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Portuguese Recipe: Sonhos de Abóbora (Pumpkin Dreams)

Cooking 10 min Preparation 15 min 4 easy
Recipe type: Dessert Cuisine: Portuguese

Sonhos de Abóbora are Portuguese Fried Pumpkin Cakes, that are a favorite dessert over the Holiday Season. Similar to malasadas, a fried donut common to the Azores, but with a delicious pumpkin twist. This unbelievably delicious dessert is encased in a crunchy fried dough with a creamy sweet pumpkin center, and coated in sugar and cinnamon. Easy to make and a perfect addition to your Holiday party, why not try one at home!


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Lemon or Orange zest
  • 300 grams (about 1 1/4 cups) of flour
  • 250 grams (about 9 ounces or 1 cup) of pumpkin purée (you can use canned pumpkin or cooked/puréed pumpkin or butternut squash)
  • 4 eggs
  • Cinnamon and Sugar mix to roll in after frying


  1. In a pot, bring the milk, water, vegetable oil, salt and zest to a boil, add the flour and mix well until the mix/paste comes away from the sides.
  2. Take off the heat, transfer to a bowl and let the mix cool to room temperature.
  3. Add in the pumpkin purée a little bit at a time, mixing well between each addition.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well.
  5. Make large oval-shaped pieces of dough with two spoons and deep dry in hot oil until golden.
  6. Take out and put on paper-towels to soak up any excess oil, then immediately roll in cinnamon and sugar mix.

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