Portuguese Christmas Filhós

Welcome to our Portuguese Christmas! Vanda and I are very happy to share with you some Portuguese Christmas traditions during this advent. The Christmas recipes we've been sharing and will share with you are our personal favorites which we mostly know from our Portuguese families.

Our second recipe are the traditional "Filhós". They are a bit more challenging to bake than Sonhos but look very beautiful and are light and tasty. Please note that you will need special baking shapes. We bought ours in Portugal and found these here online.


0.5 l milk

500 g flour

4 eggs

50 ml brandy

3 oranges (zest)

pinch of salt

1 soup spoon of oil

1 soup spoon of sugar

cinnamon to sprinkle


  1. Mix the flour, salt and eggs and stir well.

  2. Add the orange zest and milk and stir again.

  3. Pass the preparation through a dowel.

  4. Heat oil in a frying pan.

  5. Place the donut shape inside the frying pan to heat as well.

  6. When the oil is hot, dip the shape into the dough halfway, avoiding to cover the whole shape with the dough.

  7. Put the shape in the oil, without touching the bottom of the skillet.

  8. Let it fry a little and take off the shape so that the donut loosens.

  9. Let it finish frying and remove it with a scum. Put it on absorbent paper. Repeat this operation until the mass runs out.

  10. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and serve.

Recipe by Vanda's mother

Pictures by Vanda Scazzari