Cake in Portuguese

example of usage for the word cake in portuguese: O bolo estava muito gostoso.

Hi there! Today, we will discuss a delicious topic: cake in Portuguese. Did you know we call cake in Portuguese “bolo”? And that there are many different ways to use this word, besides from the original meaning as a dessert? Check it out and much more today in our Dica!

Cake in Portuguese: The Dessert

Bolo, in the traditional sense, is nothing other than “cake.” And Brazilians love getting creative with it — from the basic bolo de laranja and bolo de chocolate to all sorts of savory cakes you can think of.

Examples for Cake as a Dessert

Deixe-os comer bolo!
Let them eat cake!

Minha mãe faz um bolo de milho incrível.
My mother makes an incredible corn cake.

Cake in Portuguese: To Be Stood Up

example for the multiple meanings of bolo in portuguese: ninguém levou bolo! todos vieram ao almoço!

If bolo sounds like just everything you want right now, it’s time to reconsider. Say you invited someone out for dinner. You wait in front of the restaurant for forty minutes and nothing. Você levou bolo, cara. In other words, you were stood up! Levar bolo (or “to get cake”) means “to be stood up.” And if you’re the one doing it? Then you’re “giving cake!” Dar bolo!

Examples of Levar and Dar Bolo in Portuguese

Eu já estou aqui por uma hora e nada dela. Levei bolo.
I’ve been here for an hour and I haven’t heard from her. I’ve been stood up.

Como foi o encontro com o Mateus ontem?
Eu fiquei muito nervosa e acabei dando bolo nele.
How was your date with Mateus yesterday?
I got very anxious and ended up standing him up.

Cake in Portuguese: Lots of Things

Now if you hadn’t been stood up by a date but rather by your friend on pizza night, that’s better, isn’t it? More pizza for you! Um bolo de pizza! No, not a pizza cake — that’s not what we mean by savory cakes. Just a lot of pizza! So bolo is another word for “a bunch of” or “lots of” something.

Examples of Bolo as “Lots of”

Eu tenho um bolo de dever de casa pra fazer.
I have lots of homework to do.

Você fez um bolo de quadros, né?
You did a bunch of paintings, didn’t you?

Cake or Pie in Portuguese?

Cake and pie are both popular desserts, but they have some fundamental differences in terms of their composition and preparation. In Portuguese, as you have already learned, we call cake “bolo”, and we call pie “torta”. But do you know the difference between these two desserts?

The most significant difference lies in their structure. Pies have a crust, which can be made from pastry dough or graham cracker crumbs. The crust serves as both the base and the top covering for the filling. Cakes, on the other hand, are made from a batter that is typically a mixture of flour, sugar, eggs, butter or oil, and leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda. The batter is poured into a baking pan and rises during baking.

Many people define the difference between bolo and torta based on the filling: while tortas are supposed to have sweet fillings, cakes are not supposed to have any fillings. But this isn’t true in Brazil: we simply love filling anything that can be filled. Our cakes are often sliced horizontally and filled with anything your heart desires!

Don’t mix up Bolo and Pastel

Oh, and if you are natively from Spanish speaking countries, don’t mix up the word “pastel” in Spanish with it’s meaning! The translation for pastel in Spanish is actually torta, but we indeed have a food called pastel, which, on the other hand, is savory tasting!

There’s Always More Bolo in Portuguese

So far we’ve seen the three most common uses of the word bolo — but that’s not all! Check out this video our teachers and students made to review the uses of the word bolo in Portuguese. Discover a new one we didn’t teach above. Hint: it has to do with a popular Brazilian hand game.

Exercises for Cake in Portuguese

Let’s complete the phrases below with the correct form of the expression bolo in Portuguese:

1. Marquei um encontro com a Mara, mas ela não apareceu. Eu _______.
2. Tem _______ de roupa suja para lavar.
3. Tirei as mãos antes dele me bater. Ele _______.
4. Ana não foi no cinema com o Thiago. Ela _______ nele.
5. Amanda não pode comer _______ porque ela é vegana.
6. No primeiro encontro dos meus pais, meu pai _______.
7. Minha namorada está muito ocupada aprendendo português. Ela tem sempre _______ de coisa para fazer.
8. Nós sempre temos _______ nas festas de aniversário.
9. Ele nunca mais respondeu minhas mensagens depois que ele me _______.
10. Que tipo de _______ você mais gosta?

That’s all folks. Now you know the different uses of the word cake in Portuguese. Did you know this word could have so different meanings?

Hugs from Rio de Janeiro.
Tchau tchau.

    Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
Brazilian Desserts
Fruits in Portuguese
Brazilian Street Food
Brazilian Drinks


1. Marquei um encontro com a Mara, mas ela não apareceu. Eu levei bolo.
2. Tem um bolo de roupa suja para lavar.
3. Tirei as mãos antes dele me bater. Ele levou bolo.
4. Ana não foi no cinema com o Thiago. Ela deu bolo nele.
5. Amanda não pode comer bolo porque ela é vegana.
6. No primeiro encontro dos meus pais, meu pai levou bolo.
7. Minha namorada está muito ocupada aprendendo português. Ela tem sempre um bolo de coisa para fazer.
8. Nós sempre temos bolo nas festas de aniversário.
9. Ele nunca mais respondeu minhas mensagens depois que ele me deu bolo.
10. Que tipo de bolo você mais gosta?

This post is also available in: English Português (Portuguese) Español (Spanish)

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search for Portuguese Dicas

Tell us which Portuguese lesson you would like to learn


Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Suscribe to A Dica do Dia.

Get free Portuguese lessons. Subscribe to A Dica do Dia and get short, daily lessons in Portuguese completely free.

Based on 321 reviews
I’ve just started online classes with Prof. Ana Carolina & she is the absolute best! It’s my first time learning Portuguese and I was speaking full sentences in the first class. Obrigada!
Katie Andrews
Katie Andrews
Small classes, diverse accents, and engaging professors make Rio & Learn Online a fantastic choice! I've been thrilled with my experience at Rio & Learn Online so far. The small class sizes (around 1-3 others students) allow for personalized attention and plenty of opportunities to practice speaking. What's more, having different professors throughout the program exposes you to various accents, preparing you for real-world interactions. I opted for the full-time program, which involves 2 hours of daily learning from Monday to Friday. After just over 12 weeks, I can confidently say my Portuguese has improved dramatically. The professors are incredibly engaging and encourage students to utilize real-life examples, solidifying the learning process. While I'm only halfway through the program, I'm confident in recommending Rio & Learn Online to anyone seeking to learn Portuguese in a supportive and effective environment. I've gone from being a complete beginner (only knowing hi and bye) to holding conversations - and I'm excited to see how much further I can progress! I'll be back with another review after completing the program, but for now: Rio & Learn Online - highly recommended!
Mona Hinamanu
Mona Hinamanu
I have been taking Portuguese classes with Rio and Learn for a few months. I appreciate their methodology. It is enjoyable and I am challenged and improving every day!
Bryan Beaver
Bryan Beaver
My teachers Lucas, Ana Paula and Paulo were all excellent as well as very friendly and funny. It was a really enjoyable experience and I met loads of interesting new people.
David Smith
David Smith
Rio & Learn e um novo jeito de ensinar a lingua portuguesa. Puro prazer e muito eficiente. Quanto mais alunos na aula mais vida. Eu aconselho voces escolher as aulas grupais por porque sao interativas: rir, falar, argumentar, compartir uma lingua!
Dominique Jacquin
Dominique Jacquin
Après 3 semaines que je suis dans cette école et je peux déjà parler portugais. Certe avec des erreurs mais j'ai fait des progrès fulgurant. En plus, du Lundi au Vendredi l'ecole propose des activitées qu'il appelle "Rio Live" ce qui permet de visiter en même temps Rio tout en parlant Portugais et de rencontrer des gens😃 Toute l'équipe est genial et est prêts à aider si besoin 😁
I've been taking the group online courses with Rio&Learn for 2 months. They offer a fantastic way to learn Portuguese and get speaking practice if you don't live in Brazil. The teachers are engaging and are able to adjust their level of Portuguese to whatever level you are at. Obrigado!
Jake H
Jake H
C'est vraiment fantastique...RioAndLearn. Les cours de portugais...ça vaut vraiment la peine. Les cours ont lieu du lundi au vendredi, (de 9h à 13h) et en après midi, ce sont des activités libres en groupe. (Soccer de plage, volleyball , excursions, visites des lieux touristiques, etc) Vendredi soir, on est allé à Lapa, un quartier nocturne de Rio. C'est quelque chose à voir! Des rues bondées de monde, des orchestres, des discothèques...Allô les décibels! L'apprentissage du portugais se fait en immersion, aussi bien en salle de classe que dans les activités extérieures organisées par Rio&Learn. On est plongé dans la langue portugaise et la culture Brésilienne.... Obligé de parler portugais....🫡 Je le recommande. Pierre Pedro, Montréal, Canada
M54 “M5454” 54
M54 “M5454” 54