February 16, 2020



Queijadas are custardy, sweet, and creamy Portuguese cupcakes with golden brown edges. If you like custardy desserts, you will love these!

Queijadas (Portuguese Custard Cupcakes)
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This recipe was first posted in April of 2014. I have just now had a chance to update it with new photos, content, and a couple of minor recipe tweaks.

The first time I had queijadas was at an Easter egg hunt party many, many years ago. Two of our good friends hosted the event every year for their families and friends. There was always so much food. No one ever left hungry.

While my children looked forward to the egg hunt and the pinata year after year, I secretly looked forward to the queijadas. It was truly love at first bite. Custardy desserts rank high on my list, and these cupcakes immediately made it to the top. The outside is ever so slightly chewy while the interior is smooth, creamy, and custardy. Lemon zest provide a subtle citrusy note and the crispy caramelized edges make these cupcakes simply heavenly!

Eventually, I started to make my own and have done so for years. Over time, I tweaked the recipe to my liking. My first attempts at making queijadas yielded delicious results, but my success with subsequent batches were inconsistent. Sometimes they came out custardy and smooth and other times, not so much. Some batches separated into layers of solids and custard. I discovered that the secret is to make sure all of the ingredients are well incorporated. Thoroughly mixing after adding ingredients and using hot milk ensure everything blends harmoniously.

Queijadas (Portuguese Custard Cupcakes)

Recipe highlights:
  • Combine flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Melt butter in a pan and add milk.  
Queijadas batter being made in a stand mixer

  • Cream eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add vanilla extract and lemon zest.
Queijadas batter being made in a stand mixer

  • Slowly incorporate the flour/baking powder mixture and milk mixture into the bowl.

  • Queijadas batter being made in a stand mixer

  • Fill prepared cupcake tins 3/4 full with the batter. 
Queijadas batter pouring into cupcake pan

  • Bake for 35-38 minutes or until the cupcakes are set and edges are caramelized.
  • See recipe card below more detailed instructions.

Be warned: the batter is very watery and will splash a when all of the milk is incorporated. Don't wear your good shirt :)  I assure you, the result will be worth the little bit of splash cleanup!

Queijada has a tendency to sink in the center, which is what it is intended to do. It does not typically contain baking powder. I like to add a little bit of baking powder to give it just a little lift and reduce the amount of sinking. If you choose to go the traditional route, omitting the baking powder is not a sin for this recipe.

In the original post published in 2014, I separated the batter into three equal portions. Food coloring was added to two so that each portion contained a different color. Each muffin tin was filled with one of the colors. I decided to keep the updated version undyed and au naturel. Feel free to add food coloring if that's what you desire!

Queijadas (Portuguese Custard Cupcakes)



Queijadas (Portuguese Custard Cupcakes)


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

Suggested supplies (affiliate links):
Muffin pans
Wire whisk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray standard size muffin pans with cooking spray (enough for 30-count).
  2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add milk, stirring occasionally, until it is warm. Turn off heat.
  3. Whisk flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. 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. 
  5. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest. Blend. 
  6. On medium speed, gradually add in 1 cup of hot milk and melted butter mixture. Beat for 30 seconds. Slowly add half of the flour mixture, followed by 1 cup milk mixture, beating for  30 seconds after the milk addition. 

  7. 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. 
  8. Add the rest of the milk. Beat for 30 seconds. 
  9. Fill muffin pans 3/4 full. 
  10. Bake for 35–38 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the center is set. 
  11. Cupcakes will sink slightly in center upon standing. 
  12. Store refrigerated and serve chilled or at room temperature

Makes 30 queijadas.

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  1. These desserts are very delicious!!

  2. My most savory and just plain yummy dish was chicken pram meatloaf, with pasts and a garden salad. It is one of our favorite meals! Thank you "In Good Flavor".

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I'm so glad you found my blog too! And I'm happy to know that the blog is showing up on searches. It's good to hear that you like it. Thank you for commenting!

  4. What size muffin pans do you use?

    1. I use standard size muffin pans...not mini, not jumbo. You would need to adjust baking time accordingly if you use the latter two sizes. Thanks for asking!

    2. Thank you! I couldn't tell how big they are. Now I'm ready to go ahead and try them! :)

  5. OMG these sound amazing! I've never had these before and it sounds like something right up my alley. I don't know how many recipes I've made that come out inconsistent. Sometimes I just throw up my hands!

    1. I can't ever have just one of these, Danielle. They are so addicting. I wanted to be able to make these on my own so much that I was determined to get it right. They are so worth it!

  6. Love custard! And these would be so practical baked in a cupcake tray!

    1. Custard is so good! These queijadas are self-contained, all the more reason to love them!! They go straight from the cupcake pans straight to your mouth!😀