Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

Brazilian Cheese BreadI love love love this Brazilian cheese bread. 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 could probably go to Tucanos and eat just these cheese rolls and their mashed potatoes and I would be completely happy (if you have eaten there, you know exactly what I am talking about)! Anyway, ever since I have eaten there I have been determined to figure out the recipe. The closest I have found to perfect is from a blog called The Kitchn. The only thing I did differently was add some sharp cheddar to bring out the cheesiness. I have tried recipes where you put the dough in a muffin tin and it just didn’t turn out quite right. I definitely prefer this method. 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-intolerant friends out there. You know who you are! 

Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pao de Queijo)

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  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. (10 ounces) tapioca flour (I used Bob's Red Mill -- I found mine in the gluten-free section of the grocery store)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. Parmesan cheese (get a small block of Parmesan and shred it yourself... it makes a BIG difference)
  • 3/4 c. sharp or medium cheddar cheese, shredded (shred yourself.. just like the Parmesan)


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Space the mounds an inch or two apart. Dip your scoop in water or spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • 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.


  1. Julianne says:

    I am from Brazil and make this for my family all the time. You can put all your ingredients in the blender and skip the boiling. My recipe is as follows:
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup oil
    1 cup milk
    2 cups tapioca starch
    8oz, plus cheese, I like to use a combination like the Italian blend.
    1 Tsp salt
    Blend everything together and poor into tiny cupcake pan and bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes till golden brown.

    I found that using Parmesan, provolone, mozzarella, asiago, blend really does add to the flavor and more cheese never hurts. I also find that going to a local Chinese grocery store you can find the tapioca starch much cheaper, $.99 here. Each package makes one recipe. Hope this helps you on the days you don’t want to burn your hands. You can also prepare extra and freeze for 3 months. Also once they are cold we re-heat them for a few seconds and they always taste really good.

    • Erica says:

      You can also get the tapioca flour for way cheap in the bulk bins at Winco!

    • Bill says:

      Kroger carries the tapioca flour in the health food section.

    • cris says:

      ..tapioca starch ?? where to find it ? wich ones is the brand ??

      • Erica says:

        I found some at Winco in the bins or you can find the Bobs Red Mill brand

    • Mellie Sweatt says:


      We just came back from Brazil. I had a couscous bread which tasted alot like corn bread. It had platains on the top, and was cooked on stove top in a steamer. Do you know how to make this dish. I have googled my heart out trying to find it.

      • Erica says:

        Never heard of it but I know some people from Brazil that I could ask!

    • katie says:

      I’m from Brazil too and have made different kinds of cheese breads, I like all of them 😉 I buy my tapioca at asian store market, its true, way cheaper then anywhere else! I pay .69 cents!!!

    • Odelle Smith (U.K.) says:

      Would love to make these beauties…
      Can I use ‘Regular Flour’ rather than ‘Tapioca’ please…
      Any advice would be welcome,
      Many thanks,
      Odelle Smith. (U.K.)

    • Odelle Smith (U.K.) says:

      Help required please!
      Can I use ‘Regular Flour’ in place of ‘Tapioca Flour’?
      Would I use the same amounts & method?
      These look delicious, would love to make these ASAP…
      Loving your recipes, many thanks,
      Kindest Regards,
      Odelle Smith. (U.K.)

      • Erica says:

        It will not come out the same if you don’t use tapioca flour.. the consistency of the tapioca flour is what makes them so chewy and good. You can try it but I can’t promise they will taste the same!

  2. Kathy says:

    Oh wow! These sound fabulous and dangerous at the same time!

  3. Carol says:

    I am brazilian and I loooove cheese bread.
    Yours seems to be pretty good. =D

  4. Debbie says:

    This recipe looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  5. teca says:

    cool iam definately trying this wen i get home after work today

  6. Christie Quirl says:

    About how many does this recipe make? Making these for Thanksgiving tomorrow so I need to know if I should double it or not. Thanks!

    • Erica says:

      Yikes! Sorry this is a late reply.. it makes about 2 dozen… give or take a few.

  7. darlene says:

    This was delicious! My husband ate the whole batch and he’s brazilian!

  8. Aaron Grandy says:

    Erica – My wife just made these for me. Totally reminded me of miniature versions of the ones I ate down in Rio. These were delicious!

  9. Katie says:

    Can these be frozen and thawed later? My daughter has a school project but we baked them and now they have a snow day!!

    • Erica says:

      ehhhhhh, I wouldn’t. I don’t think they would freeze well. You can sure try it though!

      • aline says:

        You can freeze them uncooked,just make the little balls and put them on the baking pan in the freezer and later transfer to a ziploc bag.when you want to bake them there’s no need to thaw just pop them in the oven!

        • Calli says:

          I tried it and it works perfectly. Can’t even tell they aren’t fresh! Thanks.

  10. Lily says:

    Before I bake these I want to refrigerate the dough, so I can bake them at a friend’s house. Should I roll out the dough first then chill or just chill the dough and roll and bake when I’m ready?

    • Erica says:

      I would probably chill first, then roll and bake…

      • Lily says:

        Thanks, Erica. I’ll be baking these tomorrow. Can’t wait for our friends to have some!

  11. Gianna says:

    I make these and instead of regular salt I add garlic salt & OOOOH MAN it really adds to the flavor.

  12. Becky says:

    It doesn’t say, but does the cheese go in at the same time as the flour?

    • Erica says:

      Yes, it goes in at the same time 🙂

  13. Emma says:

    Hiya, no where close to me sells tapioca flour, can I use arrowroot instead?

    • Erica says:

      We have never used arrowroot in this recipe before, I don’t know how it would turn out. Let us know if you try it and how it works for you!

  14. Sheika says:

    So do you use tapioca flour or tapioca starch???

    • Erica says:

      We use tapioca flour

  15. Hanni says:

    Just found and tried your recipe, it’s great! I love the pao de queijo at our local Brazilian restaurant, and this is the closest match I’ve found so far. Thanks!

    • Erica says:

      Thanks for the comment! So glad you liked it!! 😀

  16. Terry says:

    I made these last night and they where so delicious. I used Tapioca Starch because I didn’t realize there was a difference, I’m gonna look for Flour next time to compare the difference.
    I had a few issues though, the mix was too loose so when I scooped it on a cookie sheet it just melted flat. This was ok because my first batch was more like a thick cracker! Delish!…I added more Tapioca then decided to scoop into muffin pan. 28 minutes was too long but 10 mins was not long enough, I definitely want to make this again till I get it right!

  17. Ivan says:

    Hey Erika – i have tried your recipe about 3 or 4 times and only got it right once. The dough always end up runny (too creamy). Why could that be? Any suggestions?

    • Erica says:

      I don’t know why it would be that way– what is your elevation? You may need to add a little more tapioca flour if you are higher in elevation. Hope this helps! – Erica

  18. Alli says:

    I was in the same boat as you. I love those cheese balls from Tuchanos! We made these last night and they were delicious!!

  19. Pam jenkins says:

    Made Brazilian cheese bread follow my friends instructions, came out horrible, doughy inside cooked on the outside, should I have kneaded it more.

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