Brazilian Cheese Bread (Tapioca Bread)


A lovely bag of tapioca flour had been sitting in my store cupboard for way too long, so today, it was transformed into these crazy and wonderfully springy cheese puffs known in Brazil as “Pão de Queijo” (cheese bread). Making Brazilian cheese bread with tapioca flour is easy and you can make these buns in less than an hour.

Travelling in Bahia, these delectable Brazilian tapioca breads were frequently served for breakfast and were readily available as snacks for train and bus journeys.

Brazilian cheese bread buns
Brazilian cheese bread buns

Brazilian cheese bread recipe (Pão de Queijo)

A great way of working with tapioca flour, makes these Brazilian cheese bread buns for a delicious afternoon snack.


  • 300g tapioca flour
  • 260g milk
  • 110g butter
  • 6g salt
  • 100g grated Parmesan (you can also use mature cheddar or similar)
  • 2 eggs

How to make Brazilian cheese buns

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Prepare a non-stick muffin baking tray (for 12 pieces).
  3. Combine the milk, butter and salt in a medium-sized pot and bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and add in the tapioca flour until thoroughly combined. Use a spoon to help with this process. The mixture will turn into a gelatinous and sticky dough and you might want to start mixing the dough with your hands to manage the process. You might think it’s too much tapioca starch for the amount of liquid, but it will all come together well in the end, just keep mixing and folding.
  5. Add in the eggs one by one until evenly combined. Again, you might find that this is best done by mixing by hand.
  6. Mix in the grated cheese.
  7. Fill each muffin cup up to about three quarters full and try to even the top. Lightly oil your hands to do this – it’ll help to keep the sticky tapioca dough in check.
  8. Bake the tapioca puffs until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

You see – these tapioca buns are the easiest bread rolls you’ll ever make! The buns are crispy outside but have a soft, hollow and very chewy texture inside. Best eaten when still warm, but the buns will be good for a few days.

Brazilian manioc buns
Brazilian manioc buns – watch them while they bake and puff!
Brazilian tapioca buns
Made with tapioca flour, the buns are light, crunchy and chewy
Manioc cheese buns
Impress your guests with these unique Brazilian tapioca buns

What is tapioca?

  • Tapioca is starch/flour extracted from the root of the manioc plant (also known as cassava or yuca) which is native to Brazil.
  • It has very low nutritional value in terms of vitamins, minerals or fibre.
  • Tapioca flour is gluten free.
  • It’s a very smooth flour which makes a good thickening and binding agent.
  • It helps add crispness to crusts and chew to baked goods.