Brazilian Cheese Puffs, Pão de Queijo

Today I am introducing the small cheese puffs called pão de queijo from Brazil. Cheese puffs are extremely popular in Latin America, every country has its version and style. Almost all have in common that they are not prepared with wheat flour, but instead tapioca (also known as cassava or manioc) starch is used. On top, it is the starch and not the flour what you are looking for. Naturally, they are all gluten-free. I already introduced the ones from Colombia called pandebonos and also the Paraguayan ones called chipa.

The main difference between the Brazilian cheese puffs and the ones from other Latin American countries is the fact that Brazilian have the tapioca starch cooked with milk/water and oil. Whereas other recipes typically ask for the tapioca starch to be added to the dry ingredients, this is an extra step you need to do first. It definitely is not the nicest job, you will have a weird texture I wouldn’t recommend touching with your hands. However, you will be rewarded an extra cheesy and extra sticky cheese puff, the Brazilian pão de queijo is famous all around the world. Depending on the cheese you use, you may have a milder flavor or stronger. I went with parmesan and Gouda, both typical cheeses you find here in Germany. In the original version you would go for parmesan, mozzarella and/or queijo minas, a Brazilian hard cheese.

Credit: Vive la reduction (in German)

Brazilian Cheese Puffs or Pão de Queijo

Serves: About 20-22, depending on size
Prep Time: 20min Cooking Time: 25min Total Time: 45min

Brazilian cheese puffs are naturally gluten-free and have the tapica starch cooked before mixing with the other ingredients.


  • 70 grams of parmesan
  • 70 grams of gouda (you may also use mozzarella and/or the Brazilian cheese minas)
  • 120 grams of neutral oil
  • 240 grams of milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 280 grams of tapicoa starch (also known as manioc or cassava, I got mine in an Asia store)
  • 2 egss



You will see how make them in this video. First grind the parmesan and gouda, set aside. Then bring oil, milk and salt to a boil in a pot. Add all the tapica starch and stir vigorously. The dough will get clumpy and sticky, this is normal. It has to cool off a bit, in order to spead up the process, I transfer to a kneading bowl and beat on low speed for a few minutes. Then add each cheese separately, if the cheese melts a bit, it is OK. Add each egg separately at the end. The dough will be sticky.


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Take about a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball with your hands or use two tablespoons to place them on the baking sheet. I had about 12 I placed on the baking sheet. They will grow a bit, so you shouldn't place them too close to each other. Bake for about 25min until golden. Serve warm or within a few hours.

PS: You wonder what to do with the leftover tapioca starch? How about trying further cheese puffs, which are all easier to prepare than the Brazilian ones:

Chipa, cheese puffs from Paraguay

Pandebonos from Colombia

Kolumbianische Käsebrötchen namens pandebonosPandebonos with quince filling

Pandebonos aus Kolumbien mit FüllungIf you want to use wheat flour, I can recommend these cheese balls named Gougère from Switzerland

Gougère Schweizer Käsebällchen

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Saturday March 18th, 2023 at 12:25 PM

    Die sind ja wirklich super geworden!
    Freut mich, dass mein Teiggeräusch dir beim Nachbacken geholfen hat 😀
    Sobald dein Blog mir zugelost wird, geht’s an die Vernichtung größerer Mengen Tapiokastärke, die sich in diesem Haushalt befinden.
    Liebe Grüße =)

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