Buns sitting on white marble
Photography, Soo Kim

Cheesy Gluten-Free Brazilian Pao de Queijo

Possibly the most adorable and addictive bread we’ve tasted.

These soft and chewy Brazilian pocket-sized buns – called pao de queijo – are naturally gluten-free thanks to tapioca starch or tapioca flour. Look for it in the natural section at your local grocery store, the bulk food store, or health food store. Make a batch and freeze them ahead of time for parties. Did we mention that no special tools are required?

Buns sitting on white marble

Gluten-Free Pao de Queijo Cheese Buns

These soft and chewy Brazilian pocket-sized buns – called pao de queijo – are naturally gluten-free thanks to tapioca starch or tapioca flour. 
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Brazilian
Servings 28 buns


  • 2 ¼ cups tapioca flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 ¼ cups Parmesan or Romano cheese finely grated
  • cup grated old Cheddar cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350°F, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the tapioca flour, salt and pepper; set aside.
  • In a saucepan, heat the milk, oil and butter over medium-low heat until tiny bubbles form around the edge, and the butter is melted. Pour over the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined; the mixture will not be smooth.
  • Stir in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Stir in the Parmesan and cheddar with a wooden spoon or with hands to mix thoroughly until smooth.
  • Mist a tablespoon measure with oil; portion dough by 2 tbsp onto the prepared pan to make about 28 portions. Chill for 10 to 15 minutes if the mixture is too soft to scoop.
  • The dough will be sticky. Using oiled hands, roll portioned dough into balls and arrange 2-inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 28 to 30 minutes. Enjoy hot.


Tip: This recipe bakes beautifully from frozen and yields a fuller bun than the freshly made and baked version. To freeze, roll the dough into balls and freeze until firm. Store in a resealable freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 weeks. Bake from frozen in a 350°F oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
Keyword Gluten-free
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