Sweet Lover’s Guide to Portugal That Will Satisfy Your Craving

sweet things from portugal

Each town or village has its own specialities, and so the variety and richness of sweet things from Portugal is impressive. Many of the sweets originated in the convents and monasteries and offer a glimpse into Portugal’s cultural and culinary heritage preserving traditions that date back centuries.


Pastel de Nata

In Portugal it’s a must to try the beloved Portuguese custard tart, pastel de nata, a crispy, crunchy pastry with an egg custard filling and just the right amount of sugar.

Pastéis de Belém was the first café/shop to sell the popular treats. A well known tourist attraction nearby the Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon. Locals still come here for the pastry made from a secret recipe that hasn’t changed since 1837.

Ovos Moles

Ovos Moles is one of the best known sweet things from Portugal. A delicacy from Aveiro, a city famed for its canals. Ovos Moles are made with egg yolks and sugar. The mixture is then put inside rice paper cases shaped into nautical shapes such as shells. They were first made over five centuries ago by the nuns in the local convent.

pão de ló de ovar

Pao do Ló

A yellow sponge cake made from sugar, egg yolks and flour. There are various recipes of Pão de Ló from all over the country. However, the best known is Pão do Ló from Ovar. In this variation the amount of flour is several times smaller than the amount of sugar which makes the dough so light it doesn’t bake fully in the middle, creating a velvety cream to eat with a spoon.

food central portugal

Pastel de Tentúgal

This is one of the most distinguished specialities of Portuguese convent sweets. The delicacy dates back to the 16th century and comes from a convent, in the small village of Tentúgal. The village is about 20km from Coimbra. To fully appreciate Pastel de Tentúgal you must first understand something about its intricate preparation. With fabrics on the floor pastry chefs gently stretch pieces of dough until it fills the size of a room ( yes you read it right!). This process tests the elasticity of the gluten to the max. The dough gradually transforms into transparent sheets that will form a rectangular package around a creamy filling made of eggs and sugar.

algarve food guide

Dom Rodigo

Dom Rodigo is a traditional Portuguese sweet associated with the Algarve region. They are made from a combination of egg yolks, sugar, ground almonds, cinnamon and fios de ovos – a confectionary product consisting of thin egg threads. You buy them wrapped in foil, with the ends twisted upwards to keep any loose syrup inside. They are delicate and very sweet.  Pastelaria Gardy in Faro is a great place to try Dom Rodigo in the Algarve.

fitas de carpentriro

Fitas de Carpinterio

A delicacy from César and St Maria de Feria that has passed down through the generations. Strips of dough are rolled around bamboo canes. The crispy cones are then filled with a delicious cream made with egg yolks and sugar.

Queijadas de Sintra

Sintra is a beautiful fairy-tale town of castles about 40 minutes outside Lisbon. Queijadas de Sintra are not only popular in Sintra, but also one of the most popular pastries in the catalogue of sweet things from Portugal. The centuries old tarts are made from fresh cheese, egg yolks, sugar and cinnamon and baked in a thin crust. Legend has it that the queijadas were homemade until the middle of the 18th century and used to pay taxes. Later they were manufactured in bakeries, the first was Fabrica das Verdadeiras Queijadas da Sapa in 1756.

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