Eva Arguiñano is a crack pastry and pastry shop. He always showed it and we see it every time he watches his brother Karlos Arguiñano’s program on Antena3.

Eva and Carlos Arguiñano
Antenna 3

One of his most acclaimed recipes is the Pastelitos de Belém, a typical dessert from Portugal which is much easier to do than you think. Although it’s also true that when Eva Arguiñano does it, it all seems pretty simple, right?

The cake from Belém It is a traditional sweet that you cannot and should not miss if you visit the country and specifically the city of Lisbon. In fact, Belém is the name of a neighborhood in the city where these sweets were born, originally monastic sweetsas they were prepared according to a secret recipe of the monks of the Hieronymous Monastery.

The curiosity of the name of this dessert, which in Portugal they say pastéis de nata, consists in the fact that, in fact, they are not filled with cream, but with pastry cream. Why are they called that then? Well, because in Portuguese, nata means cream. So easy! Shall we go with the recipe?

Nativity Cakes by Eva Arguiñano

for 8 people


  • 1 sheet of rectangular refrigerator puff pastry
  • 500 milliliters of milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 50 grams of flour
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Melted butter for the molds
  • Mint leaves for decoration

Step by step

  1. infuse the milk

    Heat 350 milliliters of milk in a saucepan, add the cinnamon stick cut in half and a few pieces of lemon peel (without the white part). Allow the milk to infuse over low heat for 15 minutes, more or less. Remove the pot from the heat and keep aside.

  2. Prepare the molds

    Brush some ovenproof ramekins with the melted butter (you can melt it in the microwave) so that you can easily unmold the cupcakes later. If you prefer, you can also use a muffin or cupcake pan.

  3. work the puff pastry

    Unroll the puff pastry and re-roll it without the baking paper that comes in the package. We cut portions about 3 cm wide, shape them into a ball between the palms of our hands, and then cover the molds with this dough, stretching the dough from the bottom to the sides, leaving a little more thickness on the walls. Let them sit for about 20 minutes.

    Cover the molds with the dough
    Antenna 3

  4. we finish the cream

    Mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl and pour over the rest of the cold milk. Mix well until lumps disappear. Add the infused milk as well, passing it through a sieve to remove the cinnamon and lemon zest. Stir and transfer the mixture to the pot, heat it over low heat until it boils. Turn off the fire.

  5. Mix with the yolks

    Lightly beat the yolks with the hand whisk and then add the previous mixture while continuing to beat with the whisk.

  6. fill in the bases

    Divide the cream between the forms that we have lined with puff pastry, without filling them completely. We put them in a pan.

    we fill the forms
    Antenna 3

  7. Bake the cupcakes

    Place the pan in the preheated oven, on the bottom, so that the puff pastry cooks well and the cupcakes don’t burn on the surface. Bake at 220º, 15-20 minutes. Serve cold or hot, garnished with a few mint leaves.

Tricks to Customize Your Belen Cakes:

  • Flavor the milk with vanilla and orange peel instead of cinnamon and lemon. You will have a pastry cream with a different taste but also delicious.
  • Just before serving, you can sprinkle it Pastéis de Belém with a little powdered sugar.
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