Pao de lo | Portuguese Sponge Cake #SundaySupper

Have you ever watched  a movie and it immediately speaks to you? Movies can bring back so many memories from our backgrounds, from out childhood, from our love of food.  I can still remember the first time I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding… not only did it speak to me, it was reality for me.  You can imagine, being an immigrant, we ate “strange” things and we did “strange” things in our home.   You know, we tend to put flowers in the middle of bundt cakes because there is a hole that needs to be covered.  Do you remember that scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding? I kid you not, my mother really does this.  Her tasty and very delicious Pao de Lo, Portuguese Sponge Cake…becomes a centerpiece by the time Vovo is done with it.

When one of our Sunday Supper Contributors, Heather from girlichef, suggested this weeks theme, I was ALL over it.  Who hasn’t watched a movie scene involving food and immediately related it to their own life?

Pao de Lo is light and fluffy around the outside but the texture changes when you get to the middle.  The texture becomes heavier and the simplicity of the cake becomes more complex. The simple but complex flavor just speaks for itself.  You must try it in order to understand.  

It wouldn’t be a Holiday without Vovo’s Pao de Lo.  This year at Christmas, Vovo decorated in her typical Vo-vo fashion, she proceeded to add a fake poinsettia in the middle…. Ola!  Now you understand why I can so relate to My Big Fat Greek Wedding…. the scene where the mother sticks the plant in the middle of the bundt cake because there was a hole in it. 

Thank you Heather, girlichef,  for the inspiration and super fun theme this week!  I am in love this with weeks Sunday Supper Recipes and love the movies behind them!

Pao de Lo | Portuguese Sponge Cake Toast (bready things)

No Reservations (soups and salads)

Today’s Special (fish, chicken, beef, and pork)

Forks Over Knives (veggie-heavy dishes and sides)

Udon (pasta and noodles)

Just Desserts (sweet treats)

Bottle Shock (beverages)

Sunday Supper Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday, April 14th to talk all about movies that have inspired us to head into the kitchen – and the food that comes from that inspiration (7pm EST)!  We’ll tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world.   Follow the#SundaySupper hashtag , and include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our#SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

 Psst… have you heard about our conference?  Check it out at
Food and Wine Conference logo


Pao de Lo | Portuguese Sponge Cake
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour. sifted
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp grated lemon
  1. In a large bowl beat the eggs until foamy.
  2. Add sugar and beat for at least 20 minutes until batter becomes very thick.
  3. Add lemon.
  4. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.
  5. Add the flour mixture ¼ cup at a time on low speed.
  6. Don’t over beat.
  7. Grease a bundt pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  10. Flip onto a plate and decorate with a plant (kidding).



  1. says

    I know I’m going to sound stupid but I will never know until I ask. What are extra leggs ? I’m American but I’ve lived in Australia for a long time and we have no leggs. :)

    • says

      Maureen…. I am so glad you caught that… total typo! Large Eggs… I am truly turning into my mother. You should see how she write her recipes, but in this case it was totally ME!!!!!!!! Thanks so much for catching that!

  2. says

    I’m giggling over how your mom puts flowers in the middle of a bundt cake. It’s really a fun idea, especially if you use edible flowers (note to self).

  3. says

    Wow, nine whole eggs! That must be one amazing cake! And it is beautiful with the poinsettia. Just perfect for a Christmas table, Isabel.

  4. says

    what’s the meaning of lo in pao de lo? Is it a place?
    lol I have never seen that with the flowers but it makes definitely sense. I had seen the movie but that must have been ages ago otherwise I would certainly remember the cake part. ^.^
    Thanks for sharing Isabell!

  5. says

    I absolutely loved “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” I and love how easy your cake recipe looks–especially the photo with the flour in the middle. I think even I, a challenged baker, could give this one a try. Thanks for the inspiration. I think I’ll go pop in that DVD right now and watch that bundt cake scene again!

  6. says

    Oh man, I loved visiting my friends whose parents and grandparents were immigrants when I was little….the smells coming from their kitchens were THE BEST! MBFGW is one of my favorite foodie-movies and I cannot see a bundt cake without thinking about it. I love this post, Isabel! :)

  7. Diana @GourmetDrizzles says

    Some of my favorite lines ever come from this movie!!! Love it! And too funny that your Mom covers up the holes too 😉 Thanks for sharing this great cake, sounds delicious.

  8. says

    Yikes! I didn’t know adding a flower in the middle of a bundt was odd. I think it’s beautiful. And your Pao de Lo looks and sounds divine. Interesting how you say the texture changes from light to dense. You’re right. This is a must try.

  9. says

    This spongecake looks amazing! I can’t believe I am going to admit this, but I still haven’t seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding… Perhaps I should make this spongecake and sit down to enjoy the movie! Thank you for sharing. :)

  10. says

    I love all the movies that have been chosen, but My Big Fat Greek Wedding is such a good choice! It’s my Grandma’s favourite film and to watch it with her, whilst she laughs so hard, is just magic. I can imagine this cake makes a great centrepiece for celebrations – particularly with a flower-display!

Leave a Reply