Toucinho do Ceu (Portuguese Almond Cake)

Maggie May Schill


Toucinho do Ceu is a traditional Portuguese dessert. The name translates in English as "Bacon from Heaven". The cake was first invented by nuns in the southern province of Portugal. They basically thought this stuff tasted like angels! And we all know how awesome bacon there you go.
It is a rich, dense almond cake.

I made mine with an apricot filling, a traditional filling for pastry in many traditional Portuguese desserts.


★★★★★ 1 vote

8-12 slices
20 Min
45 Min



  • 2 3/4 c
    cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    baking powder
  • 7 oz
    almond paste
  • 1 1/2 c
  • 1 c
    (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large
    eggs, room temperature
  • 2 large
    egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 tsp
  • 3/4 c
    cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp
    pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    pure almond extract
  • 1 tsp
    coconut extract
  • ·
    the zest of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp
    lemon juice

  • 2 c
    apricot preserves
  • ·
    the flesh of one apricot (optional)

  • 3/4 c
  • 3 large
    egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/3 c
  • 1/2 tsp
    pure almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp
    pure vanilla extract

How to Make Toucinho do Ceu (Portuguese Almond Cake)


  1. Preheat over to 350'F

    Prepare a 9inch spring form pan by greasing, and setting a parchment circle on the bottom of the pan. Be sure to grease the parchment as well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, salt and backing powder together. Set aside.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, cream butter,lemon zest, almond paste and sugar together until completely incorporated and super fluffy.
  4. In a measuring cup, mix cream, vanilla extract, almond extract and coconut extract together. Set aside.
  5. Beat eggs and egg yolks into the creamed butter/sugar bowl, one egg at a time until completely incorporated.
    Beat in lemon juice.
  6. With your mixer on medium, add flour and cream mixture to the sugar/butter mixture. Add flour in three batches, with cream being added to in between flour batches, beginning and ending with flour.
    Be sure to completely incorporate all ingredients before adding each new batch.
    Do not over mix.
  7. Pour half of the batter out into the spring form pan.
    Add your apricot preserves on top of raw batter in pan. Do not stir into batter.
    You can add fresh apricot to the pan at this time if you desire, for a little extra fruit kick.
  8. Pour rest of batter over the preserve layer. Do not mix batter in pan.
  9. Bake on the center of the bottom wrack for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and firm to the touch in the center. Cool on wire wrack for 20 minutes before removing ring from the spring form pan. Cool completely before removing the bottom of the spring form pan from the cake.
  10. For topping:

    1- Set a glass bowl over a medium saucepan filled with simmering water.
    2- Add egg whites, sugar, salt, and water tot he pan. Stir lightly to combine.
    3- Cook over medium heat, making sure to stir continuously.
    4- Mixture is done once it has reached 150'F (use insta-read thermometer. I have one that clips to the side of pans and bowls for just this sort of thing...very useful.)
    5- Transfer to a large bowl. Using an electric mixer beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form (beware not to over beat)
    6- Set speed to low, add vanilla and almond extract, and beat just until combined. Again, do not over mix it. It should be nice and glossy when you are done.
  11. Once cake is completely cooled, frost with white topping as desired. I chose to pipe it into a design on top of the cake. You don't have to use a lot of this is a very sweet cake, and it is even traditional in a lot of homes not to frost the cake at all, but just dust it with sugar... so that is an alternative to the frosting, of course.

Printable Recipe Card

About Toucinho do Ceu (Portuguese Almond Cake)

Course/Dish: Cakes, Fruit Desserts
Main Ingredient: Nuts
Regional Style: Portugese
Other Tag: Heirloom

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