Portuguese Christmas Pastry Crown


I wouldn’t say that a pastry crown is a traditional Portuguese Christmas cake, it’s not, but like the chocolate Yule Log (aka Bûche De Noël), it has become a popular option in the Christmas table, it’s not so much baked at home, although I know I’m sharing the recipe here hehehehe, but like the king cake it’s usually bought from a good bakery or pastry shop.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t pull your sleeves and make it at home, I do it! I’m always on the “baking at home is better” camp, and it’s not that complicated cake to bake, I’ve baked this twice and I would say just rolling the dough into a crown is the hardest part, but that’s mostly the cosmetic part of this cake, both times it was absolutely delicious, let’s check the recipe!

Portuguese Christmas Pastry Crown

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Try out this very delicious crispy and soft traditional Christmas pastry crown, the down is a mix between a a more dense cake and a pastry, formed into a crown, because as any pricess would say crowns make it always better! ;D


  • Flour – 1000gr
  • Baker’s Yeast – 1 cube (Or the equivalent for 1 kg of flour)
  • Milk – 150ml
  • Sugar – 100gr
  • Butter – 120gr
  • Salt – A pinch
  • Eggs – 5
  • Rum – 4 Tablespoons
  • Vanilla – 1 teaspoon
  • Milk – As much as needed
  • Butter – 170gr
  • Brown Sugar – 400gr
  • Cinnamon – 40gr
  • Apple – 4 (Medium or 3 Large)
  • Sultanas – 100gr
  • Almonds – 50gr
  • Egg – 1 (Beaten to Brush)
  • Syrup – To brush (Or a sweet to your liking)


  1. Start by combining the yeast with 250g flour, 150ml warm (not hot) milk and a spoonful of sugar. Mix together and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Now peel and cut the apples into small cubes, put them in a frying pan with a spoonful of butter and a spoonful of brown sugar for the rest of the cake, cook over a medium low heat until the apples are tender, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  3. Whisk the sugar with the butter until you get a cream, then add the eggs, flour, salt, rum and vanilla, knead everything a little, then add the dough with the yeast and knead everything again very well, if the dough is too hard you can add a little more milk, or if it is a little more liquid add a little more flour, when you have a smooth and shiny dough that can handle and stretch, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm space for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  5. Now soften the butter (do not melt) and add it to the brown sugar and cinnamon until you get a paste.
  6. Now roll out the dough into a rectangle on a non-stick baking sheet, cover the whole rectangle with the butter and brown sugar paste, then sprinkle the apple on top, followed by the sultanas, flaked or ground almonds.
  7. Now roll out the dough, rolling it diagonally (a normal log cake you roll it horizontally from the larger side to the other large side), i.e. take one end (point) on the shorter side of the rectangle and start rolling that end until you create a roll, bring the two ends together and crush the two ends a little to make a crown.
  8. Grasp the paper and transfer to a baking tray, brush the braid with a beaten egg, bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. When fried, brush with a little sugar syrup or a sweet of your liking to make it shiny and that’s it, bon appétit and Merry Christmas!
Notes: Some recipes only have the butter and brown sugar mixture inside and the remaining dried fruits and almonds are sprinkle on the top of the crown, so these instead of being inside, they are on the top.

Also, there are variations with other fillings, like chocolate/Nutella, egg cream or pastry cream.

This recipe for Portuguese Christmas Pastry Crown was originally created on BakeAfter.com. Esta receita de Bolo Trança de Natal foi publicada em português no Iguaria.com.


Per Serving: 575 calories; 19.2 g fat; 62.5 g carbohydrates; 9.6 g protein.

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below ;D


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