Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao De Queijo)

4.94 from 92 votes
111 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy.

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.

Basket of Brazilian Cheese Bread.
Featured with this recipe
  1. What is Pao de Queijo?
  2. Getting the Right Ingredients
  3. Two Easy Methods to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread
  4. Tips for Making Brazilian Cheese Bread
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
  6. More Roll Recipes
  7. How to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)
  8. Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo) Recipe

This Pao De Queijo recipe, or Brazilian Cheese Bread, is the stuff dreams are made of! I originally discovered it at a restaurant called Tucanos Brazilian Grill in Utah. Every time I go there, 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. They are so good! If you haven’t had these rolls before, now is 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?

Pao de Queijo (pronounced “pow duh kay-ju”), literally translates 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!). These cheese rolls are actually really easy and fun to make, and even more fun to eat!

Getting the Right Ingredients

The ingredients used to make this Pao de Queijo recipe are very simple, such as oil, milk, eggs, and salt. The two key ingredients here are the flour and the cheese:

Tapioca Flour (or Tapioca Starch) – Tapioca flour is the key ingredient in Brazilian cheese bread. It is the main binding agent for the pão de queijo. Be sure to use tapioca flour or starch specifically, as other flours won’t yield the same results. Two main types of tapioca flour are used in Pao de Queijo: sour tapioca flour (polvilho azedo), which provides a tangy flavor and chewy texture, and sweet tapioca flour (polvilho doce), which has a neutral taste. Both types are gluten-free and contribute to the unique characteristics of Brazilian cheese bread.

Cheese – any kind of shredded cheese will work. While queijo Minas (Minas cheese) is traditional, it isn’t easily found in the States. Other cheeses like cheddar, parmesan (parmigiano reggiano), mozzarella, or a mix of cheeses work well. My favorite, hands-down, is a combination of sharp cheddar cheese and parmigiano reggiano. That way you get the smoothness of the cheddar and also the bold flavor of the parmesan. Grate the cheeses finely to ensure even distribution throughout the dough.

Cutting board with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese.


Two Easy Methods 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.

A blender with the ingredients to make Brazilian cheese bread blended together

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:

  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees
  2. Put all the ingredients except the cheese in a blender.
  3. Blend until smooth (about 20 seconds) then scrape the sides of the blender.
  4. Add cheese and pulse 3-4 times to incorporate. 
  5. Spray a mini muffin pan 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.
Hands stretching apart Brazilian Cheese Bread.

Tips for Making Brazilian Cheese Bread

When it comes to making Brazilian cheese bread, here are some helpful tips to ensure delicious results:

Quality Ingredients: Use high-quality ingredients, especially cheese and tapioca flour. Freshly grated cheese will enhance the flavor and texture of your cheese bread.

Proper Mixing: When combining the ingredients, mix the dough thoroughly to ensure all the ingredients are well incorporated. You can use a blender or mixer to get the right consistency.

Consistent Dough Balls: Use a cookie scoop to get consistent balls. If using the blender method, you can use a mini muffin tin to get them all the same size.

Use Parchment Paper: This prevents sticking and makes for easier cleanup.

Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the cheese bread while baking, as the baking time can vary depending on the size of the bread. Generally, it takes around 20-25 minutes, or until the bread develops a golden color and puffs up.

Enjoy Fresh: Brazilian cheese bread is best enjoyed fresh from the oven when it’s still warm and at its peak texture.

Freezing Options: If you have leftovers, you can freeze the unbaked cheese bread dough balls and bake them straight from the freezer whenever you crave a fresh batch (like the popular Brazilian Bites). Simply adjust the baking time accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my pao de queijo gummy inside?

Don’t worry if the inside is a bit gooey. Because the rolls are made with tapioca flour it has a natural gooey quality even when they’re cooked. They will taste delicious!

How do I store cheese bread?

The best way to store this Brazilian cheese bread is tightly covered with as much air squeezed out as possible. It can be kept at room temperature overnight, in the fridge for three days, or in the freezer for up to two months.

READ MORE: 35+Quick and Easy to Follow Dinner Ideas

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)

Baked Brazilian Cheese Bread in a basket with a linen.

