Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Pão de queijo (“cheese bread” in Portuguese) is a small, baked cheese roll—a popular snack and breakfast food in Brazil. I like to use them for sliders, eggs Benedict, BLTs, stuffed with tuna or egg salad — really, they are so versatile, you can stuff them with just about anything and they’d be delicious. And, this recipe is gluten free!


Following are two ways to make the Brazilian cheese bread. The first recipe is from Wikipedia* and requires pre-cooking the batter on the stovetop.

The second recipe, inspired by Simply Recipes,** uses a modified ratio of ingredients so the batter is not thick enough to form balls. This method is mixed in a blender and baked in full-sized muffin pans.

Either recipe can be tweaked by combining your favorite cheese(s), herbs and spices. For today’s recipe, I used a combination of Parmesan, white cheddar, and blue cheese. I also grated a little extra cheese to sprinkle on top prior to baking. I added chopped fresh basil and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the cheese.

Brazilian cheese bread is best eaten warm and can be reheated for later use.

Pão de Queijo — Method #1


1/2 cup olive oil or butter
1/3 cup of water
1/3 cup of raw milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups tapioca flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 beaten eggs


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour oil, water, milk, and salt into a large saucepan, and place over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat immediately, and stir in tapioca flour and garlic until smooth. Set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Stir the cheese and egg into the tapioca mixture until well combined, the mixture will be chunky like cottage cheese. Drop rounded, 1/4 cup sized balls of the mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until the tops are lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.


Pão de Queijo — Method #2


1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup raw milk
1-1/2 cups tapioca flour
1/2 cup (packed) grated cheese
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

If you are using a tin muffin pan, spread a little avocado or olive oil around the inside of each well. (I used a silicon muffin pan, so I  skipped this step).

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to scape down the sides with a spatula to ensure everything gets well blended. At this point, the batter can be stored in the refrigerator for several days, until ready to use.

Pour batter into muffin wells, to the halfway point.


Bake in preheated oven until the tops are lightly browned, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.


Recipe available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. 

** Simply Recipes



If you make this recipe, snap a pic of your dish and hashtag it #kellylenihancooks. I'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!

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