Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread

BakingBrazilianGluten-FreeBread

Simple and gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread, or Pão de Queijo, made with tapioca flour, milk, eggs, olive oil, and cheese.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Our tour of Brazil continues. After posting the moqueca recipe, several of you asked if I had a recipe for Pão de Queijo, or Brazilian cheese bread, sort of like a chewy cheese puff made with tapioca flour.

As a matter of fact, I do! My friend Bill gave me this recipe years ago, a favorite from his Brazilian wife Silvia.

I’ve made it several times, each time with different cheeses. Talk about addictive! I’ve cut Bill’s original recipe down to just a third, because if I actually made a full batch (48) I could conceivably eat them all.

There are several ways to make Pão de Queijo. One method includes cooked potatoes. One method is sort of like a pâte a choux in which you cook the dough first.

EASY Brazilian Cheese Bread

The quickest, easiest, short-cut method is what I describe here (and the only way some of my Brazilian friends make it). You put the ingredients in a blender. Pour them out into a mini-muffin tin, and bake.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can make a big batch of batter and just store it in the refrigerator (for up to a week), pouring out just as many mini-muffins as you want to eat. You can even cook them in a toaster oven.

How to make Brazilian Cheese Bread in oven

The only weird ingredient is tapioca flour. Bob’s Red Mill makes it, and you can find it at Whole Foods. Tapioca flour is gluten-free, so this cheese bread is great for gluten-free eaters.

How to make Brazilian Cheese Bread (video)

Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Enough batter for 16 - 20 mini muffin sized cheese breads

The recipe as presented is fairly basic. Feel free to dress it up a bit with herbs or spices of your choice.

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg*
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 grams) tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed, about 66 grams) grated cheese, your preference, we get good results with feta cheese (no need to grate), or fresh farmer's cheese (if using fresh farmer's cheese, you may want to add another 1/2 teaspoon of salt)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (or more to taste)

mini-muffin-tin.jpg

*It helps when baking with eggs to start with eggs at room temperature. If you don't plan ahead (that would be me, usually) you can put the egg in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to gently take off the chill of the fridge.

Special equipment:

  • One 24-well or or two 12-well . Mini muffin tins are about half the size of a regular muffin pan. The muffin openings are about 1-inch deep, and 1 3/4 inch wide at the top.

Method

1 Pre-heat oven, prepare mini-muffin tin: Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread a small amount olive oil around the insides of each well of a mini-muffin tin.

2 Blend ingredients: Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. You may need to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender so that everything gets blended well. At this point you can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to a week.

3 Pour into mini-muffin tin: Pour batter into prepared mini-muffin tin, not quite to the top; leave about 1/8 inch from the top.

4 Bake: Bake at 400°F in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until all puffy and nicely browned. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.

Bake homemade Brazilian Cheese Bread in Oven

Eat while warm or save to reheat later.

Note that Brazilian cheese bread is very chewy, a lot like Japanese mochi.

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Products We Love

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Links:

Colombian Cheese Bread - much like Brazilian cheese bread but with the addition of corn masa, from My Colombian Recipes

Mandioca starch and Brazilian cheese bread - includes a great story about the mythology around manioc, or tapioca, from The Perfect Pantry

Very Easy Pao de Queijo - a potato-based version from Maki of Just Hungry

Brazilian Pao de Queijo - my Brazilian friend Fernanda's quick recipe tested, translated and published on Bewitching Kitchen

Bonus Recipe

When consulting my Brazilian friend Fernanda of Chucrute Com Salsicha for this post, she told me that although she makes the cheese bread the quick way in a blender, one of her favorite recipes comes from her friend Pat, which incorporates mashed potatoes and requires kneading by hand. It's extra work, but Fernanda says the results are great. You can find the original recipe in Portuguese on Fernanda's site here: Pao de queijo da Pat. And here is Fernanda's translation:

1 kg tapioca flour [polvilho azedo]
1 kg potato, cooked in water and mashed
250 ml milk at room temperature
250 ml vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 queso fresco or panela grated [1 pound]
6 free range eggs

Put the tapioca flour in a bowl. Add the potato still hot using a potato masher. Add salt. Mix very well using your hands. Add milk and continue working the dough with your hands. Add vegetable oil. Continue working. Add the grated cheese, and at last the eggs. Add 1 teaspoon of anise seeds for a special touch. The dough needs to get very silky and be moldable. If it is breaking, add one more egg. Make little round breads, and bake at 450ºF for 20 minutes. The dough can be frozen.

Brazilian Cheese Bread

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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340 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Brenda Dick

    Perfect recipe I thought, and followed it exactly but they didn’t puff and the middle stayed undercooked after 20 minutes. They were hard little rocks.
    Any suggestions?

  • Erika H

    I’ve been making these for years and everyone loves them. They are also really good (and fun for friends hanging out) to cook them in a waffle iron!

    I always double the cheese.

    This week I’ve been playing around with different flavors. I added a couple spoons of peanut butter to half of one batch, which my bf loved and last night added cinnamon-sugar which made for a nice breakfast.

    One problem I’ve had in the last year is giant air bubbles! They usually have hollow bottoms. But the muffin for is still chewy. I’m not sure why and I can’t figure it out! I’ve tried oiling the pan more, using just the base recipe, adding more tapioca flour, different milks and it’s always the same. Sometimes it’s the whole batch and sometimes it’s half. Please help!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Joey

    Hi Elise,

    I will be making these very soon. I’m going to use a donut hole baking tray, similar in size to Dunkin’ munchkins. I had a question about the batter. If I make it a day in advance, do I let the batter come to room temp before baking? When you mentioned letting the egg come to room temp, this question came to mind. Thanks so much!

  • Mary

    FANTASTIC and really easy to make. The first time I had these was at Rioz Brazillian Steakhouse.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Kyle

    I substituted Almond flour for the Tapioca (it’s more keto-friendly). Substituted cream cheese for milk/soy milk. Came out perfect!

    xxxxxyyyyy

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