Follow our step-by-step guide to make this Portuguese custard tart recipe. Our easy pastéis de nata recipe is one of our favourite baking treats.

Also check out our Portuguese Nutella custard tarts and more Portuguese recipes. For an even easier dessert, try our baked egg custard or make our classic English custard tart.


  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar, plus more to serve
  • 375g all butter puff pastry
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50g cornflour
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1 pod vanilla, split lengthways, seeds scraped out and kept
  • ground cinnamon to serve


  • STEP 1
    Roll the pastry

    Mix the flour and icing sugar, and use this to dust the work surface. Roll the pastry out to make a 45 x 30cm rectangle. Roll up lengthways to create a long sausage shape.

  • STEP 2
    Cutting pastry into rounds

    Cut the pastry into 24 wheels, about 1-2cm thick.

  • STEP 3
    Roll out each pastry portion

    Roll each wheel lightly with the rolling pin to fit 2 x 12-hole non-stick fairy cake tins.

  • STEP 4
    Press pastry into the tin

    Press the pastry circles into the tins and mould into the tins to make thin cases. Chill until needed.

  • STEP 5
    Make the infused syrup

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Make a sugar syrup by bringing the sugar, 200ml water, lemon zest and cinnamon stick to the boil. Reduce until syrupy, allow to cool, then remove the cinnamon and lemon. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and cornflour until smooth in another large pan.

  • STEP 6
    Making custard

    Heat the milk and vanilla pod seeds in a separate pan until just below the boil. Gradually pour the hot milk over the eggs and cornflour, then cook on a low heat, continually whisking.

  • STEP 7
    Add syrup to custard

    Add the cooled sugar syrup to the custard and whisk until thickened slightly.

  • STEP 8
    Pour custard into the tins

    Pour the custard through a sieve. Pour into the pastry cases and bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the custard has darkened.

  • STEP 9
    cool and dust with icing sugar

    Cool completely in the tins then sift over icing sugar and ground cinnamon to serve.

  • STEP 10
    Portuguese Pinterest Pin

Pastéis de Nata go best with strong coffee, or you can experiment and give these coffee-based recipes a go:

Cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee

Irish coffee affogato

Irish coffee affogato

Coffee-rubbed steak with lemon coriander butter

coffee-rubbed steak with lemon coriander butter


Anna Glover profile
Anna GloverSenior food editor

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