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  • Bolo de Goiabada (Guava Cake)

    Guava Cake. Bolo de Goiabada. 

    More time for cake, I think is in order. 

    Guava paste (goiabada) is delicious. I was introduced to it by my Brazilian boo, of course. Back when we were first going out, he brought me a brick of it, and it was the most interesting flavor...and texture. Some varieties are "com cascao" or with the peel. Some are not. Either way, there a little texture-bits that remind me of those in a pear-small little things that aren't unpleasant, but present. The flavor, to me, is like a strawberry on tropical steroids: fruity, tangy, a little sulfurous. And the color: deep red! 

    I remember eating little nibbles of the stuff....wondering what it could be used in. And my boo was all over the salty white cheese-guava paste combo: "Romeu e Julieta" in Brazil. We rolled up little spoons of Wisconsin goat cheese with Brazilian goiabada into homemade croissant dough-perfect for a chilly January in Wisconsin treat. 

    Paired with cream cheese, as in the frosting for this cake, it reminds me of high-school bagels, slatered with strawberry-cream cheese. Only, better. And not high school. Win!

    The cake in this recipe is dense (or at least, that is how it turned out for me); and frosting is light and airy. The goibada flavor is subtle, since you're diluting it with batter and frosting components, but it is most certainly still there. The whole thing is a pale pink shade, the color that seems to be everywhere these days, reminding us that everything is gonna be OK. Honestly, it reminds me of Mary Kay pink, and maybe a splash of the 80s, too. It is a comforting color-and super fitting for spring. Several recipes on the internets allowed for red food coloring to be added to the cake and frosting, but honestly, I love the pale pink. Nature is colorful on her own!

    You'll find yourself with 6 egg yolks after making this cake; so make some custard, a vat of mayo for upcoming mayo-bound salads (which I personally hate, but you do you....American-style potato salad lover...), or whip them into your eggs for your weekend frittata. Either way, you'll find use for them, because eggs are amazing.

    I think next time, I'll look into substituting about half the butter for oil, for a more moist crumb. The frosting, I'll let it be-since it was pretty tasty (even for someone who does not fancy frosting that much). Initially inspired by Aloha Kitchen's guava cake recipe, I used A Cozy Kitchen's strawberry sheet cake recipe here, and stuck to the frosting recipe in the Aloha recipe.

    One tip: since the goiabada that I had was quite firm, I pureed it with a little water in my blender to make a completely smooth paste. And honestly, I think you could substitute this with strawberry jam-the good stuff that your grandma or cousin makes-and have equally tasty results. The midwestern-take on this tropical cake!For the planners out there, the whole works comes together easily. An easy after-work baking project, to either share with co-workers the next day, or take to a weekend birthday party (that's what I did). Be sure to take the cake out of the fridge about 45 minutes before you're serving, so it has a chance to warm up! Enjoy!

    Bolo de Goiabada (Guava Cake) // Makes 1 9x13" cake //


    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, straight from the fridge
    • 8 oz. regular cream cheese at room temp (let it sit out overnight)
    • ½ cup (100g) powdered sugar
    • Pinch sea salt
    • ½ cup goiabada (thinned with water and pureed if necessary to get a smooth consistency)


    • 2 ¾ cup cake flour (352g)
    • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temp (let sit out overnight)
    • 1 ¾ cup white sugar
    • ¾ cup milk (I used homemade cashew milk)
    • 6 large egg whites
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • ½ cup goiabada (pureed with a little water, if necessary to get a smooth consistency)

    Cake: Lightly oil and line a 9x13” metal cake pan with parchment, securing the parchment in place. Sift the cake flour and baking powder into a large bowl. In a stand mixing bowl, mix the softened butter with the sugar and vanilla, for about 3 minute until light and fluffy. While that mixes, combine in a large measuring jug the milk, egg whites, and goiabada (if goiabada is thick, puree it in a blender with a few tablespoons of water as indicated in the ingredient listing). Whisk thoroughly the milk, egg whites and goiabada. Stop the mixer, and then add in 3 alternate additions the dry and wet mixture, starting and ending with dry. Scrape the bowl down after each addition. Pour into prepared pan, smooth out, and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan until it is cool to the touch, then take out of the pan to cool completely. Remove parchment before placing back into pan or onto serving dish.

    Frosting: Mix the softened cream cheese, sugar and salt with the paddle attachment in a mixer, until completely smooth and soft. Add the goiabada (that has been thinned and pureed with some water, if necessary), mixing until no lumps remain, scraping down the bowl a few times to make sure the mixture is homogenous. Add the cold whipping cream, and whip on medium-high until the frosting is smooth and light. Keep an eye on it, since you do not want to over-beat. The whipping cream's fat is shear-sensitive, so you'll end up with tiny fat agglomerates that will give the frosting a grainy appearance. I like to deliberately under-beat at this point, then chill. After chilling for an hour or overnight, re-whip slightly for lighter texture, taking care to not over-whip. 

    Spread frosting on cooled cake, and decorate as desired or leave plain. Enjoy!