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5 from 25 votes

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Brazilian cheese bread, or pão de queijo as we call them in Portuguese, are a true gift to the universe! This typical Brazilian snack is lightly crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and has a cheese flavor just hugs your mouth. This Brazilian cheese bread recipe is easy to make and yields about 30, so you can make a stash for now, and freeze the rest for later.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Brazilian
Keyword: cheese balls, pao de queijo, tapioca starch
Servings: 30
Author: aline_shaw


  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 10oz round of Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • 1 cup full fat milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 Tbsp for oiling your hands
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb tapioca flour also known as tapioca starch
  • 2 tsp kosher salt


Prepare the Dough:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Add the tapioca flour and the salt to a large bowl, whisk to combine and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses and the eggs and set aside.
  • Add the milk and the oil to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer on stove top over medium heat.
  • When the liquid simmers, remove the pan from heat, and immediately pour the hot liquid into the tapioca mixture and using a wooden spoon, stir to combine - the mixture will not be homogeneous, it'll be gummy and clumpy. See step by step images above for reference.
  • Wait 5-10 minutes until the tapioca mixture is cool to touch, and only then add the cheese and egg mixture to the tapioca mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon, or your hands to combine. Now you should have a homogeneous mixture and it should come together as a ball. You'll still see some white tapioca specks in the dough - don't worry, that's totally normal!

Roll the Little Balls:

  • Oil your hands, then scoop a Tbsp to 2Tbsp size portions, roll them into balls, and arrange them in a baking sheet approximately 2" apart from one another. *For freezing instructions see section below!
  • Bake until golden brown, approximately 30-35 minutes.

Make-ahead Freezer Instructions:

  • To freeze your Brazilian cheese bread for later, follow all steps up until rolling the little balls and placing them the baking sheet. Then, just place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes for the balls to set (just enough for them to hold their shape).
  • When the balls are set, you can place them in a freezer safe ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3-4 months.
  • To bake them, no thawing needed! Just preheat the oven to 350F, then arrange the little frozen balls in a baking sheet about 2" apart from one another and bake until golden brown - approximately 40-45 minutes.

Bom Apetite!