How to make delicious Pasteis de Nata?

Are you craving something sweet and delectable? Look no further than this delicious recipe for Pasteis De Nata, also known as baked custard cups. This Portuguese treat has taken the world by storm and for good reason – it’s simply irresistible.

Originating in Lisbon, Portugal, Pastéis De Nata quickly became a staple of Portuguese cuisine. With a light and flaky pastry topped with a rich egg custard, these delectable tarts are perfect for any occasion – from a relaxing afternoon snack to an elegant dessert.

My recipe ensures that every bite is filled with the sweet, creamy flavor that makes Pastéis De Nata so irresistible. With simple ingredients such as flour, sugar, and cinnamon sticks, you can create this authentic Portuguese pastry in the comfort of your own home.

So why not give it a try? Treat your taste buds to a delicious and authentic pastry that will leave you yearning for more.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pasteis  De Nata  or  Baked Custard Cups
Pasteis De Nata or Baked Custard Cups

Indulge your taste buds with the perfect blend of flavors in Pastéis de Nata, also known as Portuguese Custard Tarts. This delicacy is a must-try for anyone who adores desserts or has a love for Portuguese pastries. Its creamy filling nestled in a crispy puff pastry crust will surely transport you to the streets of Portugal, where the original recipe hails from.

The aroma of warm cinnamon and zest of lemon peel elevate the flavors of this dessert and give it a unique character. The sweet vanilla extract imbues it with a heavenly aroma that will make your home smell like a bakery.

One bite into these egg custard tarts, and you’ll be left craving more. The rich, smooth texture of the custard contrasts perfectly with the flaky and buttery exterior of the puff pastry shell. You can serve these tarts either warm or chilled, making them perfect for any season, occasion or time of day.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or want to bake something special for your loved ones, Pastéis de Nata are a crowd-pleaser. Be ready to bask in compliments, as your friends and family enjoy one of the best authentic Portuguese desserts ever made.

Ingredient List

 Golden and crispy shells holding creamy custard inside.
Golden and crispy shells holding creamy custard inside.

Here is the ingredient list you’ll need to prepare the delicious Pasteis De Nata or Baked Custard Cups:

For the Custard Filling

  • 2 cups of Half-and-Half Cream
  • ¾ cup of white sugar
  • ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Half a lemon peel sliced into thin pieces
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract

For the Puff Pastry

  • 1 cup of water
  • A stick of unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour, sifted

That’s it! You only need a few basic ingredients to create this delicious pastry that will transport you to the sunny streets of Portugal.

The Recipe How-To

 These Pasteis De Nata are the perfect dessert to impress your guests.
These Pasteis De Nata are the perfect dessert to impress your guests.

Step 1: Preheat the Oven and Prepare the Custard

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F or 205°C.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of whole milk and half-and-half cream. Add a cinnamon stick and half of a lemon peel, if desired. Heat over medium flame to warm up the liquid.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, beat 6 egg yolks until they are completely blended. Tip: get rid of egg whites before starting.
  • Gradually add 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour to the egg mixture. Whisk continuously until the mixture is light yellow and becomes a thick batter. Use a strainer if necessary.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick from the milk mixture, then pour it into the egg batter. Mix well.
  • Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the custard mixture, stir until blended.

Step 2: Make Pasteis de Nata Cups

  • Roll out puff pastry into a flat sheet on a floured surface. Cut the dough into squares with each size enough to fit your muffin molds.
  • Place each pastry square gently in muffin molds or cupcake tins.
  • Pour in custard on each pastry cup with about two-thirds full.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until both puff pastry and custard became golden brown and set.

Step 3: Toppings

  • Let pastries cool for few minutes before taking them out from molds.
  • Sprinkle ground cinnamon over them or dust some powdered sugar on top if that is preferred.

Now you can serve these delightful pasteis de nata to your family and friends!

Substitutions and Variations

 One bite of these baked custard cups and you'll be in pastry heaven.
One bite of these baked custard cups and you’ll be in pastry heaven.

There are many ways to put a twist on the traditional pastéis de nata recipe. Here are some ideas:

– Gluten-Free: For a gluten-free version of this recipe, you can use gluten-free all-purpose flour instead of regular flour.

– Vegan: To make it vegan, use non-dairy milk instead of half-and-half cream and replace the eggs with a vegan egg substitute.

– Chocolate: You can add some chocolate chips to the custard mix or top each pastry with melted chocolate after they have baked for a delicious chocolate twist.

