How to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread (aka Pão de Queijo)

Caroline Rangel

Caroline Rangel

Carol Rangel is the Contributing Editor at Global Storybook (Brazil/ Netherlands).
You can read more about Carol here.
Caroline Rangel

Pão de Queijo is a typical Brazilian snack and breakfast dish, originally from the states of Minas Gerais and Goiás.  In Brazil, you can find it at snack bars, bakeries, coffee shops, you can even buy a frozen package at the supermarket to bake at home.

I love Pão de Queijo! I love it more than chocolate! More than pasta! More than…. Well, it’s my favourite snack! And I really miss it when I’m away from home.

There are different recipes as every Brazilian has a family recipe that they swear by.  This recipe is from my boyfriend, Bruno =]

He took a baking course and learned this delicious recipe! All the credit goes to him!

Pão de Queijo is usually called as ‘cheese bread’ but some people refer to them as ‘cheese puffs’.

I prefer them crispier (and tougher) and others prefer them soft and pillowy! Some go light on the cheese and others stuffs them with as much cheese as they can (me!). It’s impossible to eat only one, you’ll need several more!

The tradicional recipe uses manioc starch (either sour or sweet) and meia cura cheese.  I know it’s hard to find sour manioc starch and almost impossible to find meia cura cheese, so you can substitute them for tapioca flour and parmesan cheese.

Pão de Queijo tastes better out of the oven! The leftovers usually lose the texture…You can freeze some and bake later, so you’ll always have a stock of Pão de Queijo!


  • 500g of sour manioc starch
  • 500g of shredded meia cura cheese
  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 300ml of whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
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How to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread:

1. Boil the milk, the butter and the salt in a saucepan.

2. Add the manioc starch to the bowl of a stand mixer and, once the milk mixture boils, pour it over the flour.  Turn the mixer on and mix it well.  The texture will be really sticky.

3. Cool the dough: Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it smooths out and has cooled enough that you can hold your finger against the dough for several seconds.

4. Whisk the eggs together and add them to the dough.

5. Once the eggs are incorporated, add the cheese, a little at a time, until fully incorporated.  The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy and soft.

6. Preheat the oven to 400°F degrees.

7. To shape the balls, wet your hands with cold water and, using an ice cream scoop, scoop some of the dough to shape balls that are a little smaller than golf-sized.

8. Place the balls on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Space the balls an inch or two apart.

9. Transfer the sheet with the puffs to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 350°F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden and puffed.

Step 9

Note 1: To freeze them, shape the balls, place them on the baking sheet and bring to the freezer. Once they’re frozen, transfer to a ziplock bag and keep them in the freezer up to 3 months.

Note 2: If you prefer, you can add some herbs to the recipe, sometimes I add parsley and spring onions.

pao de queijo senac (2)Enjoy and Bom Apetite!

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