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Now that traveling is off limits for a while, you start to long for holidays and weekends away. We always planned to go to Lisbon, but that never happened. It is now number one if city trips can be done again...

In the meantime, we simply make and eat Portugal's most popular pudding pastry: Pastéis de nata - loosely translated: cream puffs (already one reason to get started).

The iconic Portuguese cake has its origins in Belém, the port on the Tagus. Nowadays you can get the tastiest version of this sweet at the famous bakery 'Pastéis de Belém' (built in 1837), a suburb of Lisbon. Day in, day out there is a huge queue for a take away box or a table in the hectic maze of halls and rooms of the associated coffee house.

Why are the cakes so crazy delicious?

Perhaps the contrast between the crispy puff pastry and the creamy, sweet filling does the trick. The pleasantly small size ensures a high snack factor. In Portugal you always get a bag of sugar with cinnamon to sprinkle on top. It's not very convenient to eat, but it is tasty.

There are many different recipes in circulation, but this seemed to be the most authentic recipe that I found in Trouw by Karin van Luiten (who, by the way, has a great website full of recipes). The cakes are not difficult to make and perhaps that is why they are an extra fun project for the weekend.


Number of cakes: 8 pieces
Kcal: probably a lot
Required: muffin/cupcake tin

  • 4 to 6 slices of butter puff pastry (freezer)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • butter & flour for greasing
  • powdered sugar and cinnamon for the finishing touch (optional)

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 ˚C
  2. Grease 8 cavities of the muffin tin with butter and dust with some flour
  3. Let the puff pastry slices thaw and roll them out a little thinner. Theoretically you can efficiently cut 8 rounds from 4 slices, but use a little more dough if that doesn't work. You should have enough to cover the bottom and raised edges
  4. Poke holes in the bottom with a fork to prevent rising. Place the mold in the refrigerator
  5. Cut the vanilla pod open lengthwise and scrape out the marrow
  6. Place the stem and marrow together with milk, sugar and cornflour in a pan, heat to the boil and let it steep very gently for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the vanilla pod. Beat in the beaten egg yolks with a whisk and let it slowly thicken over low heat, stirring regularly, but do not boil, otherwise it will become scrambled eggs. Pour the filling into the moulds. Sprinkle with some cinnamon
  8. Place the tarts in the oven for ± 20 minutes until they are done and crispy, with dark spots on the filling.
  9. Sprinkle with some icing sugar (optional) before serving

Store the patties out of the refrigerator, so preferably eat them the same day. Preferably straight out of the oven, then they are tastiest!

Dream about Lisbon for a moment...

I think these cakes alone are a great reason to visit Lisbon someday. In tips 1 and 2 below you will find a few more Pastéis de nata recipes.

1 - Lisboeta - Recipes from Portugal's city of lights

Lisbon has quickly become one of the most popular weekend getaways in the EU. Based on his love for cooking and for the city of his youth, Nuno Mendes presents 100 fantastic recipes: from a small breakfast donut to a sizzling squid. Interwoven between the recipes you will find lively stories about the city and its fantastic culinary history. Available at Bol.com - €32.50

2 - It can also be simpler, with Jamie

Jamie Oliver's Pastéis de nata's can be found in this cookbook. They are a little simpler. You use crème fraiche instead of making your own cream from eggs and he adds an orange to it. But hey, you can make the cakes within 30 minutes! In this great book you will find 50 varied, different menus that are sure to all be super tasty! Available at Bol.com - €29.99

3 - Wham Essentials Muffin Mold - for 12 Pieces

This muffin tin is designed and produced in England. Quality is strictly monitored, so you can purchase sustainable products. The basic materials are Enamel, Aluminum and Steel and have been developed in such a way that you can use them for a long time. This baking pan allows you to make as many as 12 muffins or Pastéis de natas at the same time. The non-stick layer makes it easy to remove them. Available at Bol.com - €22.38

Are you going to work on it? Let us know with a comment :-)

Mariko Naber

The author: Mariko Naber

Branding expert and online entrepreneur Mariko is the happy brain behind Happlify. Together with partner Mark, she runs Happlify, Sell your stuff online and branding agency Loaded ink BNO . She loves feel good, random acts of kindness, meatballs, chocolate mousse, family time, sea, piña colada, sugar & spice and everything nice.

De links op onze website kunnen gesponsord zijn, zie voor meer informatie onze gebruiksvoorwaarden.

1 comment

    • Nicole
    • April 20, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Ik lees jullie heel graag, altijd een mooi moment.
    Dit recept ga ik zeker proberen. Maar wat te doen met het wit van de eieren?

    Prettige dag

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