep it longer, you can also refrigerate the cake for up to 5 days. Just make sure to let it come back to room temperature before serving for the best texture and flavor.

If you have any leftover slices of cake, you can also freeze them for up to 2 months. Simply wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap and then place them in an airtight container or freezer bag before storing them in the freezer.

Thaw the slices in the refrigerator overnight before enjoying. The cake may not be as moist after freezing, but it will still be delicious!

What other substitute can I use in Lisbon Chocolate Cake? 

If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, here are some substitutions you can try:

  • Instead of unsalted butter, you can use an equal amount of salted butter and omit the additional salt in the recipe.
  • For a dairy-free option, you can use coconut oil instead of butter.
  • You can also use cake flour instead of all-purpose flour for a lighter and fluffier texture.
  • If you want to make this cake gluten-free, you can use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend in place of regular flour. Just make sure it contains xanthan gum or add 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the batter for a better texture.
How to Make Lisbon Chocolate Cake Recipe

Lisbon Chocolate Cake Recipe

Lisbon chocolate cake is a rich and indulgent dessert that is a beloved treat in Portugal, known for its deep chocolate flavors and creamy texture. Made with simple ingredients, this cake is easy to make yet impressive enough to be served on any special occasion.
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Author: Lori Walker, MS, RD
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Portuguese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 5
Calories: 361kcal

Equipment

  • 9 inch round cake pan
  • Large mixing bowls

Ingredients

For The Cake:

  • 1/4 cup/57.5 grams unsalted butter 1/2 stick – Providing a rich, buttery flavor and moisture to the cake.
  • 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar – Providing sweetness to harmonize with the cocoa.
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt – Enhancing the overall flavor balance by highlighting the sweetness.
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder – Adding a subtle leavening effect for a delicate rise.
  • 2 eggs – Binding and moistening the cake ensuring a luscious texture.
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder – Infusing the cake with a deep chocolatey essence.
  • 2.5 ounces/70 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped – Melting into pockets of chocolatey decadence.
  • 3/4 tablespoon cornstarch – Assisting in creating a tender crumb texture.

For The Ganache:

  • 3 ounces/85 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate finely chopped – Melting into the cream to form a rich and glossy chocolate topping.
  • 7/8 cup/210 milliliters heavy cream – Creating a velvety and creamy texture for the ganache.

For The Topping:

  • 1.5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder – Dust the cake with a delicate cocoa layer adding a final touch of chocolatey allure.

Instructions

  • Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter, then dust it with cocoa powder. This will not only prevent the cake from sticking to the pan but also add an extra layer of chocolate flavor for a truly indulgent experience. Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C.
  • In a large bowl, utilize an electric mixer to cream together the butter and sugar until they reach a light and fluffy consistency. Once achieved, introduce the salt and baking powder into the mix and stir until fully combined.
  • Take your time adding each egg one by one, ensuring that each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. This technique results in a smoother and more consistent texture for the cake. Gradually mix in the cocoa powder until it becomes one with the butter mixture.
  • In a small saucepan, melt your choice of chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a smooth and velvety consistency with no lumps. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly before adding it to the batter and mixing until fully incorporated.
  • Slowly mix in the cornstarch, taking care to incorporate it evenly throughout the batter. Once fully integrated, pour the batter into your prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth out the top for an even layer.
  • Bake the cake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once done, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely before removing it from the pan.
  • To make the ganache, place finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream until it reaches a gentle simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 1 minute before stirring until it becomes smooth and glossy.
  • Spread the ganache over the cooled cake, using a spatula to create an even layer. Allow the ganache to cool and set for 15-20 minutes before dusting the top with cocoa powder. Slice, serve, and indulge in the rich and decadent flavors of Lisbon chocolate cake.

Notes

  • Make sure to use room-temperature ingredients, especially the butter and eggs. This will ensure a smooth and even batter.
  • Don’t overmix the batter after adding in the flour. This can result in a tough and dense cake.
  • For an extra rich flavor, use dark chocolate instead of semisweet or bittersweet.
  • To add a twist to the cake, top it with fresh berries, whipped cream, or chocolate shavings.
  • To prevent the ganache from cracking, make sure the cake is completely cooled before adding it on top.
Keyword: Lisbon Chocolate Cake Recipe

FAQs

Can I make this cake in a different size pan?

Yes, you can use an 8-inch round cake pan or a 9×9-inch square pan for a thicker cake. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.

Can I use Dutch-process cocoa powder instead of unsweetened cocoa powder?

Yes, you can use Dutch-process cocoa powder for a richer and deeper chocolate flavor.

Can I use a different type of chocolate for the ganache?

Yes, you can use your preferred type of chocolate for the ganache, such as milk or white chocolate. Just keep in mind that this will change the overall sweetness level of the cake.

How do I know when the cake is baking?

You can insert a toothpick into the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is ready. The edges of the cake will also start to pull away from the pan when it’s done.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this recipe for Lisbon Chocolate Cake! We hope you enjoy making and tasting this rich and decadent dessert.

Feel free to experiment with different toppings or mix-ins, such as nuts or dried fruit, to make it your own. make sure to share this article with your friends and family so they can also indulge in this delicious treat.

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Author Profile

My name is Lori Walker. I’m a registered dietitian, food blogger and food enthusiast. I share easy healthy, delicious recipes on my blog and review necessary kitchen items. The recipes I share take less… Read more

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