Pão de Queijo – Brazilian Cheese Bread

These little cheese bread balls are very popular in Brazil where I grew up. I still remember coming home from school, walking into the house and smelling them fresh out of the oven. That was the moment when I knew I had to be faster than my brother and race him to the kitchen to see who could get more handfuls of “pão de queijo”. These are the perfect snack, crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside and cheesy in flavor, impossible to only eat one.

Pão de queijo is gluten free and incredibly delicious. In an attempt to find the very best recipe I made over 14 different recipes, some were pretty good and some did not work for me at all. After a few adjustments I ended up with two recipes: one is the classic pão de queijo and the other for the waffle iron.

Here is the classic pão de queijo recipe. You can mix everything by hand like most Brazilians do or you can use a stand up mixer with the paddle attachment to speed up the process.

Andrea’s Pão de Queijo Recipe

17.5 oz Tapioca flour
5 oz milk
6 oz butter
2.5 oz water (set aside, add at the end if the dough is too thick)
7.5 oz grated parmesan (Romano) cheese
3 eggs
1 tsp salt

preheat the oven to 350F. Pour the tapioca flour in a large mixing bowl. In a small sauce pan over medium heat mix butter, milk, and salt until it starts to boil (do not let it boil completely). Remove from heat pour the hot mixture over the tapioca flour turn your mixer on low speed and mix for about 1 min or until clumps have formed. Add the three eggs, mixing on medium/low speed until fully incorporated, add the cheese and mix for another 30 seconds or the dough is smooth, if the dough is not soft enough add a little bit of water at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Do not over mix the dough as it can become too hard once it is cooked. The dough should be a little sticky and have the consistency a little softer than playdogh. Grease the palm of your hands and make little balls about 1 inch in diameter (the size of cake pops) placing them on a greased baking sheet. bake for 25-30 min until they are golden and lightly brown. Serve hot


If you are in a hurry and want your cheese bread right away here is a blender recipe for the waffle iron.

Andrea’s Pão de Queijo recipe for the waffle iron.

1 + 1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
3 eggs
2 cups tapioca flour
3/4 cup ground cheese
1/2 tsp salt

Put milk, oil, salt and eggs in the blender and blend until completely mixed, add the cheese and blend for another minute, add the tapioca and blend until fully incorporated. Pour your mixture in a hot waffle iron and when it beeps it is ready. I like mine a little more brown on the outside. Have fun!

  • Tara - Great recipe! Dough is delicious!
    When I finished mixing my dough, it was cake batter consistency. I added 2 oz. more flour to a soft “cookie dough.” My first batch of rolls were more disc shape. But, as the dough cooled, each batch got rounder and rounder. After consulting another recipe, I think all I needed to do was to let the batter/dough cool for 15-30 minutes (and keep the flour amount as listed). I will give it another try.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  • Andrea - @Tara, I am so glad you like it. We love pao de queijo. When I make it, I have to double the recipe because it goes so quickly. You can also make the little balls, freeze them individually and bake them a few at a time. No need to thaw them out just put them in the oven and enjoy!

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