Portugal lies on the Western edge of Europe, diving into the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. This small country packs in a ton of culture into its borders, with everything from its historic big waves, thrilling dances, and dozens of delicious Portuguese desserts.
When it’s time to end a terrific dinner of bountiful Portuguese seafood or filling rice dishes, these Portuguese desserts will finish the meal on a high note.
Many of these desserts are rich and decadent, overflowing with creamy flavors.
Explore this list of 25 best Portuguese desserts for your next tea time, snack attack, or after-dinner treat.
One of the most classic, homey Portuguese desserts is arroz doce.
Many cultures enjoy rice puddings like arroz doce, but signature flavors make this variety distinct from Portugal.
Rice combines cinnamon, lemon, sugar, and eggs into a sweet and creamy pudding.
Arroz doce appears in everyday homes, Christmas feasts, wedding celebrations, and even high-end versions at gourmet restaurants.
Kings Cake, like Arroz doce, features prominently during the holiday season.
This show-stopping cake is filled with fruit and nuts and is ring-shaped to resemble a crown or an edible Christmas wreath.
While the dough appears studded with goodies, the result is a surprisingly light, spiced cake.
Most cultures associate games with their Bolo Rei.
In Portugal, if you receive a fava bean in your slice, it is your turn to bake a Bolo Rei for next year. Lucky guests find a toy in their slice.
This icebox cake makes a delicious chilled dessert.
With flavors similar to
an Italian tiramisu, the Bolo de Bolacha e Carmelo is a crowd-pleasing birthday or special occasion cake.
Bolo de Bolacha e Carmelo is a versatile dessert.
cookies of your choice for the crust and replace the traditional Portuguese coffee dripping liquid with other sauces, like this recipe.
This memorable Portuguese bread features a head-turning coconut crust.
These soft mounds of bread are fluffy in the middle to contrast the yummy crust exterior.
This recipe is complex and takes a few hours. Read the entire recipe carefully to use the exact ingredients and directions properly.
Sponge cake is a beloved dessert across many cultures.
Portuguese call their rendition Pao de Lo. Moist and fluffy, this recipe calls for only three simple ingredients: sugar, flour, and eggs.
Pao de Lo stands as one of the most famous desserts in Portugal.
This sponge cake can be a base for elaborate wedding cakes or served with jam and cream.
Don’t let the name fool you! There’s no meat involved in this Portuguese dessert.
Salame de chocolate resembles cured meat in appearance only.
This no-bake Portuguese dessert combines compressed, chilled slices of the following ingredients, Butter, Powdered sugar, Tea cookies, Cocoa powder, Port wine
Optional ingredients for Salame de chocolate are dried fruits like raisins and apricots and nuts like pistachios.
Portugal doesn’t disappoint with its version of beloved donuts.
Sonhos means “dreams” in Portuguese, and that’s exactly what this Portuguese dessert is.
These light and fluffy dough balls are deep-fried in canola oil and rolled in sugar.
Share this delicious treat with a crowd because this recipe makes dozens of poppable donuts.
other kinds of donuts from around the world!
Espresso breaks serve as an influential component of Portugal’s culture.
The perfect pairing with an afternoon cup of coffee is queijadas or Portuguese cheesecake tarts, similar to
other kinds of cheesecake.
A blend of goat cheese and ricotta combined with egg yolks for this creamy and rich Portuguese dessert.
A caramelized cinnamon top makes it a classic queijada.
If you are looking for a traditional Portuguese dessert, this is it.
The origins of this Portuguese dessert trace back hundreds of years to the inventions of sequestered nuns.
Read this recipe carefully because unique ingredients, like ground almonds and 20 egg yolks are required!
This 19th-century pudding carries a massive reputation.
A Pudim Abade de Priscos earned the title of one of the Seven Wonders of Portuguese Gastronomy.
This sweet Portuguese dessert uses bacon for this velvety, caramel-colored pudding.
However, there’s nothing porky about this decadent, historical, and complicated recipe.
This Bola de Berlim recipe features a creamy, lemon-flavored stuffing sandwiched between pan-fried dough halves.
These bite-sized Portuguese desserts are double-decadent and relatively easy to make!
Bola de Berlim is pretty cute too. Offer these as a lovely brunch dessert or at a baby shower dessert buffet.
Whip up a quick Bolo do Mel as a wholesome after-school snack or as a quick treat for tea time.
