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Pão de Mel (Honey Bread)

I had just finished composing my blog’s menu for March when an email came through from Nazneen, the author of Coffee and Crumpets, asking if I would guest post for her blog. At the time, Pão de Mel (Honey Bread) was one of the treats that were on my mind!

I willingly accepted this opportunity to guest post for her– Nazneen is one of my favorite fellow bloggers, and because of this, I could not refuse her kind offer.  I have no doubt that if we lived nearby, we’d be great friends.

So I asked her what type of dish she’d like to have appear in the post… She suggested a Brazilian chocolate dessert.  From among several different ones that I had in mind, I picked pão de mel— “honey bread.”  For those unfamiliar with this dessert popular in Brazil, pão de mel is a cake sandwich of European origin, made mostly from honey, chocolate, and spices, which is coated in chocolate to prolong its flavor and moist texture, and can be filled with dulce de leche, brigadeiro filling, jam, etc.  It usually has either a square or round shape (resembling a cookie sandwich or alfajor).  However, today I preferred to give ours the shape of a mini cake.

Pão de Mel (Spicy Honey Bread filled with dulce de leche and covered in chocolate)

Pão de Mel has a rich, decadent  taste of chocolate (of course) and especially of spices — oh, it is also a great dessert to have with a good cup of coffee.  I thought that pão de mel would pair well with the concept of Nazneen’s blog.  When I think about spices, Indian cuisine jumps immediately to mind… And where do I find great Indian recipes when I do need them?  Coffee and Crumpets!!!

Although this pão de mel recipe has been adapted from a Brazilian pastry chef, I came up with the decoration.

Pão de Mel (364.2) Well, I hope that both your eyes and palate enjoy our beloved Brazilian pão de mel.  If you could only see the huge smile on my face while I enjoy mine…

Pão de Mel (368.2) A big thanks to my dear fellow blogger Nazneen for thinking of me. Happy Spring, y’all!!!


Pão de Mel (367.2)

Print Recipe
Pão de Mel (Spiced Muffins w/ Caramel & Chocolate)
Spiced, fluffy muffins filled with dulce de leche and covered in melted chocolate!
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Brazilian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
Rate this recipe!
  1. Grease and flour a large-size or standard-size muffin tin. Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C).
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir the brown sugar and water just until the sugar dissolves (Remember: You are NOT making a simple syrup). Remove from heat and set aside until cool. Whisk the sifted flour and spices on top of the water-sugar mixture. Add the cocoa powder and oil, whisking well. Dissolve both the baking soda and powder in milk and add to the batter. Add in the beaten yolks, honey, salt, and vanilla, stirring until combined.
  3. In a mixer, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the beaten egg whites into the batter in 2-3 different additions to make the batter more aerated. Put into the tin (fill each well 3/4 full) and bake for about 20 minutes (standard) or 27-30 minutes (large). You will end up with the fluffiest cakes ever. Please, do not overbake or the cakes will turn out dry.
  4. When cakes are cool, using a serrated/bread knife, remove top of the cakes. I reserved mine to make cookie sandwiches (whoopie pies). Next, slice cake so you end up with 3 layers. Spread them with dulce de leche. When cakes are assembled, brush them with simple syrup (this will help avoid releasing crumbs into the melted chocolate and will keep the cakes moist).
  5. Place the cake on a fork and bathe in the melted chocolate. Place on a rack with a baking sheet underneath, and let excess chocolate drain off of the cake onto the baking sheet below. Transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let the chocolate set in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Then, decorate each pão de mel as you wish. For mine, I used flower-shaped cupcake liners, ribbon tied around the middle, and Wilton sugar flowers. I also used melted pink chocolate melts to fill molds for the pink sculptures on top of our mini cakes.

Pão de Mel (361.2)


Pão de Mel (365.2)

Pão de Mel (360.2)

35 Responses to Pão de Mel (Honey Bread)

  1. Purabi Naha March 21, 2013 at 5:01 am #

    Interestingly, here in Mumbai, the local namee of bread is (guess what!!) PAO! This recipe sounds so good, something irresistible with all those spices going in!

  2. Liz March 21, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Oh, what cute and decadent cakes! Decorated so beautifully…and the caramelly filling sounds divine!!

  3. Nydia March 21, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

    Wonderful recipe Denise, and I love how you decorate your breads…so lovely…

    • Denise Browning March 21, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      Thanks, Nydia, for taking time to visit me and leave a comment. I do appreciate it.
      I am glad that you like them. I love these cakes as well as my family. They disappeared pretty fast. Wishing you a great Friday and weekend! xx

  4. Miúda March 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Ah, que bolinhos lindíssimos!!! Fiquei admirada, querida!!! Adorei a receita, a decoração dos bolos, as fotos e a apresentação! Adorei tudo! :)) Obrigada pela receita perfeita, Denise! 😉
    Beijinho e bom fim de semana! 😉

    • Denise Browning March 22, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Muito obrigada por suas palavras tão gentis, Miúda! Estou feliz em saber que você gostou de tudo. Espero que um dia você tenha a chance de provar desses pães de mel, os quais são um sucesso na minha casa. O meu marido e filhas adoram!!!

  5. Sugaretal March 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    So pretty Denise! Caramel, Spices and Chocolate…is there anything you have left out. Love the flavours! Sounds and looks awesome.

