The 12 Portuguese sweets you just can’t miss!? Well, Portugal is well known for its absolutely delicious food, it has a culture very close to a table surrounded by friends, the Portuguese sweets always follow the main course.
From north to south of Portugal, and also on the islands, there are several traditional sweets that make us weep for more.
We made a selection full of sugar and lots of calories. But for a special occasion, and if eaten in a controlled manner, there is room for everything. This list represents various regions of Portugal.
Alfeizerão Sponge Bread
The sponge cake is a moist cake made with eggs, flour, and sugar. The Portuguese simply love this cake, but it is more traditional at Easter and Christmas. It is consumed as a dessert, a snack, or with coffee and tea.
What many people don’t know is that this sponge cake began in the 18th century and was known as Castile bread. When the Portuguese traveled to Japan, one of the influences they left on Japanese cuisine was exactly the pan de castella (Castile bread) that inspired the creation of the famous Japanese cake Kasutera.
Alfeizerão sponge cake is, even more, moister than the “normal” sponge cake and is made with more egg yolks, namely with 18 yolks, plus 6 whole eggs. This makes the final product extremely moist, the interior is practically liquid. It is divine!
Where to taste it?Casa do Pão de Ló-Alfeizerão
Soft Eggs (Aveiro)
This typical sweet, traditional from Aveiro, is nothing more than a simple dough made up of egg yolk, sugar, and water, wrapped in a film that resembles a thin wafer. Its format is generally inspired by marine themes such as sea animals and shells.
The most interesting thing about the Soft Eggs Aveiro is that they can only be produced there and it has its own legislation to prevent the original recipe from being lost throughout history.
Where to taste it?Oficina do Doce
Tentúgal Pastry (Coimbra)
The recipe for success is the following: very crunchy dough with a lot of egg candy filling. Believe it when we say that it’s to eat and cry for more.
Tentúgal Pastry has the seal of Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), and can only be produced in the villages of Tentúgal and Montemor-o-Velho, on the outskirts of Coimbra.
Shall we drop by Coimbra?
Where to taste it?Pastelaria Briosa
Madeira Honey Cake
The Madeira Honey Cake is a cake that does not have eggs and uses spices that are not typical of Portuguese cuisine, with the exception of cinnamon. It is a traditional Madeira sweet and very difficult to find outside the island.
This cake is made with sugar cane honey, walnuts, almonds, raisins, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and Madeira wine.
Where to taste it? Açúcar e Mel, Funchal
Azeitão is a parish in Setúbal known mainly for its vineyards. If you go through here, you can’t miss the Azeitão Pie.
Like most typical Portuguese sweets, the egg is also the star of this recipe. But with cinnamon that gives it a special touch.
Where to taste it?Pastelaria Regional Cego
Great to go with a coffee, this sweet and sugary round cake is filled with egg cream. The Berlin Ball originated in Germany and arrived in Portugal during World War II. Some of the families fleeing the war brought the recipe of this pastry, which in Germany is called “Berlinesa”.
Where to taste it?A Padaria Portuguesa
Bean Pastry (Torres Vedras)
The bean pastry is a typical Portuguese sweet, made in Torres Vedras since the end of the 19th century. Although the recipe varies a little depending on the manufacturer, its base ingredients are almonds and cooked white beans.
D. Joaquina Rodrigues, an inhabitant of Torres Vedras at the end of the 19th century, is the original author of this recipe, which she made only for people in her private circle. The way of cooking is later passed on to acquaintances and family members who quickly achieve success beyond the borders of the village.
Where to taste it?Fábrica Corôa
The brigadeiro is not originally Portuguese. It comes from Rio de Janeiro – Brazil – and was created during the campaign of the candidate Brigadeiro Eduardo Gomes. It was named Brigadeiro in his honor and was offered during the campaign. Eduardo Gomes was not elected but his sweet clearly won the hearts of Brazilians and then the Portuguese.
The Brigadeiro is made with condensed milk, cocoa powder, and butter, and then covered with chocolate chips.
Where to taste it?Brigadão – Porto
Cavacas das Caldas
As cavacas são um doce seco feito com farinha, ovo, brandy, azeite e açúcar e cobertos com uma pasta de claras e açúcar. Apesar de muito secos (e por isso muito duradouros) são bons para se comer com chá ou café.
The Cavacas are a dry sweet made with flour, egg, brandy, oil, and sugar and covered with a paste of egg whites and sugar. Although very dry (and therefore very durable) they are good to eat with tea or coffee.
Where to taste it?O Tacho
The Alcôa pastry shop, in Alcobaça, with more than 50 years of tradition, is responsible for the best Cornucopias. Of conventual origin, they are shaped like a crunchy sugar cone and filled with egg candy.
If you pass by Alcobaça, don’t forget to try them!
Terceira Island, in the Azores, also has a delicious Cornucopia!
Where to taste it? Pastelaria Alcôa
Brisas do Lis (Leiria)
Lis is the river that bathes Leiria. This is a city associated with the history of King D. Dinis. The origin of Brisas do Lis dates back to the 17th century and this recipe comes from confectioners who received information from older confectioners. This recipe is made of secrets and almonds.
Where to taste it?Pastelaria Brisanorte
Such delight comes from the famous recipe produced by Pastelaria de Belém, from the original creation of a pastry chef from the Jerónimos Monastery. It is only here, in the old confectionery in Belém, founded in 1837, that it can take this name. In other places, there are even the custard tarts.
Nobody can pass in Belém without tasting a Belém custard.
Where to taste it?Pastéis de Belém (the old Pastelaria de Belém)
Certainly, you already know some of these sweets and have even tasted them. If any of these names sound familiar to you, know that you really have to try them. Portugal has dozens of sweet delicacies that are true national treasures.
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