Portuguese Desserts – Best 15 to Try!

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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100 thoughts on “Portuguese Desserts – Best 15 to Try!”

  1. Omnomnom! I love egg custard tarts, though I’ve never had one in Portugal – I bet originals are even more delicious :)

  2. Amazing list Agnes. Thank you for portraying Portuguese delicacies so well. Some of these are hidden gems… and the country is full of other hidden gems. Places, museums, old quarters, local food, centuries-old villages. Hidden gems that you’ll hardly find if you don’t have a local connection. If you’re visiting Portugal, I recommend using services like http://www.WiserGo.com which let’s you design several travel packages with Portuguese agents, select your favorite, they will book everything and provide customer support while you’re in Portugal. Since they are local agents, they know the ins-and-outs of everything and you get to experience the country as a local!

  3. Wow, those look so good! Portugal is one of the few European countries I still haven’t been to, but I really must! I love egg custard tarts!! I’ve only had the asian version (looks similar though) but would love to try the Portuguese version as well :D

  4. Kathryn Burrington

    How fabulous. I couldn’t pick a favourite one I’d like to try so I would just have to work my way through them all. I wonder how long that would take!

  5. I’m portuguese from Aveiro where you can find another popular sweet called OVOS MOLES and also TRIPAS and BOLACHA AMERICANA.
    http://findresults.site/?rpid=2PO5N5455 – Those are the OVOS MOLES.
    This is the BOLACHA AMERICANA, which you can eat filled with something like egg custard or chocolate:
    And this is the TRIPAS:
    https://c9.quickcachr.fotos.sapo.pt/i/o951144e9/13839939_8SP5R.jpeg which also you can eat filled with all types of chocolate, cheese, egg custard, etc. Whatever you want :)

    The last twoo that I mentioned (Bolacha Americana and Tripas) you can find them on the streets in places like this: https://c8.quickcachr.fotos.sapo.pt/i/o3312ebcd/13839932_d1mwL.jpeg

    I hope you go back to Portugal and try those sweets from Aveiro :)

  6. Two of my favourite are Sericaia and Bolo de Agua Mel. Both are easy to find in the Alentejo, but less common elsewhere.
    The Sericaia is often served with a Ameixa de Elvas/Ameixa Coberta and syrup on the top.
    The Bolo de Agual Mel often has a little Agua Mel poured over it (Agua mel is a lightly spiced, subtly orange flavoured honey treacle made form boiling down the sweet water used to wash beekeeping equipment after the honey harvest and is only really found in the Alentejo and Algarve).

  7. So happy I’ve found this blogpost. Maybe you could help me…two years ago we are on holidays in Cascais and there was a little bar/cafe near the seashore where I bought a piece of heaven…..it was surely no pasteis de belem or de nata but something else…i’m trying to find it since then but still no idea what it was…it was more custard than pastry, with taste of orange, very gooey and eggy, but also pretty big and very round on the top. I don’t remember if it had any sort of pastry in it I guess not…or if yes then really small piece….do you have any idea what it was? And what is its name?

  8. Hello! I was in Portugal last summer and LOVE the custard tarts. In fact I came across your website as I’m researching a Portuguese themed baking novel for kids. So any links fool-proof recipes would be wonderful. Amanda

  9. Great list of desserts! When we lived in Lisbon we tried pretty much all of those and would have to say few countries, if any, have better sweets than Portugal. But of all of the treats, I would have to say a fresh malasada is hard to beat.

  10. Miriam - londonkitchendiaries.com

    After reading this I am even more excited to visit Portugal later this year! Can’t wait to indulge in some Pastel De Nata :-)

  11. Oh my gosh that food looks wonderful! I love places that have fancy desserts/treats! There’s a place here that makes tortes that are so amazing!

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