  6. Bams Kitchen March 23, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    Hello Denise, I am so glad you did a guest post for Nazeen as your recipes are just beautiful. I am so delighted to meet you as I do not know many bloggers with the expertise in the area of Brazilian culinary and I can’t wait to read more of your recipes. Your honey bread cake is so beautiful and love your photography. Take Care, BAM

    • Denise Browning March 23, 2013 at 7:25 am #

      Thank you for visiting me, Bam! I do appreciate it…
      Thanks for your kind words as well. I do hope you visit us again. Have a great weekend!

  7. The Café Sucré Farine March 23, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Wow! This is a beautiful post, pictures, recipe, everything! Your little cakes sound fantastic!

    • Denise Browning March 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      Thanks, Cris! I am happy to know that you’ve enjoyed everything in this post.
      My family and I are huge fans of these spiced cakes. Wishing you a great evening!

  8. Amira March 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    This seems so delicous Denise, I love the way you decorated your little babies as well. Thanks.

    • Denise Browning March 24, 2013 at 7:21 am #

      Thanks a lot, Amira! I am thankful for your visit as well. Have a great Sunday!

  9. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef March 24, 2013 at 5:39 am #

    Beautiful photos! I want to make these just so I can flash everyone with the name 🙂 “Oh these? They’re Pão de Mel” as if I knew what it was 🙂 I can follow directions though. LOL

    • Denise Browning March 24, 2013 at 7:27 am #

      Love it, Maureen! I so wish you’d make these cakes which are already a family-favorite. They are great as muffins as well. My youngest daughter prefers them without the dulce de leche and chocolate (muffin) while my eldest daughter, just the way that you see in the pictures (cupcake-style). I love both! 😉 Thanks for stopping by!!!

  10. Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies March 24, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    Caramba! Eu amei pao de mel quando morava no Brasil e sempre queria saber como faze-lo. Parece muito gostoso! Vou ter que tenta-lo mesmo.

    • Denise Browning March 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Obrigada, Lisa! A minha família provou pão de mel pela primeira vez e amou. Essa receita é excelente — até mesmo pra comer o bolinho, tipo muffin, sem recheio e cobertura. Espero que você possa fazer…

  11. Elisangela March 31, 2014 at 3:25 pm #


    What kind of “simple syrup” did you use to avoid releasing crumbs in the melted chocolate?

    Thank you!

  12. Rosie August 12, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Hi Denise…

    I do want to try this recipe!!
    Can I bake this in a 9in x 13in baking pan? So, after that I can cut small squares…and
    How long should I bake?
    Thank you

    • Denise Browning August 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

      Hi, Rosie!
      Although I have never baked this in a large baking pan, I do believe there will be no problem if you do so. I could not precise its baking time but I think it should take from 28 to 35 minutes for that pan size (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). Do the toothpick test! It works every time. 🙂

  13. Debora November 13, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    Ola Denise, sou brasileira e moro nos USA.
    Jah tentei varias vezes fazer a receita de pão de mel que eu fazia no Brasil, mas nunca obtive sucesso aqui nos USA.
    Gostaria de saber se vc testou a sua receita usando os ingredientes americanos.

    • Denise Browning November 13, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

      Olá, Debora!
      Sim, todas as minhas receitas são testadas usando as medidas americanas. Pode fazer que você vai gostar. Todos aqui em casa adoram pão de mel. Esses daqui saem parecidos com mini cakes ao invès de parecerem com sandwich cookies. Um abraço!

  14. Cat December 8, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    I just ate the last little Pão de mel truffle my friend gave me when I was leaving Brazil last week, and I wanted to cry. Then I found your recipe—so excited! I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    • Denise Browning December 8, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

      Thanks, Cat! I hope you enjoy this recipe. Both my hubby and my youngest daughter are crazy for it. I intend to make this on Xmas week again. They will love the surprise!

  15. Cat December 11, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    Just finished making these (in mini-muffin tins), and they’re great! Mine don’t look half as beautiful and professional as yours of course, but I think they’re still pretty. I’m bringing some to my Portuguese teacher right now to remind her of home. Thanks so much for the recipe. I’m excited to try out more from your site!

    • Denise Browning December 11, 2014 at 2:27 pm #

      Hi, Cat!
      I am so glad that you enjoyed these pães de mel. I am sure yours look great. Most important is taste.
      It is like Andrew Zimmern always says, “if it tastes good, eat it.” 🙂

  16. Larissa May 27, 2015 at 9:11 am #

    Oi Denise, eu queria muito fazer a receita mas estou em duvida com relacao ao acucar mascavo! Aqui no UK nos temos Muscovado, Light Brown e Dark Brown sugar, e tb o Demenara. Voce acha que o Light Brown eh o mais parecido com o Mascavo Brasileiro? Ja tentou usando os outros acucares? Obrigada!

    • Denise Browning May 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

      Olá, Larissa! Bem-vinda!
      Claro que sim. Você poderá usar o light brown sugar sem problema para essa receita. Esse é o açúcar da versão em inglês desta receita. É o único que uso para fazer pão de mel. Acho o dark brown sugar muito cheio de molasses, o qual dá um gosto quase desagradável a receita. O bom do light brown sugar é que podemos sentir o gosto das especiarias.
      Espero que isso ajude! Um abraço!!!


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