Love and Olive Oil

Bolos de Arroz (Portuguese Rice Muffins)

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Bolos de arroz are a traditional Portuguese muffin made with part rice flour, which gives the muffins a tender crumb not unlike a sweet cornbread. With a buttery flavor and a hint of lemon, these sweet breakfast treats and sure to please!

These mountainous, golden yellow muffins bake up super tall with a crunchy, crispy sugar crust that will drive your tastebuds wild (because we all know taste is as much about flavor as it is about texture).

Five Portuguese rice muffins on a cooling rack with one in the background and a small dish of sugar

Having spent the last few weeks editing *literally* thousands of photos from our trip to Portugal, let’s just say I’m in a Portuguese state of mind (TAKE ME BACK!) Which got me reminiscing about these surprising rice muffins we enjoyed for breakfast on more than one occasion.

(I mean, I can count on one hand the number of times a muffin was one of the most memorable bites of a trip. Actually, I can count on no hands, because it’s never happened. Until now.)

Unlike pasteis de nata which are virtually impossible to replicate in a home oven, bolos de arroz (literal translation: bowls of rice) are downright easy.

They’re oh so buttery and perfectly sweet, with a tender yet hearty crumb and just a hint of lemon that makes the flavors sing. But the cherry on top? Well, it’s not a cherry, but the crackly sugar crust on top sure is wonderful.

Three rice muffins in a row.

It took me a few tries to get the recipe right, working from some ambiguous translations of various Portuguese recipes (chemical yeast? what is that?) but I finally nailed the signature domed top and sugary crust.

The muffins are actually a mix of all purpose and rice flours, not all rice flour like you might think from the name (so unfortunately they are not gluten free).

The rice flour gives the muffins an almost cornbread-like texture. The flavor is strongly sugar and butter, with just a hint of lemon that gives the muffins a note of sophistication without tasting obviously lemony (that said, if you love lemon I think these would be wonderful with double or triple the zest).

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