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Brigadeiro Birthday Cake at McDonald’s Portugal

In recent years, the Brigadeiro has gained substantial popularity in Portugal, crossing borders from its Brazilian origin. As a traditional and delectable sweet, it has become a favoured choice for birthday celebrations. Capitalising on this trend, McDonald’s Portugal presents their take on this beloved treat in the form of Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro. This essay discusses the background and popularity of Brigadeiro, ingredients and preparation of the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro, and the impact it has on McDonald’s Portugal and its customers.

Background and Popularity of Brigadeiro

The Origin of Brigadeiro

Brigadeiro is a traditional Brazilian sweet that has gained widespread popularity in Portugal. It is made from condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and chocolate sprinkles. The creation of Brigadeiro is attributed to a Brazilian confectioner named Heloisa Nabuco de Oliveira, who named the sweet after Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes, a Brazilian Air Force brigadier. Gomes was a popular political figure at the time, and the sale of the sweets was initially used as a form of fundraising for his political campaigns. The origin of this delicious treat dates back to the 1940s when it was created in Brazil, and it has since become a staple in Brazilian celebrations, particularly at birthday parties.

Expansion to Portugal

The Brigadeiro gained popularity in Portugal with the increasing number of Brazilians immigrating to the country. Its rich and creamy texture, combined with its simple preparation, made it an instant hit among the Portuguese people. As the community of Brazilian expats grew, so did the demand for Brigadeiro, with the sweet becoming a popular choice for birthday parties and other celebrations in Portugal.

McDonald’s Portugal Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro

Capitalizing on the popularity of Brigadeiro, McDonald’s Portugal introduced the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro, a Brigadeiro-inspired birthday cake. This offering caters to both the growing Brazilian community in Portugal and local Portuguese residents who have embraced the delicious treat. Available in select McDonald’s locations in Portugal, the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro has become a unique and popular option for customers seeking a one-of-a-kind birthday experience.

Ingredients and Preparation

The McDonald’s Portugal Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro features layers of moist chocolate cake interspersed with creamy Brigadeiro filling. The cake is then coated with a Brigadeiro ganache and topped with chocolate sprinkles, staying true to the traditional Brigadeiro recipe. To maintain its authenticity and quality, McDonald’s Portugal ensures that the ingredients used in the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro are of the highest standards.


The successful introduction of the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro in McDonald’s Portugal locations is a testament to the widespread popularity of this Brazilian delicacy. With its rich and indulgent taste, the Brigadeiro has become a beloved treat for both Brazilians in Portugal and native Portuguese people. As Portugal continues to embrace the distinctive flavours of Brigadeiro, McDonald’s Portugal is sure to continue meeting the demand for this delicious dessert option.

A plate of Brigadeiro sweets topped with chocolate sprinkles.

Ingredients and Preparation of Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro

Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro

Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro, or Brigadeiro Birthday Cake, is a popular dessert offering at McDonald’s in Portugal. Known for its rich, chocolatey taste, the cake has become the perfect choice for individuals and families celebrating special occasions. The traditional Brazilian Brigadeiro dessert has been expertly adapted by McDonald’s Portugal as a unique and delicious birthday cake option. This delightful treat showcases the impressive combination of chocolate sponge cake layers, a creamy Brigadeiro filling, and a decadent chocolate ganache topping.


The primary components of the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro include chocolate sponge cake layers, Brigadeiro filling, and chocolate ganache topping. Each layer of the cake contributes to the overall experience and takes the dessert to a whole new level of indulgence.

  • Chocolate sponge cake: The base of the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro is made of soft and moist chocolate sponge layers. The cake usually calls for standard baking ingredients such as flour, sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, baking powder, and butter. McDonald’s may also add additional ingredients like oil and vanilla extract to enhance the softness and flavour of the sponge.
  • Brigadeiro filling: The delicious Brigadeiro filling is made from a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, butter, and a touch of salt. This thick and creamy chocolate concoction originates from the traditional Brazilian dessert called Brigadeiro, a rich and fudgy chocolate treat typically rolled into small balls and covered with chocolate sprinkles. In the McDonald’s Portugal version, the same Brigadeiro mixture is used to fill the layers of the birthday cake.
  • Chocolate ganache topping: To complete the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro, a glossy and smooth chocolate ganache is spread evenly over the top of the cake. The ganache is typically made using a combination of heavy cream and high-quality chocolate, with the cream heated before being added to the chocolate and allowed to set, resulting in a shiny and deliciously textured topping.
Preparation Process

