Easy Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe

Light, golden, crispy shells with a gooey, cheesy center, this Brazilian cheese bread or Pão de queijo, is delicious and also gluten free.

Quick and easy to make, these little cheesy puffs are irresistible straight from the oven (bet you can't eat just one). They also make a great addition to the buffet table. In South America you may be served these at breakfast time.

There are actually a number of ways to prepare these, but I think this is the easiest, especially if you have an electric mixer handy. Another way is to make the cheese puffs in a pan, in a similar manner to choux pastry.

There is no messing about with lots of different gluten free flours here; the only one used is tapioca starch which gives the bread its characteristic texture. The starch expands during baking, trapping air in little pockets within the rolls.

Making Brazilian Cheese Bread


  • 2 cups / 10oz / 250g tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup / 4oz / 100g grated cheese*
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) milk or rice milk
  • 2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, whisked gently


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C, 400F, Gas mark 6.
  2. Sieve the tapioca starch into a bowl (I use my mixer bowl) and add the salt and grated cheese.
  3. Pour in the milk, oil and egg.
  4. Mix (by hand, or on a slow speed in your mixer) until the dough comes together and knead it until it is a pliable dough such as play or salt dough. Break off small pieces and roll into balls. As a guide to size, this recipe will make about 24 cheese puffs or breads.
  5. Place the balls, an inch apart, on a baking sheet and cook for 20-25 minutes until they are golden brown. They should have puffed up to at least twice their original size.
  6. Cool on a wire tray. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  7. You can freeze the balls before cooking. Lay them out on a tray so they don't touch each other, then freeze. Once frozen pack in containers or freezer bags and use within 2-3 months.


Traditionally grated parmesan is used for these snacks, but you could ring the changes and use cheddar instead. It would also make your brazilian cheese bread more economical.

More gluten free bread recipes


New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.