Sweet Potato Cookies (Broa Castelar)

Broa Castelar, or Sweet Potato Cookies, are a very popular treat during Christmas in Portugal. During Christmas they are made fresh throughout all the Portuguese “pastelarias”, which are shops that sell various sweets and baked goods. The sweet potato gives these cookies a wonderful color and unique flavor. They are the perfect amount of soft and crunchy. Perfect for enjoying with some warm tea side during the cold winter months.

*Makes 20-24 Cookies*
1.5 pounds sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1/2 pound corn flour
1/2 pound flour
1 cup grated coconut
1/2 cup almonds, crushed
3 eggs
1 orange rinds
Pinch of salt
3.5 cups sugar
2 tablespoons water
Flour for dusting
2 egg yolks for brushing

1) Peel and cook the sweet potatoes in a saucepan on medium heat with two tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt.
2) Once the potatoes are cooked and soft mix in a cup of the sugar.
3) Bring this mixture to a gentle simmer and stir constantly so it does not stick to the pan.
4) Once this mixture reaches a puree like consistency remove from the heat and let it cool for about an hour.
5) When cooled, mix in the orange rinds, eggs, crushed almonds, grated coconut, remaining sugar, and the breadcrumbs.
6) Once the contents are mixed well place it on medium heat until it boils, stirring constantly.
7) Now add the flour and mix it well, until it reaches a smooth and even consistency.
8) Pour this mixture onto a floured sheet and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
9) Once cooled, shape the dough into cone shaped cookies.
10) When molded, place the scones on a greased baking tray and brush them with the beaten egg yolk.
11) Bring the pan to the preheated oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes until they are golden brown.
12) Remove from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes. Serve.


  1. john

    My bride is a sweet potato junkie but doesn’t care much for shredded coconut – any ideas?

  2. Brittany Faria

    I am wondering how many cookies this recipe makes?

  3. Carey

    I am a little confused about the instructions… are you suppose to drain the water once the potatoes have cooked? Step 2

    Thanks Carey

    • Pbicudo1

      The 2 tablespoons of water are left in as the potatoes should reach a more liquid and even consistency, like that of a puree.

  4. Alicia

    Can the coconut be left out? Or is it traditional to let it in. And how long can it be kept?

    • Pbicudo1

      Is it traditionally left in, but you may still make it without if you’d like. They are best when made fresh. If placed in the refrigerator they may keep for a couple of days.

  5. jose cordeiro


    in the South of Portugal (Algarve, they do it)


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