10 Portuguese Desserts You Need To Try

Pastel De Nata

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal pastel de nata
Pastel de Nata, or custard tarts, are the most popular dessert in all of Portuguese cuisine.  It is a simple tart made with filo dough filled with a simple egg custard.  The tart is baked in the oven and typically served fresh, warm, and topped with powdered sugar, cinnamon, or both.

You can find Pastel de nata in almost any bakery, coffee shop or cafe in Portugal.  They are popular year round, so you won’t need to wait for special occasions such as holidays to find them.

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Coscorões

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal coscoroes
Coscorões are pieces of sweet fried dough made with orange zest, orange rind or pieces of orange to give them a slight orange flavor.  The dough is then molded into rectangles with two cut outs in the middle, fried in oil, and topped with powdered cinnamon and regular sugar.

You'll find coscorões most often around Christmas time although some bakeries may serve them year round.

Bola de Berlim

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal bola de berlim
Bola de Berlim, or "Berlin balls," are a Portuguese variant on Berliner pastries and are an exceptionally popular Portuguese dessert.

These unique dessert features fried dough sprinkled with sugar, and filled with confectioner's cream that sticks out in the middle.

They are so popular that you can find them on almost any Portuguese pastry shop year round.  They are also especially popular as a street food, so you may find carts selling them in shopping districts or even on the beach.

Leite Creme

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal leite creme
Leite Creme literally translates to "milk cream" and is a custard-like creamy dessert topped with a caramelized sugar layer.

The dessert is very similar to Creme Brulee except it has a much more custard-like texture and a heavier egg flavor.  It’s also cooked completely on the stove top which makes it lighter as well.

You can find Leite Creme in many Portuguese restaurants.

Cavacas

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal cavacas
Cavacas are a sweet dessert that is most often served during holidays and celebrations like weddings and birthday parties.

They have a puffy, flaky texture that is similar to cream puffs, and are finished with a drizzle of sugar and lemon glaze to give them a very sweet and slightly tart finish.

There are several regional variants of Cavacas, although the simplest variant you’ll find is one which adds an extra-thick layer of glaze rather than a simple drizzle.

Cavacas are most often served during Christmas and other holidays, so it’s best to search for them then.
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Pastéis de Feijão

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal pasteis de feijao
If you're looking for something that's not overwhelmingly sweet, you'll love Pastéis de Feijão.

Pastéis de Feijão are a very popular traditional cake made with a bean filling which has just a hint of almond and vanilla for sweetness.  These mildly sweet cakes can be made with a variety of beans, although white bean and red bean are the most popular.  After baking, they are usually topped with some confectioner’s sugar.

These bean cakes are popular year around and can be found in many coffee shops and bakeries in Portugal.

Fios de Ovos

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal fios de ovos
Fios de Ovos, which translates literally to "egg thread," is one of Portugal's most unique desserts.  It gets its’ name from its appearance which looks like strands of yellow eggs.

Fios de Ovos is made by drawing egg yolks until they are thin strands and then boiling them in a sweet syrup resulting in a moist, slightly sweet noodle-like dessert that is a delight for the senses.

You can find Fios de Ovos at supermarkets and grocery stores, but it's not as common in coffee shops, cafes or bakeries.

Arroz Doce

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal arroz doce
Arroz Doce is a very traditional Portuguese dessert that is so popular that it has its own regional variations.

Typical traditional Arroz Doce is a simple rice pudding that is topped with real cinnamon after it's finished.  Some regions prefer Arroz Doce with condensed milk for extra creamy sweetness, while others use eggs to give it a thicker and richer texture.

Toucinho do Céu

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal toucinho do ceu
Toucinho do Céu's literal translation of “Fat from Heaven” reflects its delicious nature as this indulgent dessert is definitely divine in taste.

This dessert is an almond-based cake but it’s unique ingredient of pork lard gives this rich cake its’ name.  The lard adds a richness and depth to the cake which is part of what makes it so popular.  The cake is sometimes topped with orange or lemon zest, but this can vary from cake to cake.

Toucinho do Céu can be found at most restaurants and cafes but it is most popular and widely accessible during festivals and holidays.

Pão de Deus

portuguese desserts you need to try portugal pao de deus
Pão de Deus is a simple, yet rich, bread roll that definitely earns the name of "God's Bread."

This soft sweet bread is topped with a lightly sweet coconut topping before being put in the oven for a quick toasting.

This rich bread is popular year-round and is especially popular at coffee shops or cafes in the morning or afternoon when it can be enjoyed with some coffee or tea on the side.
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