Small Batch Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

Small Batch Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

These Brazilian cheese bread is a real cheese bomb! It has a slightly crunchy shell and its exploding with  cheesy flavor, inside and outside of the bread.

Small Batch Pão de Queijo

I wasn’t familiar with Brazilian Cheese Bread, it was my Brazilian colleague who introduced me to this bread. I asked for the recipe and tweak it a little bit to make it small batch. I was surprised to find out that this bread is no different with Profiteroles, or Eclair in terms of the process. Basically, a choux pastry is made by cooking the dough in stove top before baking it in the oven. This and the many other science behind the process is what gave these bread a crunchy puff texture and hollow center. I think the french version of Brazilian Bread is the Cheese Gougère, a savory bread made with choux pastry with cheese added in it.  These bread are cooked the same process, so what’s the difference? Let me just tell you what I noticed are the same and different among these bread.

Flour: Profiteroles, Eclair and Cheese Gougeres uses all-purpose flour as the main ingredient.  Brazilian Cheese Bread uses Tapioca Flour or Sour Cassava Flour, and this made a lot of difference when it comes to bread texture.

Texture: Profiteroles and Eclair have a softer bread texture. They have crunchy outer shell and hollow center.

Brazilian Bread has a more gooey and stretchy bread texture and this is because of the Tapioca or Cassava flour. It also have a crunchy and crispy texture but it is slightly harder and thicker and not as delicate as Profiteroles. The center is not as hollow as Profiteroles or Eclair because there is no need to put any filling inside. Although I still noticed the center is not a compact as regular bread, it still have slight space inside.

Cheese Gougeres – Is the closest to Brazilian Cheese Bread. It also has cheese in the dough, and it have a crunchy texture. The main difference is the bread texture. It is not at stretchy and gooey as Brazilian Bread, because it uses a regular all-purpose flour which gave it a softer texture.  The center is not a compact, like Brazilian Bread, it still have slight space inside.

Brazilian Cheese Bread

Although the process is the same, I noticed that Brazilian Bread has a more consistent result, and it is easier to achieve the crunchy outer shell and the slight hollow and gooey texture. I had to make the Profiteroles and Eclair few times to get the right consistency of the choux pastry, but for this Brazilian Bread, I got it the first time around. The intensity of the cheese flavor will depend on the cheese, I used parmesan cheese and I like the taste of it. It has just the right cheese flavor, not to strong or intense thus allowing me to enjoy more pieces that I normally would eat. It’s a simple process, don’t get intimidated. Just follow the tips and you are sure to have this beautiful and tasty Brazilian Cheese Bread. Let’s get started!


  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 ounces/144 grams/ 1 cup + 6 tbsp tapioca flour or sour cassava flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese (You can also use Parmesan + Cheddar + Mozzarella)
  • 1 tbsp butter for brushing the top


  • Heat the oven: Pre-heat to 400°F. Line  baking sheet with parchment paper or se silicone baking mats.
  • Boil the milk and oil: Place the milk, oil, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk.


  • Add the tapioca flour: Add tapioca flour and stir until there is no more dry tapioca flour. The dough will be grainy, gelatinous, elastic and it will clump together. It will not have a smooth texture.DSC_0009
  • Cool the dough: Transfer the dough to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Alternatively, you can finish the dough by hand or hand mixer. Beat the dough for a few minutes at medium speed until it has cooled enough that you can hold your finger against the dough for several seconds. If you are using a stand or hand mixer, the side of the bowl should not be hot. The dough will separate and loosen up, this is normal. It will come together again when the egg is added. DSC_0012
  • Beat in the eggs: With the mixer on medium speed, beat the eggs into the dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. At this point, the dough should come together and a little bit sticky.DSC_0014
  • Beat in the cheese: Beat in the cheese on medium speed until fully incorporated. The resulting dough will be very sticky, stretchy, and soft with a consistency of cookie dough. It will not be completely smooth, but it will be easily enough to scoop and shape into balls.DSC_0015DSC_0016
  • Portion the puffs: Spray the spoon or ice cream scooper with oil to avoid dough from sticking. I used small ice cream scooper (1 ounce or 2 tablespoon) to portion the dough. Arrange in baking sheer with 2-inches apart (15 per baking sheet).  Small Batch Pão de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)
  • Bake the puffs: Place the baking sheets in the oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes while rotate the baking sheets halfway in the baking time. Start checking at 15 minutes if already done. Bake until the puffs have puffed, the outsides are dry, and they are just starting to turn golden-brown.
  • Remove from baking try immediately to avoid absorbing the extracted oil. Cool for a few minutes and eat warm. Brush top with butter.

Makes 15 pieces (small ice cream scoop size)

Make-ahead Tip:

Portion the dough onto the baking sheets and freeze until solid. Transfer to resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month. Bake frozen for the same temperature, but add 10 more minutes in the baking time.

Good to know:

  • Tapioca flour: I bought my Tapioca flour in an Asian store, and I also found there is a Bob Red Mills Tapioca flour which I think is much  easier to find.
  • Storage: Leftover puffs can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and re-crisped in a warm oven or toaster oven.
  • Freezing: Portion the dough onto the baking sheets and freeze until solid. Transfer to resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month.
  • Future Baking: Take out from the freezer and transfer in refrigerator overnight or leave at room temperature while pre-heating the oven. Adjust baking time as needed, add approximately 5-10 minutes in baking time.

Brazilian Cheese Bread Recipe

Enjoy! If you make this, share and tag me in Instagram #SweetNSpicyLiving. I would like to see your creations too.

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