What makes Bizcocho Dominicano (Dominican Cake) so special? The secret is that this cake is incredibly delicate in texture and sinfully delicious.
No other recipe on our site is as popular or elicits as many questions as our Dominican cake. For those who have not tried it, it is hard to understand the fascination with this cake. What makes Dominican cake so special? Well, you won't know until you try it, but let me give you a spoiler: it may possibly be the best cake you'll ever try.
What makes it special
The most important features of the Bizcocho Dominicano (Dominican Cake) are that it is very 'airy' and moist. It contains a large amount of butter, about a third of it in fact, and a large volume of air, producing a cake that virtually dissolves in your mouth.
The icing, which we call "suspiro" is actually meringue, not to be confused with merengue which is something we Dominicans dance to, not something we eat. That is important to remember.
The traditional filling is made from pineapple, which gives it the faintest of tartness. It all combines into a creamy, fluffy, otherworldly concoction without which no Dominican birthday, wedding or festivity is complete.
About our recipe
When I started this site it quickly became obvious that I needed to add the recipe for Dominican cake, which was not included in the original collection (I got, and still get, dozens of questions about it every week). Having never baked this cake before (it is rarely home-made in the Dominican Republic, we usually order it from a 'master baker'), I embarked on the quest for a recipe.
That was not easy, each baker has their own (minor 'tweaks' really) and most guard it fiercely.
Volumes can be written about Bizcocho Dominicano (Dominican Cake), and have in fact already been written (check the comments!). This cake seems to be the ultimate test for the expert Dominican cook, and however daunting, and confusing the instructions might look, we have really tried to add as much information as you could possibly need. Please read it.
Preparing the Bizcocho Dominicano (Dominican Cake) takes time. Lots of it. It is not something you can put together at the last minute. You must have the filling ready before starting (see list below), and you can prepare the icing before or during the preparation of the cake (while it is in the oven).
This takes planning and lots of preparation beforehand. It also requires that you follow the instructions very carefully. One little misstep could ruin your many hours of work. Please pay attention to the notes in the recipe, and read the FAQs further below.
Fillings for Dominican Cake:
- Pineapple Jam Filling - Recipe + video for the classic filling for this cake
- Guava Jam Filling- Another popular filling for the Dominican cake
- Pastry Cream Filling- A refined filling for your cake
- Dulce de Leche (Milk Fudge) Filling - It takes your cake to another level
Icing for Dominican Cake:
Bizcocho Dominicano cupcake version
- Bizcocho Dominicano Cupcakes - How to make Dominican cake into cupcakes
Q: How big is this cake?
A: Dominican cakes are sold by the pound. One pound yields 12 to 16 generous portions. This recipe is for half a pound. You can bake a one-lb cake by doubling the ingredients, and baking in 3 separate pans (for a 3-layer cake).
Q: Can I mix by hand? Can I use a hand mixer?
A: No, you cannot mix it by hand. You could use a hand mixer if you split the quantities into two equal parts and mix the two halves of the cake separately. Yes, I tested this.
Q: Can I have the measurements by cups?
A: This is not a good idea as it's impossible to get the same weight per cup each time, and this cake works because of the balance of ingredients. Please buy or borrow a scale. Should you still wish to convert these weights, you can use this guide. Please do so yourself, and at your own risk.
Q: I am going to make this cake for [large number of people], can you give the amounts for it?
A: If you are preparing this cake for a special occasion I strongly suggest that you do not do it for the first time then. This is not a cake for beginners, professional bakers are well-compensated for their knowledge. You can double the ingredients as suggested above, but this is the recipe I've tested and written about. I am sorry I cannot be of help.
Q: Can you teach me how to decorate it?
A: Cake decoration is out of the scope of our site. Mastering cake decoration is a long process, but with a bit of help and/or practice, you can produce some very nice results. You can either search online for tips and tricks or buy one of the myriads of books available on the subject.
Q: My cake didn't rise, what happened?
A: Your ingredients may not have been truly at room temperature when you started. This is important. Do not try to warm your butter, this will not work, let it reach room temperature outside the fridge gradually, over at least two hours. It's important to use fresh ingredients of good quality, including baking powder. If it has been in your pantry for a while it may have lost its leavening power.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this cake does not rise very much, so there should not be large bubbles of air in it. It will not rise more than about a quarter of the original volume (see recipe notes).
Bizcocho Dominicano Recipe (Dominican Cake)
To prepare the pans
- 2 tablespoon of butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoon of flour
For the cake
- ½ lb (225 grams) of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons of baking powder (see notes)
- ½ lb (225 grams) of salted butter , at room temperature
- ½ lb (225 grams) of granulated white sugar
- 6 egg yolks + enough egg white to complete ½ lb (225 grams) at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon lime zest freshly grated
- 2 teaspoons of dark vanilla extract
- ½ cup of orange juice at room temperature
2 hours before you start
- Prepping: Measure and weigh all the ingredients. Leave outside the fridge so they are all at room temperature when it's time to start baking. Have filling ready (see above the recipe for links to several choices for the filling).
- Before starting: Preheat oven to 350 °F [175 °C], or 325 ºF [163 ºC] for convection ovens (see notes). Mix the flour and baking powder and sift together. Divide into thirds and set aside. Grease the baking pans, and lightly dust with flour. Set aside.
- Beating butter: Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, beat together butter and sugar at medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy and has a very light yellow color (about 4 mins).
- Adding eggs: Add the eggs a third at a time, and continue beating until each third is well incorporated into the mixture (about 2 mins) before adding the next third. Once eggs are added, with the mixer still running at mid-speed, add in vanilla and lime zest.
- Adding juice + flour: Increase speed to mid-high, and pour in a third of the juice, when it is well combined (about two mins) add a third of the flour and mix for another 2 mins. Pour in another third of the juice and mix for another 2 mins or until it is very well combined. Follow by adding another third of the flour, and mix for another 2 mins or until it is very well combined. Pour in the last third of the juice and mix for another 2 mins or until it is very well combined. Follow by adding the last third of the flour, and mix for another 2 mins or until it is very well combined.
- Filling the pans: As soon as you've stopped mixing the last batch of flour turn off the mixer, you should have obtained a fluffy batter with a smooth and even consistency. If necessary, scrape the sides and run for another minute to combine any unmixed batter that was stuck to the sides. Pour in half the batter in each baking pan, making sure not to disturb the butter/flour cover.
- Baking: Bake 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (don't open the oven until after at least 30 mins). Cool to room temperature before removing from the pan.
- Filling: Cut the cake crust, making them even. Make an outer circle with the icing, and fill with the filling of your choice, spreading evenly. Place the other cake on top.
- Decorating: To decorate the cake spread the meringue (list above the recipe) on top and around the cake, add decoration according to your taste and skills.
Serving and storing
- This cake is best served at room temperature, in the fridge the butter will harden and the cake won't have the proper consistency. You can refrigerate for a couple of days, but put it outside the fridge until it reaches room temperature before serving.
- Well-calibrated oven, or oven and oven thermometer
- Stand mixer with 4. 5 quarts [4.2 l] bowl or bigger
- Two 8" inch [20 cm] round cake pans
Tips and Notes
Tools I used in this recipe/video
All Amazon affiliate links