This simple cake translates to Portuguese Honey Cake.
This straightforward preparation and list of ingredients make this a great way to introduce Portuguese desserts to your repertoire.
Bolo de Mel goes wonderfully with tea, coffee, and even wine.
This fluffy Portuguese dessert looks like a tall cupcake, towering above the other confections in a Portuguese pastry case.
If you want to bake this delicious, airy Bolo de Arroz at home, be advised you must invest in tall baking rings or other structures to allow this Portuguese dessert to rise.
This egg custard is a classic Portuguese dessert.
A pot of warm and creamy semi-soft pudding serves as delicious and rich comfort food at the end of a meal.
Leite de Creme can be a more accessible way to make this popular treat.
This Portuguese dessert requires stovetop cooking instead of fussy baking like the related
French creme brulee.
These custard tarts taste similar to many of the delicious Portuguese desserts on this list, with a flaky crust, creamy inner texture, and cinnamon topping.
For best results, eat these custard tarts within three days.
Pastel de Nata ranks as a slightly complicated recipe, so follow the directions precisely.
This Portuguese sweet bread is another beloved traditional recipe in this Mediterranean nation.
The final product resembles a soft cookie.
Azorean biscoitos are commonly served as holiday treats.
This creamy dough is shaped into a long tube before forming the traditional ring or knot shape.
Gluten-free bakers can add to their repertoire with Bolo de Amendoa.
This gluten-free almond torte is a dense and decadent dessert.
The ingredients that come up frequently appear here: lemons, cinnamon, and almonds used for this Portuguese dessert’s signature flavor.
This simple apple cake mixes ordinary baking ingredients like baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla for this golden, dense cake.
Large slices of apples provide great texture throughout.
A sweet glaze gives this cake an inviting shine and delicious icing.
Who doesn’t love cheesecake? Bolo de Gueiji is the Portuguese version of this luxurious classic dessert.
Ricotta cheese forms the filling of this cheesecake. Corn starch cookies make up the crust.
Make sure you leave enough time to thoroughly chill this Portuguese dessert.
Bolo Nega Maluca acts as a simple and fast
Brazilian chocolate cake that is very popular in Portugal.
Whip up this easy recipe for a quick tea-time treat or to serve to guests who have dropped in.
This recipe features a decadent brigadeiro sauce to take this recipe to a new level.
Bolo Xadrez, or chess cake, gets its name from the iconic checkerboard pattern that appears once you slice this cake.
This pattern is achieved through alternating chocolate and vanilla cake batters to make the black and white grid reveal inside.
“Lampreia” refers to lamprey, one of the uglier creatures of the sea.
For frugal Portuguese peasants, the lamprey provided affordable meat and was celebrated.
While it’s an unlikely subject for a Portuguese dessert sculpture made of almonds and eggs, this is a treat in Portugal.
Decorate your lamprey with sugar strands, maraschino cherry eyes, and bared almond teeth.
Another dense, bite-sized tart, pastel de Feijao stuffs a crisp pastry with navy bean jam.
This savory filling may sound strange, but pastel de Feijao is a beloved traditional Portuguese dessert.
Historians trace this Portuguese dessert to regions North of Lisbon from recipes developed by, once again, nuns.
This deconstructed trifle makes for a refreshing Portuguese dessert in the height of summer.
Gelado com morangos translates to Portuguese strawberry ice cream.
However, this recipe does not feature
traditional ice cream at all.
Chilled whipped cream and sweetened condensed milk make the creamy base. Delicious strawberries drizzle on top.
Another trifle on this list of best Portuguese desserts, the serradura dessert, tastes much better than it sounds.
Its name, “sawdust pudding,” refers to the crumbled-up cookies in this layered dessert which look like sand.
Layers of cookies, condensed milk, whipped cream, and vanilla deliver a simple, no-bake Portuguese dessert.
Portuguese desserts feature many delicious recipes.
Custard tarts, fruity trifles, and egg puddings provide the perfect finishing touch to everyday desserts and special occasions.
Some of these recipes involve specialized ingredients or advanced techniques, but many of these recipes bring a bit of Portuguese flair to everyday meals.
Check out other delicious desserts from around the world, from
classic fall desserts to Australian desserts you should try!
1. Choose your favorite recipe.
2. Gather the necessary ingredients. 3. Prep and cook your recipe. 4. Enjoy!