– Fruit-filled: To add some fruity flavor to your pastries, try adding diced fresh fruit or some jam into the custard filling before baking.

– Spiced: You can add some warmth to your pastéis de nata by infusing the half-and-half cream with a cinnamon stick or some lemon peel before mixing it with the other ingredients.

– Nutella: For those who love Nutella, you can substitute half of the white sugar for Nutella and enjoy the delicious combination of flavors in each bite of your pastry.

These are just a few ideas and variations to consider when making your pastéis de nata. Don’t hesitate to experiment and try out new combinations to create your perfect pastry.

Serving and Pairing

 These sweet treats are the ultimate comfort food.
These sweet treats are the ultimate comfort food.

Once you’ve made these delightful baked custard cups, it’s time to serve them and enjoy their wonderfully creamy and sweet taste. These Pastéis de Nata or Portuguese Custard Tarts are perfect for a light breakfast, afternoon tea or a late-night dessert.

Serving Suggestions:

Warm or chilled, these tarts are best served with a dusting of cinnamon powder on top. They can be served as they are or with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream for an extra boost of flavor. Alternatively, you can also drizzle the top of the tarts with a bit of honey, caramel sauce or chocolate sauce for added decadence.


These delicious custard tarts go well with a variety of beverages including coffee, tea or milk. For a stronger taste combination, try drinking an authentic Portuguese espresso with these pastries like the locals do. Another great option is to pair them with traditional Portuguese Port Wine.

So, whether you’re serving them at a formal gathering or enjoying them at home with your loved ones, these egg custard tarts will add a touch of Portugal to your dining experience.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A light dusting of cinnamon on top adds the perfect finishing touch.
A light dusting of cinnamon on top adds the perfect finishing touch.

Pastéis de Nata can be made ahead of time, stored, and reheated as desired. In fact, pastries tend to taste even better if made a day or so before serving. Once cooked and cooled, simply store the baked custard cups in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

The custard should remain fresh for 2-3 days, and can even be frozen for up to 1 month if you don’t plan to eat it right away. To thaw, remove them from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for about an hour until they are fully defrosted.

When reheating Pastéis de Nata, you have several options. One option is to simply place them on a baking tray in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 10 minutes or until heated through.

Alternatively, microwave the custard tarts for 10-20 seconds until they are warm inside, but make sure not to overheat them or they may become rubbery. Whichever method you choose, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and serve either hot or cold with espresso or coffee.

Keep in mind that Pastéis de Nata taste best when freshly made, so try to reheat only as many as you need each time rather than reheating the whole batch at once. With these helpful tips, you can ensure that your Portuguese custard tarts will remain fresh and delicious every time you want to enjoy them!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Bite into the flaky pastry to reveal the smooth and creamy filling.
Bite into the flaky pastry to reveal the smooth and creamy filling.

If you want to make the perfect Pasteis de Nata, there are a few tips that can help you achieve outstanding results. Here are some tips and recommendations that will guide you through the process of baking these delicious Portuguese custard tarts.

1. Use good quality ingredients: To create a fantastic flavor and texture for your custard tarts, it is necessary to use high-quality ingredients. Starting with fresh free-range eggs and high-fat cream or half-and-half, all the way to cinnamon and lemon peel, everything matters when it comes to making traditional Pasteis de Nata.

2. Don’t overfill your cups: When making Pasteis de Nata, it’s important not to overfill the custard cups with egg mixture. The eggs will puff up when baked, and they need enough space in the cups to rise without spilling over.

3. Blind-bake your pastry: One tip for ensuring a crispy pastry is to blind-bake it before filling it with custard. Pre-baking the puff pastry ensures that it stays flaky and crisp even after filling it with runny egg custard.

4. Don’t add too much sugar: Adding too much sugar to your egg mixture will cause the custard tarts to caramelize too quickly at high oven temperatures. It’s recommended to use a small amount of white sugar or granulated sugar instead of lots of sugar.

5. Bake at high temperature: To achieve authentic Pasteis de Nata results, bake your custard tarts at high temperatures between 425°F (220°C) and 450°F (230°C), this will give them a crisp shell layer while keeping the filling smooth and creamy.

6. Serve fresh out of the oven: Wait for the puff pastry to cool down for about 5 minutes before devouring them while still warm as their texture is best enjoyed when they’re freshly baked.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create the most delightful and authentic Pasteis de Nata that will impress everyone who tastes them.


