Queijadas (Portuguese Custard Cupcakes)

30 Servings
50 min

Queijadas are custard cupcakes or milk tarts. They are absolutely my favorite Portuguese dessert. They are brown and crispy around the edges while the inside is creamy and custardy. Freshly grated lemon zest provides a delightful citrus note.

I found the secret to making queijadas perfectly smooth and creamy is to make sure that all the ingredients are well blended after each addition. The batter is very liquidy, so be prepared for a little splashing. I assure you, it’s totally worth putting up with!

Queijadas are a dangerous dessert to have around me, because I will want to eat them all! They are sweet and simple little treats. Plus, they are great finger food. No wonder queijadas are a popular item at so many Portuguese celebrations. They always fly off the platter!

Step-by-step images and more info can be found at In Good Flavor.

Queijadas (Portuguese Custard Cupcakes)
Recipe details
  • 30  Servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 35 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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  • 1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter, cut into chunks
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder 
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest of 2 lemons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray standard size muffin pans with cooking spray (enough for 30-count).
Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add milk, stirring occasionally, until it is warm. Turn off and remove from heat.
Whisk flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a deep mixing bowl, beat eggs for 1 minute. Slowly add sugar, 1 cup at a time. Continue beating for 1 minute after the last addition.
Add vanilla extract and lemon zest. Blend. 
On medium speed, gradually add in 1 cup of the milk and melted butter mixture. Beat for 30 seconds. Slowly add half of the flour mixture, followed by 1 cup of the milk mixture, beating for 30 seconds after the milk addition. 
Slowly add the rest of the flour, then 1/2 of the remaining milk. Beat for 1 minute. The batter will be watery and will splash. Reduce speed to medium low, if needed. Angling a large paper plate over the bowl with help contain the splashing. 
Add the rest of the milk. Beat for 30 seconds. 
Fill muffin pans 3/4 full. 
Bake for 35–38 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. 
Cupcakes will sink slightly in center upon standing. 
Store refrigerated and serve chilled or at room temperature.
In Good Flavor
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  • Patti Betz Patti Betz on Apr 06, 2022

    These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them.

  • Mom Mom on Apr 06, 2022

    I lived in Portugal and always called them Nadas. yummy, yummy

    • Mia Moniz Mia Moniz on Apr 06, 2022

      Queijadas de Nata (cream).. there are also the ones that are made with a puff pastry crust. These look easier. This recipe makes 30..! I’m thinking I’d like to try 1/2 recipe.. (as an aside: my profile pic was taken in a hotel in Lisbon.) That day we went to Belem and had their ‘Pasteis de Belem’.. same sort of tart..! Heavenly..!