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Brazilian Cheese Bread (Pão de Queijo)

24 Puffs

40 minutes

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These tasty puffs—called pão de queijo—are similar to popovers, with two important differences. Tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) gives them a unique chewiness, while a generous dose of cheese makes them particularly savory. In Brazil, the cheese of choice is queijo minas curado. Without that option available to us, we found that Asiago had just the right balance of salty-sharp flavor to make delicious puffs. The flavor profile can easily be changed by using other cheeses and seasonings (see variations below). Pão de queijo are best eaten within a couple hours of baking, but the puffs can be frozen and reheated in a 350°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes (do not thaw before reheating). You will need a nonstick 24-cup mini muffin pan for this recipe.

For Gruyère and chives: Substitute an equal amount of finely grated Gruyère cheese for the Asiago. After blending, stir in 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives.

For Stilton and black pepper: Substitute an equal amount of finely grated Stilton cheese (or other firm blue cheese) for the Asiago and add ½ teaspoon ground black pepper to the blender along with other ingredients.




Don't use a wand-style grater for the grating the cheese; the fine shreds form clumps that compromise the puffs' ability to rise. Grate the cheese on the small holes of a standard box grater, and do it while the cheese is cold to minimize clumping.

40 minutes


  • 170

    grams (1½ cups) tapioca starch

  • cup whole milk


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Matthew D.
April 20, 2023
So easy and tasty, a crowd favorite!
I've tried 3 different recipes for Pao de Queijo and this is by far the quickest and easiest. I encourage you to play around with different cheeses based on your preferences. It's always a crowd favorite and (bonus) it's gluten free.
Allison C.
March 3, 2023
Fast, easy, GF party snack
This is the second version of these I've made and this was far easier and better than the first.
Ann K.
May 22, 2022
Perfect for Cocktails
Easy, tasty, gluten free.
David C.
December 22, 2023
Easy, tasty. But odd holes on top.
These were very easy and tasty. They were done in 20 minutes. One odd thing - they towered, like mini-popovers - and most of them had holes in the top. I wonder if the tiny bit of grated asiago could have this effect?
Laura Z.

This is so incredibly easy to make and so flavorful! It’s an easy way to elevate a weeknight dinner. I might add some fresh chives next time.

Louise Y.

what will be the baking requirements if using 12 regular size muffin pans?

Natalia S.

I have a silicone mini muffin - would I need to adjust cooking time or oven temp for this recipe?

Lynn C.

Hi Natalia -

Since silicone is not conductive, the baking time will likely be longer. However, we didn't test these in a silicone muffin pan so we can't say for sure how much longer. Also, because silicone is not conductive it inhibits browning so the cheese breads won't get the typical crispy exterior crust. We probably wouldn't recommend making them in silicone for this reason.

The Milk Street Team

Natalia S.

Wow!!! Super simple!! This is my favorite so far!!! I have tried sooo many Brazilian cheese bread recipes!!! So simple!

John M.

This was an amazingly good recipe! Easy to make and the results are scrumptious. Crunchy tops and smooth, tasty centers. It took twice as long to get the tops browned as indicated here, but it was no big deal to me. Next time I may add some chives as noted here by another commenter. Highly recommended! Thanks again, Julia & Milk Street team.