Dona Amelia pastries are a traditional Portuguese confection from the Azores, specifically the island of Terceira. They owe their name to Queen Dona Amélia, who, along with King D. Carlos of Portugal, visited the Azores in 1901. The local inhabitants created this pastry to honor the queen, and she enjoyed it so much that it was named after her.
These pastries are known for their rich and aromatic flavor profile, which comes from a combination of eggs, cinnamon, and corn flour, with the addition of honey, raisins, and molasses to add depth and sweetness. The cake is often described as a dark corn cake, dense and mildly soft, similar to gingerbread. It’s typically covered with powdered sugar, enhancing its delicate sweetness.
More than a century after its creation, the Dona Amelia cake remains a beloved treat in Terceira, enjoyed for its unique blend of local ingredients and the heritage it represents.
1 cup Sugar
3/4 cup yellow corn flour
6 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch baking powder
White raisins to taste
Begin by creaming your sugar and eggs together until it reaches a soft consistency. Toss in your
melted butter and continue mixing. Add in your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg
and mix thoroughly. Lastly, add in your molasses and mix.
Grease and flour your cupcake/muffin forms and pour the batter to fill 3⁄4 way up of each form. I
tossed in 2-3 raisins into each cupcake before baking, but feel free to omit the raisins if desired!
Bake your cupcakes at 350°F for 20 minutes. When done, finish them off with a dusting of
powdered sugar and enjoy!
- Use good quality ingredients: Since Dona Amelias are simple pastries with few ingredients, it’s important to use high-quality ingredients to ensure that the flavor shines through.
- Follow the recipe carefully: The recipe for Dona Amelias is simple, but it’s important to follow it carefully. Measure ingredients precisely and follow instructions for mixing and baking.
- Dust with powdered sugar: Once the pastries are baked, dust them with powdered sugar for a sweet finishing touch.
- Serve with coffee or tea: Dona Amelias are a classic Portuguese pastry that pairs well with coffee or tea. Serve them alongside your favorite hot beverage for a perfect afternoon treat.