Assembling the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro involves several steps:

  1. Baking the chocolate sponge layers: The individual layers of the chocolate sponge cake are first prepared by blending the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking powder) followed by the addition of wet ingredients (eggs, butter, oil, and vanilla extract). The batter is then poured into round cake pans and baked until cooked through.
  2. Preparing the Brigadeiro filling: The Brigadeiro filling is made by heating the sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter in a saucepan until thickened to a fudgy texture. A touch of salt is added for flavour balance.
  3. Assembling the cake: Once the chocolate sponge layers have cooled, they are assembled by spreading the Brigadeiro filling between each layer, ensuring a generous amount is applied for optimal taste and texture.
  4. Finishing with the ganache topping: The chocolate ganache is prepared by heating cream and pouring it over chopped chocolate, allowing the mixture to sit for a moment before stirring to create a smooth and shiny mixture. The ganache is then spread over the top of the assembled cake, giving it its signature glossy finish.
Variations and Customization

McDonald’s Portugal’s Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro may offer some customization options for customers seeking a personalized touch for their celebration. This could include adding celebratory messages, customizing the size of the cake, or incorporating additional decorations.


Although the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro is exclusive to McDonald’s Portugal, its delightful fusion of flavours and textures has the potential to make it a popular dessert option for McDonald’s customers worldwide. With its sumptuous blend of chocolate sponge, Brigadeiro filling, and rich ganache topping, this cake is a truly indulgent treat for any special occasion.

A slice of Brigadeiro Birthday Cake with chocolate sponge cake layers, Brigadeiro filling, and chocolate ganache topping, sitting on a plate.

Impact on McDonald’s Portugal and Customer Reviews

Introducing the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro in Portugal

In their effort to continually innovate and offer new menu items, McDonald’s Portugal introduced the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro as a dessert option. This decadent cake has generated much excitement among customers, as it mixes a popular Brazilian sweet treat with McDonald’s extensive range of products. Ideal for true chocolate connoisseurs, the Brigadeiro cake is also an attractive choice for those celebrating their birthday at McDonald’s outlets.

Customer Reception and Reviews

The Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro has received positive reviews from McDonald’s Portugal customers, who appreciate the addition of a rich chocolate cake with smooth, sweet Brigadeiro filling. The combination of the moist chocolate sponge and the creamy chocolate sauce provides a perfect texture and balance, which has been well-received among dessert lovers. The generous portion size allows for sharing or indulging in the treat on its own, only adding to its appeal.

Customers have shared their reviews and ratings on various social media platforms. Many have praised the cake’s authentic taste and mentioned that it adds a uniquely Brazilian touch to the McDonald’s Portugal menu. The Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro has quickly become a popular choice among people of all ages. It has been enjoyed by families, friends, and co-workers, often creating a moment of togetherness and celebration during those special occasions or even as a simple, decadent dessert.

Impact on McDonald’s Portugal

The introduction of the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro has had a positive impact on McDonald’s Portugal as a whole. The dessert has helped increase the dessert sales figures in their outlets and has contributed significantly to the overall revenue. Additionally, the unique dessert offering has allowed McDonald’s Portugal to differentiate itself among competitors, adding an element of variety and uniqueness to its offerings.

The popularity of the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro is also an indication of the success of McDonald’s Portugal in responding to customer preferences, desires, and trends in food choices. The addition of the dessert to their menu showcases the company’s commitment to adapt, innovate, and create new and enticing options that cater to different tastes and preferences.

Future of the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro

Given the favourable reception towards the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro so far, it is likely to remain a popular menu item in McDonald’s Portugal outlets. The dessert’s success may inspire McDonald’s to continue experimenting with unique dessert options, adding further variety and flavours to their menu offerings. Additionally, the positive impact of this addition on the company’s revenue and image within the wider fast-food industry is a testament to the value of consistent innovation and adaptation. Going forward, McDonald’s Portugal may continue to invest in developing new desserts and products that cater to the diverse tastes and preferences of its customers.

a picture of a slice of the Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro served on a white plate with a fork on the side

Overall, McDonald’s Portugal’s Bolo de Aniversário Brigadeiro demonstrates the brand’s adaptability to local tastes and preferences. By offering a popular and customisable dessert rooted in tradition, McDonald’s caters to the demand for gastronomic nostalgia, thereby boosting their presence in the fast-food industry. The Brigadeiro serves as a sweet example of cultural exchange, enriching the palates of customers and contributing to McDonald’s innovative menu offerings.

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