Breads, snacks and cakes

Madeiran breads, snacks and cakes

Bolo do Caco  Traditional bread

Bread is generally very good in Madeira and made to a traditional recipe – bolo do caco, and is often offered at the start of a meal. Certain breads are made using Sweet potato, which is widely grown in Madeira.

Bolo do caco is often seen on menu’s and is bread cooked on a heated stone, and often provides the basis for many sandwich based snacks offered, including steak sandwiches and a very traditional Portuguese sandwich made with Pork marinated in vinegar and garlic called vinhs d’alhos and is an excellent lunch time snack/light lunch.

Bolo do caco (pão regional)

This bread is almost  a sourdough in style as when the bread is rising it is cut and flattened quickly and baked.

When not used as a sandwich containing such delights as Carne vinho e alhos (Pork spiced with wine and garlic) or as a Prego (beef steak sandwich) it is usually served with garlic.

Pão caseiro com batata-doce

This is Sweet potato bread and a very nice and interesting take on bread. Madeira grows excellent sweet potato.

Bolo da Pedra

This is potato cake or potato bread, which is literally translated as stone cake as the bread/cake should be cooked on a hot stone in a wood fired oven.

Steak sandwiches and vinhs d’alhos are best accompanied by Beer…..the locally brewed Coral is very good, it is usually available on draught (order um canica for a pint equivalent) or by the bottle.


Qeuijadas are small sweet cakes made with cottage cheese, very tasty and quite filling too.


Alassadas (lightly roasted): very similar to doughnuts; yeast dough that is deep-fried until golden brown. Traditionally coated with ‘mel-de-cana’ (sugar cane honey) or sugar.

Commonly eaten during carnival time (February).

Bolo de Mel

Bolo de Mel (Madeira honey cake, not to be confused with Madeira cake that is popular in the UK):This is a dark colored cake due to the honey and is soft and sticky. It contains walnut inside the cake and almonds on the top. Traditionally eaten with your hands and is considered a Christmas cake. Because of its long shelf life, it is a cake that can be eaten all year round. There is also a style of cakes made with Chestnuts that are popular.