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

4.94 from 92 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 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 58 minutes
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.
    Saucepan with whisk and milk mixture bubbling.
  • 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.
    Wooden spoon in saucepan with thick white tapioca base.
  • 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.
    Stand mixer with paddle attachment and smooth white dough base.
  • 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.
    Hand holding whisked eggs in a small glass bowl of electric mixer bowl.
  • 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 mixer bowl with paddle on the side.
  • 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.
    Cookie scoop holding Brazilian bread dough over a mixing bowl.
  • 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

Notes

  • Do not over bake! The texture on the outside is more dry and “bread” like and the inside is more soft and chewy.
  • Don’t worry if the inside is a bit gooey. Because the rolls are made with tapioca flour it has a natural gooey quality even when they’re cooked. They will taste delicious!

Nutrition Information

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

Love this recipe?

We want to hear from you! Please leave a review.

Rate and Review



Share This With the World

PinYummly

About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her three beautiful 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.

More about Erica Walker

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been making these for a long time and they are absolutely delicious! Want to add that they freeze and bake perfectly as though you just made the batter. Thanks again for sharing your recipe!

  2. I actually did this recipe 3 times today, and once the authentic way in the past! I was so successful in the past. I have no idea what happened today, but all three times, when I stir in my tapioca starch, it became straight up liquid. I don’t know why I cannot achieve that grainy texture anymore. Wish I could show an actual picture…Anybody might know the reason?

    1. I saw in your previous comment that you were doubling the recipe. Sometimes doubling a recipe doesn’t work because the quantities of ingredients won’t blend together right. I would suggest making one batch at a time. Hope this helps!

  3. Super recipe, nice and easy. I have just made batch for my family to enjoy on a long car trip beyond the arctic circle to go skiing.

  4. Absolutely delicious and simple . I used a hand held electric mixer . It was a rather messy time transferring the spoons full of dough onto the baking paper ! My family are hooked on these tasty little balls. Thank you.

  5. I tried to make these using the blender method, and the “dough” is quite runny. It certainly can’t be scooped onto a cookie sheet to freeze (which I was hoping to do). I followed the recipe as written. What went wrong?

    1. If you use the blender method the dough will be a little more runny. That is why we suggest baking it in muffin tins. See instructions below:
      Preheat oven to 400-degrees
      Put all the ingredients except the cheese in a blender.
      Blend until smooth (about 20 seconds) then scrape the sides of the blender.
      Add cheese and pulse 3-4 times to incorporate.
      Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray and fill each cup with the cheese mixture until almost full.
      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.

  6. 5 stars
    I doubled this recipe and they were amazing! I froze them and baked them the next day, will definitely make them again. Thanks!

  7. Yeast and gluten are not synonymous, they often go hand in hand, but yeast doesn’t have or make gluten, and gluten containing recipes often have no yeast.

  8. Would be better if the measurements were done by weight instead of volume, I’m pretty sure the dough was way too thin as these ended up more like cookies instead of puffs.

    Also, for first timers, tapioca starch has about the same consistency as corn starch so it can easily go everywhere when you’re dry pouring it, but it gets SUPER sticky once you start to mix, so using something like a whisk isn’t a great idea, unless you enjoy trying to get a giant glob of gooey out of the middle of your whisk.

  9. 5 stars
    I made these (using the traditional method) and they were so tasty! I did get concerned for a bit when it seemed like the dough was not coming together–the flour/milk mixture was separated from the oil and not combining in my stand mixer. I took some time to break the flour/milk up with my hands and then it started to incorporate! I started cooking these at 400 for 20-25 minutes, but they were underbaked inside, so dropped the temp down to 350 and cooked for another 10, and that worked well.

  10. 5 stars
    I made these this morning for breakfast and it was an absolute success. I took me 20min total and my kid helped. I was very exceptical with the blender method but it actually works! Saving this and doing it again and again and again…. 🤩

  11. 5 stars
    To cook good food not all people know that to cook good food, the mind should also be clean and I have seen your post and the recipe you have made is very beautiful, I sincerely hope that when I make these recipes, I will very happy i will definitely try it. https://anupatel.in/

See More Comments