Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

4.84 from 6 votes
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Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) is SO easy to make and is the perfect addition to any meal. You will love the chewy bread and cheesy center.

A bunch of Brazilian cheese bread rolls in a basket

Brazilian Cheese Bread

This Brazilian Cheese Bread is the stuff dreams of made of! I originally discovered it at a restaurant called Tucanos Brazilian Grill. Every time I go to Tucanos I seriously have to try to limit myself to only a few of these little cheese rolls or I will completely go to town on them. I found a great recipe on the back of a bag of Bob’s Red Mill tapioca flour and gave it a try. I switched up the cheese to sharp cheddar to enhance the flavor, and they are so good! If you haven’t had these rolls before, now it the time! Oh.. and did I mention they are GLUTEN FREE?! So this one is for all of my gluten-free friends out there!

What is Pao de Queijo?

Literally translated to “cheese bread” in Portuguese, these small, round, baked cheese rolls are a popular snack and breakfast food in Brazil. And even though it’s called “bread”, the dough doesn’t use yeast (hence, gluten-free!) and the consistency is sort of in between a cake batter and cookie dough and is extremely stretchy. These cheese rolls are actually really cool to make, and even more fun to eat! If you want to create a delicious Brazilian feast, serve these yummy rolls alongside a helping of our Brazilian Rice and Beans with Sausage. You won’t believe how quickly this meal comes together, yet it looks like you spent hours creating this masterpiece!

Shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese on a cutting board next to two eggs and a bottle of oil

What’s In Brazilian Cheese Bread?

The ingredients used to make Brazilian cheese bread are very simple. Here’s what you need:

  • Oil
  • Tapioca Flour (or Tapioca Starch) – You can also use cassava flour (pretty much the same thing). This is the main binding agent for the pão de queijo. 
  • Milk
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Cheese – any kind of shredded cheese will work. Parmesan and cheddar cheese are the two that are most commonly used.

Two Easy Ways to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread:

1. The Authentic Way – The first way is the more “authentic” way to make them. There is a little more technique and skill involved. This is the way as described in the recipe below.

2. The Blender Method – This is the best way to make Brazilian cheese bread if you are in a hurry or simply want to make things easier on yourself. I honestly can’t tell much a difference between the two methods. I am all about ease and usually find myself putting it all in a blender more often than not. Here’s what you do:

A blender with the ingredients to make Brazilian cheese bread blended together
  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees
  2. Put all the ingredients except the cheese in a blender.
  3. Blend until smooth (about 20 seconds)
  4. Add cheese and pulse 3-4 times to incorporate. 
  5. Spray a mini muffin tin (link) with cooking spray and fill each cup with the cheese mixture until almost full.
  6. Place in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until the outside of the rolls are golden brown and puffed up. Do not over bake! The texture on the outside is more dry and “bread” like and the inside is more soft and chewy.
A close up of a Brazilian cheese bread roll, zoomed into show chewy texture

More Roll Recipes

In our family, a dinner is truly not complete without a side of bread or rolls. Here are a few of our tried and true recipes for you to add to your dinner table!

How to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

Brazilian cheese bread rolls in a basket, about a dozen small rolls.

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

4.84 from 6 votes
Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pan de Queijo) is SO easy to make and is the perfect addition to any meal. You will love the chewy bread and cheesy center.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 28 mins
Total Time 58 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine Brazilian
Servings 24 2 inch rolls

Video

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups tapioca flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill — I found mine in the gluten-free section of the grocery store)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese get a small block of Parmesan and shred it yourself… it makes a BIG difference
  • 3/4 cup sharp or medium cheddar cheese shredded (shred yourself, just like the Parmesan)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Combine the milk, oil, and salt in the saucepan, and whisking occasionally, bring it to a gentle boil over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk.
    Milk being poured into a mixing bowl
  • Add all of the tapioca flour to the saucepan and stir until you see no more dry tapioca flour. The dough will be grainy and gelatinous at this point.
    A mixing bowl with oil, milk, and tapioca flour being mixed together
  • Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (Alternatively, you can do the next few steps by hand. Be prepared for a work-out.) Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it smooths out and has cooled enough that you can hold your finger against the dough for several seconds.
    A mixing bowl with dough being scraped down
  • Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl. With the mixer on medium, beat the eggs into the dough in two additions. Wait until the first addition has been fully incorporated into the dough before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    A bowl containing two eggs
  • With the mixer on medium, beat in the cheese until fully incorporated. The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft with a consistency between cake batter and cookie dough.
    Brazilian cheese bread dough in a mixing bowl
  • Using an ice cream scoop, a tablespoon measure, or a dinner spoon, scoop rounded portions of the dough into mounds on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
    A cookie scoop scooping up Brazilian cheese bread dough
  • Space the mounds an inch or two apart. Dip your scoop in water or spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
    Brazilian cheese bread dough balls on a baking sheet
  • Transfer the sheet with the puffs to the oven and bake for 25-28 minutes, until the puffs have puffed, the outsides are dry, and they are JUST starting to color. Do not over bake! Cool briefly and eat.
    Brazilian cheese bread that has been baked on a baking sheet

Nutrition Information

Calories: 96kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 157mgPotassium: 23mgSugar: 1gVitamin A: 60IUCalcium: 51mgIron: 0.2mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. My husband and I loved snacking on brazi bites (which came frozen ) this recipe looks so good! I wonder if I can freeze these and cook them later ? So that way I’ll always have some ready to eat if I make them ahead of time ?

  2. What is the serving size? Are there 9 carbs per 2 inch roll? Also, does it have to be vegetable oil? Would olive, avocado, or grapeseed oil work?

    1. Yes, the serving size for the nutrition facts is 1 roll. We haven’t used any other kind of oil, so I can’t say if those would work.

    1. We haven’t tried any milk substitutes with this recipe yet, but let us know how it goes if you do try it!

  3. 5 stars
    Well I tried this recipe for my first attempt at Pao de Queijo and they turned out pretty great! Beautiful texture! I have no idea how other commenters are saying theirs came out runny. In step 4 my dough didn’t really ‘smooth out’ until I added the eggs though. I would recommend adding a sprinkle of garlic salt on top before you pop them in the oven. Delicious, thanks!

  4. Hi. Your recipe looks delicious especially as I am a cheese lover. I have a pack of cassava flour in my pantry. Both tapioca flour and cassava flour are from the cassava plant but there is a slight difference I think. Any advice?

    1. I haven’t used cassava flour, but from what I can find online, you should be able to substitute it!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe needs to come with a disclaimer warning everyone that you will want to eat every last one of these, haha! Seriously, they’re amazing!!

  6. 5 stars
    My husband spent time in Brazil and LOVED this snack. He approves of your version of this recipe!! SO good and SO easy to make. Thank you!

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