Pastels de Belem recipe: delicious dessert from Portugal

We will show you the steps to follow to make delicious Belem cakes at home with few ingredients.

Pastels de Belem recipe: delicious dessert from Portugal

Last update: May 14, 2022

Belem cakes are one of the most characteristic sweets in Portugal. They are prepared in almost all pastry shops. Although the recipes may vary from place to place, they all rely on a number of common ingredients.

We’ll teach you how to make these treats at home so you can make the most of them or surprise guests.

How to prepare Belem cakes?

Before starting with the development of the Belem cake recipe, it should be noted that it is a better option to make this type of dessert at home than to buy its industrial version.

The latter collect elements such as simple sugars, trans fats and artificial additives. These products can change the levels of inflammation in the internal environment, increasing your risk of getting sick.

So, if you have time and inclination to prepare these delicacies at home, you cannot miss this recipe.

Belem cakes are easy to prepare and taste delicious.


If you want to prepare some excellent Belem cakes at home, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 liter whole milk
  • 500 grams of white sugar
  • 100 grams of wheat flour
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 600 grams of puff pastry
  • The peel of half a lemon
  • a cinnamon stick
  • Butter
  • metal molds

Step by step of the dough

  1. Make rectangular cuts in the puff pastry.
  2. Roll into a cylinder, in portions of about 3 cm.
  3. Grease the molds that we will use with butter and place in each one a cylinder of dough. Normally, the best option is to use small egg moldssince not all sites are specific to these cakes.
  4. Prick the dough with a fork around the edge and let it rest for 20 minutes. Little by little it will take the shape of the mold.

Step by step the cream

  1. Divide 200 milliliters of milk into a cup and add the flour. Hit well and book.
  2. At the same time, heat the milk together with the lemon peel and cinnamon in a saucepan to infuse them.
  3. When it boils, add the flour mixture little by little without stopping to mix.
  4. As soon as it boils again, remove the lemon peel and the cinnamon stick.
  5. Add the sugar to the mixture.
  6. Slowly the consistency of the mixture will increase.
  7. Let it stand for 10 minutes as soon as the fire goes out.
  8. To continue, separate the yolks from the egg whites.
  9. Lightly beat the yolks in a bowl and pass them through a sieve before combining them with the rest of the ingredients.

Baking step by step

At this point, all that’s left is to assemble and bake the cakes. This process is the simplest, but it also has its little secrets. Below you will find the step by step.

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.
  2. Place the forms on the baking sheet.
  3. We fill them with pastry cream.
  4. Bake the cakes for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  5. Let the cakes cool a little and they can be eaten.

Contraindications of Belem cakes

The consumption of cakes and sweets should be sporadic. It is better to make them at home.

Belem cakes are very tasty, but you need to be careful if some metabolic pathology has developed. In this case, it is best to limit your intake of simple sugars, as it could be counterproductive. Some options such as the ketogenic diet have been shown to be a good alternative to improve glucose metabolism and properly manage the pathology.

Secondly, It is true that high consumption of simple carbohydrates could promote overweight. This is proven by research published in the journal Current diabetes reports.

To avoid this problem, it is recommended to base the diet on fresh food intake, limiting the presence of carbohydrates with a high glycemic index. Now, if they appear on time, it shouldn’t be a concern.

Finally, it should be noted that these nutrients may be essential in certain contexts. For example, when performing high-intensity exercise. They represent the main energy substrate for this kind of effort. In addition, if combined with proteins of high biological value, they would favor recovery, according to a study published in Nutrients.

Prepare Belem cake at home

As you have seen, you can prepare Belem cake at home in a simple way. If you follow the steps we have given you, you will achieve a fantastic result from an organoleptic point of view. They are excellent to accompany a coffee or tea in the afternoon. They can even work for dessert. Of course, always in moderation, since they are energetic.

To conclude, remember that when the goal is to improve the state of health, it is convenient to recommend a series of good habits, in addition to taking care of the diet. The fact of doing physical exercise on a regular basis will be decisive, promoting above all strength work. Thus, inflammation in the internal environment will be controlled.

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