Portuguese Sweets, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes

‘Pão de Deus’ (Bread of God/ ‘Arrufada’)

Have you got your mouth watering looking at these bad boys? I do! These sweet buns are just perfect… I was so happy when I found a vegan version and managed to adapt it a little bit myself. You can call it ‘bread of God’ or ‘Arrufada’ in Portugal. Try it, you will understand why these were indeed God’s creation 🙂 You can eat it warm (my favourite) or room temperature. After a couple of days, heat it a few seconds in the microwave, is like they’re fresh from the oven!

Time: 3.30h approx.

Type: cake

Difficulty: 3 pans

Makes: about 12 buns

What you need

For the dough:

600g all-purpose flour

150g caster sugar

100g vegetable spread (slightly melted)

1 sachet dry yeast (7g)

200ml lukewarm plant milk (soya or oat)

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed to 2 tbsp water)

For the topping:

6 tbsp shredded coconut

3 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp cornflour

1/4 tsp turmeric

½ cup unsweetened plant milk (soya or oat)

Moisture resistant icing sugar


Measuring jug/ scales

A few bowls and spoons

Small pot

Baking brush

Baking trays


For the dough:

Mix warm milk with yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar (save the rest for the dough) and let it sit for a few minutes until it forms foam on top (this means the yeast is activated);

Pour flour into a big mixing bowl and open a well in the middle and pour yeast mixture (once ready), sugar and flax egg- mix all well;

Add soft vegetable spread and mix all with your hands until all is incorporated in a firm dough, not sticking in your hands (if necessary, add more flour);

Leave the dough to rise for about 2h in a warm(ish) area with a fabric cloth on top (I put mine in the oven, switched off, off course!);

Once risen, cut the dough into 12 equal parts, and lay them into a floured baking tray (you’ll probably need 2). Cover with a cloth and let it sit for another 20min;

Meanwhile, to make the topping:

In a pot over a low heat, stir in the cornflour, turmeric and soya milk for a minute; Add 1 tbsp of sugar so the mixture gets a bit sticky- remove from heat and let it cool;

Add the coconut and rest of the sugar to the remaining yellow mixture and spread about a tbsp on each bun;

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200֯C for about 30/40min until golden;

Once baked, sprinkle with icing sugar.


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