Before we conclude, let’s tackle some common questions about Pasteis De Nata. Whether you’re a beginner baker or a seasoned pastry chef, it’s always good to have answers to your questions. So, let’s dive into the frequently asked questions and clear up any doubts you might have.

What is the difference between nata and custard tart?

The popular custard tart varies in its recipe depending on the country of origin. The dish is made using different types of pastry in English and Portuguese cuisine, where the former uses crust pastry and tops it with nutmeg, while the latter utilizes puff pastry and tops it with cinnamon.

What is the difference between pastéis de nata and Pastéis de Belém?

The individuals residing in the northern parts of Portugal generally refer to these desserts as “Pastel de Nata”, whereas those in the southern region tend to use the term “Pastel de Belém”.

What is the difference between pastel de nata and pastéis de nata?

If you come across the term pastel de nata, it simply means “cream pastry” in Portuguese. In case you hear or read the term pastéis de nata, it merely refers to multiple cream pastries.

Should pastéis de nata be warm or cold?

When it comes to pasteis de nata, it’s ideal to consume them while they’re still warm and fresh, preferably on the same day they’re prepared. However, it’s possible to preserve their taste by storing them at room temperature for up to 48 hours. For optimal results, it’s recommended to reheat them in a preheated oven of 350°F.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Pastéis de Nata recipe is a beloved Portuguese dessert that has made its way to dessert menus worldwide. With its flaky puff pastry, creamy egg custard, and cinnamon-infused aroma, this dessert is sure to please anyone who tries it.

This recipe is not only simple but can also be customized to fit any preferences, from adding lemon peel or nutmeg to substituting half-and-half cream with whole milk. So why not give it a try? Follow the steps provided in this article, and I guarantee you won’t regret it.

One tip I would like to give is to make sure you serve these custard cups warm, dusted with some powdered sugar, and accompanied by a hot cup of coffee or tea. It makes for the perfect indulgence on a lazy weekend morning or as an after-dinner delight.

So, whether you’re a fan of Portuguese cuisine or just looking for a new dessert to try out, Pastéis de Nata are an authentic and easy-to-make treat that will make your taste buds dance!

Pasteis De Nata or Baked Custard Cups

Pasteis De Nata or Baked Custard Cups Recipe

These lovely custard baked pastry cups are delectable. They are a must have at every Portuguese family gathering. This recipe is a modern version of the classic recipe which is very time consuming. You will be amazed to know that you will never have to buy these from the bakery again! Enjoy.
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Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 24 muffin cups
Calories 155.3 kcal



  • 2 cups half-and-half cream (10% m.f.)
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup white sugar


  • 397 g of tenderflake pastry dough (located in the freezer section in your local grocery store.)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • **24 Hours before you make the pasteis de nata, remove tenderflake puff pastry from the freezer and let unthaw at room temperature.
  • Place all filling ingredients in a saucepan and whisk together until it is somewhat frothy in appearance. The temperature of the stove should be at medium heat. Stir constantly.
  • Bring liquid mixture to a slow boil. Remove from heat when the mixture has thickened.
  • Let mixture cool completely before pouring into the tart shells.
  • The tenderflake puff pastry block will come in two blocks. (Cut each block into 12 if using large cups and 24 if using mini cups).
  • Dust knife with flour as needed when cutting to prevent sticking.
  • Roll each piece of dough in the palm of your hand, like you would a meatball. Then flatten out by pressing your palms together.
  • Dust fingers with flour before working each piece in a rotating circular motion to expand to size. Spray muffin tin with non stick spray even if they are non stick !
  • Place dough in muffin tin and work in so that the dough is even with the top edge.
  • Fill each tin which is lined with dough with the filling so that filling is almost to the top.
  • For large cups bake for 35-45 minutes and for mini cups bake for 20-28 minutes. Until golden in colour or desired colour has been achieved (SOME PREFER TO HAVE THEM A DARK CARMEL COLOR ON TOP). I use a convection oven so adjust your heat and length of baking time accordingly.
  • ***When you remove the cups from the oven you will notice the filling to be quite puffed up but they will deflate once they start to cool.
  • Let baked cups cool completely then refrigerate in an airtight container.
  • These tasty morsels never last long enough to freeze so I am not sure if they keep well frozen.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1223gCalories: 155.3kcalCarbohydrates: 16.9gProtein: 2.4gFat: 8.8gSaturated Fat: 3.2gCholesterol: 70.4mgSodium: 90.5mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 8.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Dessert, European, Portuguese
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.