Portuguese Desserts – Best 15 to Try!

Note from Editors: In view of the current situation, please avoid all unnecessary travel and try to stay home. Don’t worry, like all things, it will end at some point and you’ll be able to travel again. In the meantime, check out what you can do while staying at home.

My interest in Portuguese cuisine began in Macau where I tried Pastéis De Nata – famous crispy, flaky pastry with evenly layered butter and rolled very thin and folded neatly dough. I loved its glossy skin and its wobble texture.

A girl is eating cake and drinking tea in Lisbon

After trying this sweet treat in Macau, I decided to try some Serradura which is simply a Portuguese sawdust pudding. The biscuits are crushed super fine so it looks like sawdust. It is in a cake slice form, very creamy and cold, like a hard ice-cream. Perfect sweetness!

Pastry shop in Lisbon
Pastry shop in Lisbon

This summer I finally made it to Portugal. Although I mostly explored Lisbon and Fatima, after a few days and decent treats I can say that I’m a big fan of Portuguese cuisine – more precisely Portuguese desserts!

A Taste Of Portuguese Desserts

Right after I arrived in Lisbon, I’ve noticed that Portuguese had a major sweet tooth. There were plenty of bakeries and pastry shops around selling heavy on cream, egg yolks and sugar goodies. The whole city is filled with charming chocolaterias and yummy-looking galaterias.

Pastry shop in Lisbon

Here is a list of best Portuguese desserts you can’t afford to miss when in Lisbon (or must eat in Porto, or any other Portuguese city, village and town):

Pro tip: you can sign up for the Lisbon Food Tour and get a taste of some of the Portuguese cuisine, just like I did!

1. Pastel De Nata

World’s famous egg custard tart in filo dough that is best served warm, fresh out of the oven and sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar.

Pastel de Nata

2. Toucinho do Céu

That’s a classic Portuguese cake based on almonds and egg yolks.

3. Bola de Berlim

It’s a doughnut-like dessert with no central hole made from sweet yeast dough fried in fat or oil, with a marmalade or jam filling and usually icing, powdered sugar or conventional sugar on top.

 4. Aletria

It’s a Portuguese sweet pasta dessert served mainly at Christmas.

5. Leite Creme

It’s a sweet dessert made with cream, eggs, and roasted sugar. Very simple and delicious.

6. Fiovos de Ovos

It’s a Portuguese sweet dish prepared with eggs (mostly of egg yolks that have been drawn into thin strands and boiled in syrup). It’s extremely sweet and yummy!

For more thrill you can get an e-bike food tour to get the most out of your time and culinary journey in Lisbon.

7. Bolo de Bolacha 

It’s a Portuguese biscuit cake with condensed milk.

 8. Arroz Doce

It’s a traditional Portuguese rice pudding with a dash of cinnamon and raisins on top.

9. Pão de Deus (God’s bread)

It’s a brioche-kind of soft roll with a coconut topping just lightly sweetened and toasted in the oven.

10. Coscorões

They are sweet and crunchy fried dough pieces with a nice orange flavor to them mainly served for Christmas.

11. Pastel de Tentúgal

It’s a wrapped sweet pastry with a rich yellow egg cream inside.

12 Folar

It’s a traditional Portuguese bread (sweet or salty) served at the Christian holidays of Passover and Easter. 

#13 Cavacas.

Cavacas are Portuguese cupcake style pastry made with eggs, flour, confectioners sugar and milk.

#14 Eclair.

Portuguese eclairs are oblong pastries made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing. 

#15 Malassada.

 That’s a typical a Portuguese confection made of egg-sized balls of yeast dough that are deep-fried in oil and coated with granulated sugar

 What would be your choice when having a traditional Portuguese dessert?

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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99 thoughts on “Portuguese Desserts – Best 15 to Try!”

  1. I’ve never seen any other Portuguese dessert other than egg tarts being sold in Malaysia, actually I have them for breakfast rather than dessert :D . I so need to go to Portugal to see the real deal!

    1. I’m Portuguese living in Lisbon and I can assure you most of the Portuguese eat the egg tarts “Pastéis de Nata” has breakfast and also has a snack.
      You are most welcome in Portugal.

