Portuguese Rice Muffins

My boss mentioned these little cakes to me a few weeks ago. She’d had them on holiday in Portugal and had found them in the little cafe around the corner from the office. However, after a recent accidental poisoning from a cake labeled ‘gluten free’ I wasn’t tempted to run out and buy one – however delicious she said they were! I made a note and then completely forgot about them.

This week, while checking through my notebook, I found the note I’d made and immediately looked them up. After sifting through a couple of different versions, one of which included wheat flour, I found this lovely website Delicious Wordflux.

Teresa writes about her own search for the right recipe and accompanies the recipe with some really very beautiful pictures, which I can’t even hope to replicate. Not least because the batch I made were eaten before I got a chance to take a picture!

You can take a look at the original recipe and Teresa’s page here: http://www.deliciouswordflux.com/2011/05/portuguese-rice-muffins-bolo-de-arroz/ 

I haven’t really changed the recipe, just altered the measurements to grams and millilitres. I’ve found that a lot of the gluten free recipes I’ve found online are American and measured in cups and spoons. The best conversion tool I’ve found is actually through an ovens website: http://www.traditionaloven.com/tutorials/conversion.html & it works really well. Google helps out with anything else.



85g of Butter (this should be room temperature, especially if you don’t have a food processor)

200g Sugar

250ml of whole milk

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

350g Rice flour (brown, white or a mix)

2 teaspoons of baking powder (check it’s gluten free!)

1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt (I used salted butter, so left this out)

Zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed)

Juice of 1/2 lemon (the lemon I had was small, so I actually used the whole thing.

Granulated sugar to sprinkle on top.


Pre-heat oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4)

Prepare paper or silicone muffin/cup-cake cups.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the butter until creamy. (I forgot to get the butter out of the fridge in advance, so was very pleased to have my trusty food processor on hand for this!)

In a separate bowl or jug, mix the milk, eggs & egg yolk and lemon juice. Add to the butter mixture.

In another bowl, whisk the rice flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt (if using) and add slowly to the existing mixture, stirring/blending until well combined.

Half fill each of the muffin cups. Sprinkle a little of the granulated sugar on the top of each one.

Bake for 20/25 minutes.


Work in progress

Work in progress

The original recipe mentions that you should leave the cakes to stand for 20 minutes before baking. I cooked mine in two batches and I can’t honestly say there was a difference between the ones I cooked straight way and the ones I left to stand.

The only other difference from Teresa’s recipe is that I suggest you add the lemon zest to the flour instead of the wet mix, as I found when I made it all the zest clumped together.

The cakes were absolutely delicious and filled the whole house with a wonderful lemony cake-y smell. I will definitely be making another batch soon!

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