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Cavacas – Easy Portuguese Dessert

Cavacas, or Portuguese Popovers, are a classic dessert that are similar to cream puffs! Light and airy dough baked until crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Topped with a decadent lemon icing!

cavacas Portuguese popovers

Cavacas – Portuguese Popovers Dessert Recipe

Cavacas are a Portuguese popover pastry with a lemon icing. They are essentially dessert popovers that are baked in muffin tins or “popover” tins. The dough is light and airy with a crispy exterior!

They are topped with a lemon icing which adds the perfect amount of sweetness and tartness to the pastry. Simply delicious! This is the perfect treat served with coffee at breakfast or brunch, or as a dessert!

This is my family recipe that I enjoyed growing up. Cavacas bring back so many memories of family get togethers, celebrations and family vacations to Portugal!

What is in Cavacas – Portuguese Popovers?

ingredients to make cavacas Portuguese popovers
  • These popovers may look like they are difficult to make given how beautifully puffed they are but they are actually very easy and use pantry staple ingredients
  • The batter is simply eggs, flour, oil and vanilla extract that is mixed together for 20 minutes. This mixing time adds air into the batter which is what makes them pop up while baking
  • The 3 ingredient icing is icing sugar, lemon zest and a splash of milk – so simple and delicious!

How to Make Cavacas – Portuguese Popovers

Full Printable Recipe at Bottom of Page

steps to make cavacas Portuguese popovers

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 24 count mini muffin tin, or two 12 count regular sized muffin tins, or “popover” tins.

Prepare the Batter

2 Using an electric mixer (on medium-high) or stand mixer (at level 6 speed), beat all of the batter ingredients for at least 20 minutes without stopping. This long beating time is what makes the batter puff up while baking.

3 Once the batter is prepared, pour into the prepared baking tins. For mini muffin tins or “popover” tin, fill them 3/4 full. For large muffin tins, fill the tins half way.

Bake the Cavacas

4 Bake on the middle rack of the oven. For cavacas with a slightly moist interior bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed. If you like them on the dry side bake for 1 hour.

5 Remove from the oven and set aside until fully cooled. Let the cavacas cool in the baking tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Note: As the cavacas cool they will deflate slightly, this is normal.

cavacas Portuguese popovers cooling

6 In a small bowl prepare the icing by mixing the icing sugar, lemon zest and milk together.

If the icing is too thick add an additional splash of milk at a time until desired consistency. Or if the icing is too thin add a pinch of icing sugar at a time until desired consistency.

cavacas Portuguese popovers being iced

7 Once the cavacas are cooled spoon the icing over each one, or dip the tops in the icing. Optional: fill the cavacas with whipped cream, lemon curd, or pudding!

Best served and eaten on the same day, but they are delicious the next day. Enjoy!

cavacas Portuguese popovers

Optional Filling Variations

Try filling your cavacas with:

  • Whipped Cream
  • Vanilla Pudding
  • Lemon Curd
  • Chocolate Pudding

Icing Variations

Instead of a lemon icing try these variations. Sub the lemon zest for:

  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder for a chocolate glaze
  • Add a drop of food coloring to make a colorful icing

Looking for More Portuguese Desserts?

Try one of my favorite classic Portuguese desserts:

  • Queijadas de Leite (Milk Tarts) – these tarts are a milk based custard that are baked until golden brown and crispy. Served topped with cinnamon they are absolutely delicious!
  • Chocolate Salami – my favorite unique twist on fudge. It tastes just like fudge and is loaded with cookies. It looks just like salami!
  • Rice Pudding – the perfect creamy simple made ahead dessert! Serve warm or chilled and topped with cinnamon.

Enjoy!

– Sab

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, may earn me a small commission.

cavacas Portuguese popovers

Cavacas – Portuguese Popovers

Cavacas are a Portuguese popover pastry with a lemon icing. They are essentially dessert popovers that are baked in muffin tins or “popover” tins. The dough is light and airy with a crispy exterior. They are topped with a lemon icing which adds the perfect amount of sweetness and tartness to the pastry. Simply delicious! This is the perfect treat served with coffee at breakfast or brunch, or as a dessert!
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 24
Calories 185 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Batter

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Icing

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • Zest of one lemon, optional
  • 2 tbsp milk, more or less depending on the thickness you like

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 24 count mini muffin tin, or two 12 count regular sized muffin tins, or “popover” tins.
  • Using an electric mixer (on medium-high) or stand mixer (at level 6 speed), beat all of the batter ingredients for at least 20 minutes without stopping. This long beating time is what makes the batter puff up while baking.
  • Once the batter is prepared, pour into the prepared baking tins. For mini muffin tins or "popover" tin, fill them 3/4 full. For large muffin tins, fill the tins half way.
  • Bake on the middle rack of the oven. For cavacas with a slightly moist interior bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed. If you like them on the dry side bake for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and set aside until fully cooled. Let the cavacas cool in the baking tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Note: As the cavacas cool they will deflate slightly, this is normal.
  • In a small bowl prepare the icing by mixing the icing sugar, lemon zest and milk together. If the icing is too thick add an additional splash of milk at a time until desired consistency. Or if the icing is too thin add a pinch of icing sugar at a time until desired consistency.
  • Once the cavacas are cooled spoon the icing over each one, or dip the tops in the icing. Optional: fill the cavacas with whipped cream, lemon curd, or pudding!
  • Best served and eaten on the same day, but they are delicious the next day. Enjoy!

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NUTRITION

Calories: 185kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 3gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 24mgPotassium: 40mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 89IUCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
This nutrition information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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Recipe Rating




Maria

Thursday 2nd of December 2021

Tried this recipe and they turned out perfect! Thank you.

Ana

Monday 22nd of November 2021

Looks perfect and delicious. Thanks for the easy recipe.