Cavacas Recipe

Discover the authentic flavors of Portugal with our easy Cavacas recipe. Create these delightful pastries in no time and savor the taste of tradition!



  • Cuisine: Portuguese
  • Category: Dessert, Pastry
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 80 calories

Cavacas are delightful Portuguese pastries that hold a special place in the hearts of many locals and visitors alike. These small, airy confections are often enjoyed as a sweet treat alongside a cup of coffee or tea. With their delicate texture and subtly sweet flavor, cavacas have become a beloved part of Portuguese culinary traditions.

Originating in the Beira region of Portugal, specifically in the city of Aveiro, cavacas have a history that spans generations. Their name is derived from the Portuguese word "cavaco," which refers to a small piece or fragment, reflecting the pastry's bite-sized nature. The creation of cavacas involves a relatively simple yet precise process, resulting in a treat that perfectly balances simplicity and indulgence.

Cavacas are made from a basic dough consisting of flour, water, butter, eggs, sugar, and a touch of vanilla extract. The dough is cooked on the stovetop to form a smooth, cohesive mixture. The addition of eggs lends a rich flavor and contributes to the pastry's light and airy texture. Once the dough is prepared, it's carefully portioned onto baking sheets, creating small mounds that will rise and expand during baking.

The true magic of cavacas occurs in the oven, where the pastries transform into golden brown puffs with a crisp outer shell. As they bake, the cavacas develop a hollow interior, making them perfect vessels for dusting with powdered sugar before serving. This final touch adds a touch of sweetness and an elegant finish to the pastries.

Cavacas are not only a treat for the taste buds but also a reflection of Portuguese culture and traditions. Whether enjoyed at family gatherings, local bakeries, or cultural events, these delicate pastries encapsulate the warmth and hospitality of Portuguese cuisine. Sharing a plate of cavacas is a cherished experience that allows both locals and visitors to savor the simple joys of life in Portugal.


Indulge in the magic of Portugal with our irresistible Cavacas recipe! These airy pastries are a sweet delight perfect for any occasion.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Method Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball of dough and pulls away from the sides of the pan.
  4. Let the dough cool for a few minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. The dough should become smooth and glossy.
  5. Using a spoon or a piping bag, drop small mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure to leave enough space between them as they will puff up during baking.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cavacas are golden brown and crisp.
  7. Once baked, remove the cavacas from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
  8. Once the cavacas are completely cooled, dust them with powdered sugar before serving.
  9. Enjoy your homemade cavacas!

Recipe Video


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Recipe Tags: Cavacas, Cavacas Recipe, Recipe


Serving cavacas is a delightful experience that involves a touch of elegance and simplicity. Here's how you can serve cavacas:

  1. Presentation: Arrange the baked cavacas on a serving platter or a decorative plate. Consider using a plate with a beautiful design to enhance the visual appeal.
  2. Dusting: Just before serving, generously dust the cavacas with powdered sugar. This not only adds a touch of sweetness but also enhances their appearance.
  3. Accompaniments: While cavacas are delicious on their own, you can enhance the experience by serving them with accompaniments. Consider offering a side of fresh fruit, such as berries or sliced strawberries, to add a refreshing contrast to the sweetness of the pastries.
  4. Beverages: Cavacas are often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea. The slight sweetness and airy texture of the pastries make them a wonderful complement to the bold flavors of coffee or the soothing qualities of tea.
  5. Garnish: For an extra touch of sophistication, you can garnish the serving platter with a few fresh mint leaves or a light drizzle of chocolate sauce. This adds a visually appealing element and complements the flavors of the cavacas.

The presentation of the cavacas can be as simple or as elaborate as you prefer. The goal is to create an inviting and appealing arrangement that makes your guests excited to enjoy these Portuguese pastries.


  1. Measure Ingredients Precisely: Baking is a science, so be sure to measure your ingredients accurately, especially the flour. Too much flour can result in dense cavacas.
  2. Consistency of Dough: When adding eggs to the dough, make sure to incorporate them fully before adding the next one. The dough should be smooth and glossy.
  3. Piping Bag or Spoon: You can use a spoon to drop the dough onto the baking sheet, but a piping bag can give you more control over the size and shape of the cavacas, resulting in more uniform pastries.
  4. Spacing: Give the cavacas enough space on the baking sheet to expand as they bake. They will puff up, so ensure they have room to rise without touching each other.
  5. Oven Temperature: Preheat your oven accurately to the recommended temperature. This ensures even baking and a golden-brown color.
  6. Baking Time: Keep an eye on the cavacas as they bake. The baking time might vary slightly depending on your oven. They should be golden brown and crisp when done.
  7. Cooling: Allow the cavacas to cool on a wire rack after baking. This prevents them from becoming soggy on the bottom due to trapped steam.
  8. Powdered Sugar: Dust the cavacas with powdered sugar just before serving to maintain their crispness. If you dust them too early, the sugar might absorb moisture from the pastries.
  9. Experiment with Flavors: While the classic recipe is delightful, you can also experiment with adding a hint of citrus zest (like lemon or orange) to the dough for an extra layer of flavor.
  10. Enjoy Fresh: Cavacas are best enjoyed on the day they are baked. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container to help preserve their texture.
  11. Personal Touch: Feel free to put your personal spin on the recipe. You can create larger or smaller cavacas depending on your preference, and even explore different ways to garnish them.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you're looking for ingredient substitutes for the Cavacas recipe, here are a few options:

  • Butter Substitute: If you want to make the recipe dairy-free, you can replace butter with a plant-based butter or margarine. Make sure it's suitable for baking.
  • All-Purpose Flour Alternative: You can experiment with using gluten-free all-purpose flour if you need a gluten-free version of the recipe. Keep in mind that the texture might vary slightly.
  • Egg Replacement: To make the recipe vegan, you can replace each egg with a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water). Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to thicken before adding it to the dough.
  • Vanilla Extract Alternative: If you're out of vanilla extract, you can use almond extract or another flavored extract that complements the pastries.
  • Sugar Substitute: If you're looking to reduce sugar, you can use a natural sweetener like coconut sugar or stevia. Keep in mind that the flavor and texture might be slightly different.
  • Powdered Sugar Dusting: Instead of traditional powdered sugar, you can use powdered coconut sugar for a less refined option.
  • Add-Ins: While not substitutions, you can add your own creative twist by incorporating additions like mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit to the dough.


Embrace the joy of Portuguese baking and bring a slice of Aveiro into your kitchen. Bake, share, and relish the tradition of Cavacas – a true delight!

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