  2. I love love looooove pasteis de nata specially from Pasteis de Belem. It was creamy and have perfect flakes. I kinda regret that I only ate 3 of them in Lisbon. Could you please send me some, Agness? :))

    1. Hi, do you know there are portuguese companies that ship pastéis de nata overseas? I don’t know there name’s and it’s not exactly the same…but it’s still tasty.

  3. Thank god my sweet tooth craving has just been destroyed by too much cookies and things I ate today! Otherwise I might be dying right now..

    I love them egg tart things. So good.

    Though,I wonder if it’s possible to eat all these in one day. Who’s gonna give it a shot? :)

    Cheers Agness,

    Ken

  4. Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    I have such a sweet tooth that I would get seriously flat if I lived in Portugal around all these delicious desserts!! :-D

  5. Fab selection Agness and great to see the most important course of a meal is not missed in your reviews :-)

    I’m always partial to an egg custard but I dare say if I planned a 2 week trip to Portugal it would be great to try all these.

    Great to hear that you’ve been to Fatima. I hope you’ll be writing about this and the shrine? Such a miraculous place so relevant to our lifetime.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      I’m glad I was travelling with my mom. She tried most of the pastries as well. I was physically not able to eat them all :D!

  6. Yum! I loved Pasteis de Belem–I got to try them in Belem, too, which was an easy day-trip from Lisbon. When I visited Portugal I didn’t know the official names of the pastries, but I sure have fun trying them. They were all so tasty!

  7. Haven’t been to Portugal but there is a surprising amount of Portuguese people (or least people of Portuguese origin)in France so there was a French-Portuguese bakery which was to die for. Croissants filled with egg custard – divine.

  8. I’m glad you liked our desserts so much. We, portuguese, are very proud of our food and specially our sweets.

    Number 6 is called “fios de ovos”

    When you return here you must try “Queijadas de Sintra”, “travesseiros” and “Dom Rodrigos”!

  9. Andrea Anastasiou

    Oh YUM! I have to shamefully admit that the only time I tried Pastel De Nata was in Nando’s, but your description of it has made me want to eat the real deal!

  10. Mmmmmmm…Pastel De Nata is DELICIOUS! That’s as far as I’ve ever explored Portuguese dessert. From this post I can see I’m totally missing out.

  11. Simply amazing! I think Portugal would be my kind of a food destination. I love confectioneries and all kinds of sweet stuff. Yummmm!!!

  12. Wow, I’m Portuguese and I’ve never heard about most of those pastries! Yes, Portugal is famous for the pastries and you did a good job on exploring them all.
    Sad we didn’t meet in Lisbon, hopefully in Greece.

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Hey Yara! I know, that was a pity we didn’t manage to meet in Lisbon! Fingers crossed we can make it to Greece together!! :-)

  13. So many delicious sweets! I spent two weeks in Portugal and the only one I tried was the egg tart. But that’s because I loved it so much I had one every day! On the next visit maybe I’ll branch out :-)

  14. Megsy@fivedollartraveller

    OMG I love egg tarts! This is a really unfair post as Tommo and I are on a diet at the moment and these pics are killing me. Nom nom nom

  15. Loved it, loved it :)
    Your post and the taste of those pastry products as well!
    I recognized all those places and the pastry products…
    Pastel de natas are addictive… couldn’t stop munching them!
    Wonderful post, Agness ;)

  16. These look pretty nice but almost all of them aren’t compatible with my diet anymore, perhaps the Coscorões? I’m not sure, anyway there must be a vegan version of them and I’ll find it! :)

    1. Coscorões also has eggs. I think every dessert in Portugal uses eggs! But you can eat “farturas” that are usually sold in summer fairs. Some of the “folares” are vegan but you have to ask.

  17. First off, I’m sorry for getting over here late, Agness! For some reason I’m not getting my usual email notifications of new posts! Arrghh! I may have to contact Cez if it doesn’t clear up.

    This has my stomach growling and thank goodness I’m just about to make a pasta dinner. I could eat everything you listed but I picked the eclair and the Fiovos de Ovos!!

    Have a great day! :)

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