Sabrina Angelo

Queijadas - The story behind this Portuguese delicacy

Gastronomy in Figueira III

Walking through the deserted streets of Figueira da Foz, a growing desire to sit by the Mondego River or at the Café in front of Praia da Claridade appears. The taste of the landscape accompanied by sweet Portuguese delicacies in the middle of winter is really a landmark for visitors and residents. The famous and tasty Portuguese pastry only increases the desire to stay a little longer in the quiet of the city. Today at Gastronomy in Figueira we will talk about a well-known delicacy in the city of Sintra, on the island of Madeira, in Oeiras, Açores, Pereira and Évora, the queijadas. Come! Come and discover the history behind this Portuguese delicacy!

For those who appreciate new recipes, take a look at what we posted in the last post.

Queijadas - The story starts here ...

Its first appearance is dated in 1227 and its industrialization in the beginning of the 19th century.

¹In 1227 this delicious pastry was used as payment of fees. Eça de Queiroz mentions the recommendation of a mother to her son who is going to take a walk to Sintra: «Don’t forget the queijadas». Tude Martins de Sousa mentions a series of rents paid in queijadas. Alfredo Pinto says that his industrialization would have started in 1756 with Maria Sapa, from Ranholas, who would make 20 dozen queijadas every day. Queijadas de Sintra were awarded at the Regional Exhibitions of Sintra and Oeiras, in 1926, 1929 and 1936.

The origin of the sweet is lost in medieval times in the city of Sintra, ² then it served as a form of payment. Sintra had excellent pastures and an excess of fresh cheese, which was used to make this sweet.

³However, there are no records that mention producers, manufacturers or sales places for the cheeses until 1756. In that year, there are records that in Ranholas, Sintra’s place, one could find the said queijadas, produced by Maria Sapa.

Queijadas from Sintra

Queijadas and their variations

Brazilian Queijadinha

Just like any successful recipe, small variations appear over time and with the queijadas it was no different.

In Portugal we find recipes with orange, with dough, without dough, with flour, without flour, with cheese, without cheese and so on.

We can find this recipe in other countries made in different ways and with unusual ingredients.

Brazil being a Portuguese colony also has queijadinha in its recipes. A recipe very welcome and appreciated at birthday parties and celebrations in general.

So let's get down to business...

Below you will find some recipes to try at home.

Queijadas from Sintra


(For 12 units)

  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 120 ml of water
  • 350 g of all purpose flour
  • 75 g of butter
  • 1 tea spoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1,5 soup spoon all purpose flour
  • 160 g sugar
  • 4 fresh cheese
  • 8 egg yolk
  • 80 g melted butter 
  • zest of ½ lemon

Turn on the oven at 190º C.

For the dough, mix the flour with the salt and the butter cut into small pieces. Knead, rubbing with your fingertips.

Add the egg and water, kneading again.

Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a flat surface, lightly dusted with flour, leaving it with a thin thickness.

Cut 12 circles out of the dough and line them with cheesecakes splashed with water. Reserve.

For the filling, start by passing the cheeses through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with your fingers.

Pour the cheese paste into a deep bowl and incorporate the sugar, salt, lemon zest and cinnamon, then add the egg yolks and melted butter.

Mix well until the ingredients are attached.

Spread the cream over the molds and bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Let it warm and unmold.

Filipa Silva orange and cream cheese queijadas

Recipe: Filipa Gomes


(8 units)

  • 400 gr sugar
  • 150 gr cream cheese
  • 60 gr all purpose flour
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 dl water
  • butter
  • sugar
  • mint
  • 8 buttercups

Turn on the oven at 180º C.

Prepare a syrup with 1lt of water, 400 gr sugar and 1 cinnamon stick. Leave on low heat while passing to the remaining ingredients.

Place 150gr of cream cheese in a bowl with the zest of 1 oranges and juice, mix well.

Then separate the yolks from the whites of 10 eggs. Save the egg whites to use later, remove the egg yolks and set aside.

Remove the syrup from the heat, discard the cinnamon stick and add the mixture with the cheese, stirring constantly. Then add the egg yolks and keep stirring. Bring to the boil to cook and thicken the filling.

Once it is ready, remove from heat and add 60 g of flour.

Spread the mixture over 8 butter-greased molds and bake for 20 minutes, or until firm on the outside and moist on the inside.

Finish the queijadas with 1 sprig of mint and powdered sugar.

Friday we will present the recipe created by Sun with Style, we hope you like it!

Until our next meeting!