Gluten-free Brazilian Cheese Bread

4.6 from 8 votes
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Bake a batch of ooey-gooey Brazilian Cheese Bread muffins with six simple ingredients for a savory snack, side dish, or appetizer. The combination of tapioca starch and cheddar cheese makes these little bites perfectly puffy and gluten free!

plate of gluten-free brazilian cheese bread muffins with cheddar cheese shreds.

Gluten Free Cheese Bread

This Brazilian cheese bread, also known as pão de queijo, is a beloved baked treat. Brazilians eat these savory muffins as a snack or for breakfast. You may have also seen them in the freezer section of your grocery store where they are known as Brazi Bites. Those are tasty, but making them at home is so much better!

They are traditionally made with cassava root, which is a gluten-free starch made from a root vegetable. My recipe uses tapioca starch, which is made from cassava root and offers the same light and airy texture.

There are dozens of recipes for this bread throughout Brazil. Different cooks use everything from mozzarella to Minas cheese, which is a cheese produced in Brazil. My version gets its sharp, cheesy flavor with an all-American twist: cheddar. These cute buns are a kid-approved snack for any time of year.

hands pulling apart a gluten free cheese bread muffin

Recipe Ingredients

You need only six ingredients to make your own gluten-free cheese bread at home. Here is a quick overview, but scroll dow to the recipe card to get the full amounts.

  • Milk. This tenderizes the bread dough. You can use any kind of milk for the recipe.
  • Olive oil. For a more mild flavor, you can use a neutral oil, like canola or avocado.
  • Egg. This helps the cheese bread rise in the oven.
  • Tapioca flour. Tapioca starch is another common name for this gluten-free flour alternative.
  • Cheddar. Use your favorite variety of shredded cheddar.
  • Sea salt
bowl of flour, egg, cheese, and oil

How to Make Brazilian Cheese Bread

Follow these simple steps to make your gluten-free bread in a muffin tin:

Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a mini muffin tin with shortening for easy release. You can also use a regular-sized muffin tin.

Blend the dough: In a blender or mixing bowl, combine the milk, oil, egg, tapioca flour, shredded cheddar and salt. You want a fluffy and smooth dough. You can use an electric mixer or a wire whisk and some elbow grease to do the job.

Bake: Divide the batter between the wells in the prepared muffin tin. Place the muffins in the oven and reduce the temperature to 400°F. Bake for 12 minutes (for mini muffins) or 18 minutes (for large), or until the tops are golden.

Cool and enjoy: Finally, remove the pan from the oven and let the muffins cool for 1 minute in the pan before removing them and serving hot!

pouring cheese bread batter into a mini muffin tin

Tips for Success

Use these suggestions to perfect your muffins:

  • Wait until the oven is fully preheated before putting the muffins inside. The higher temperature helps them rise quickly.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven when they’ve just turned golden brown on top. Over-baking will make dry muffins.
  • You can make mini or regular-sized muffins, just be sure to only fill the tin halfway if you’re using a regular-sized muffin pan. Otherwise, you may end up with overflow. The muffins rise quite a bit in the oven, thanks to the egg and the light texture of tapioca starch.
  • Finally, these are best hot out of the pan, so don’t delay!
plate of brazilian cheese bread muffins

Serving Suggestions

You can enjoy the muffins for breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you’re serving them as a side dish, these entrees pair well:

You can also try dunking them in some Peruvian Aji Sauce or Avocado Crema.

bowl of gluten free cheese bread muffins with a bowl of grated cheddar cheese

Storing Brazilian Cheese Bread

The muffins are best the day they’re made. However, if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days. To reheat, pop them into a 400°F oven for 5-10 minutes, until heated through.

Can I Freeze Leftovers?

You can freeze fully cooled leftovers. Store the muffins for up to three months in an airtight container. Then, to reheat, let the buns defrost on the counter for a few hours, then warm them in a 400°F oven.

white bowl of puffy gluten free brazilian cheese bread bites

Things You’ll Need

  • MUFFIN PAN: These little cheesy bites get backed in a mini muffin tin. Make sure you have a good nonstick one.
  • TAPIOCA STARCH: The key ingredient (besides the cheese) is that tapioca flour or starch.
  • HAND MIXER: You only need an inexpensive one to make it quick and easy to blend the batter together.
  • COOLING RACKS: After they bake, pop them out onto a rack to cool for just a few minutes.
bowl of gluten-free cheese bread muffins
4.6 from 8 votes

Gluten-Free Brazilian Cheese Bread

Bake a batch of ooey-gooey Brazilian Cheese Bread muffins with six simple ingredients for a savory snack, side dish, or appetizer. The combination of tapioca starch and cheddar cheese makes these little bites perfectly puffy and gluten free!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 22 minutes
Servings: 24 muffins

Ingredients

  • cup milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • cup tapioca flour (or tapioca starch)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a nonstick mini muffin tin with shortening.
  • Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth and fully combined. (You may also use a blender).
  • Pour the batter into the prepared mini muffin tins. You will want to fill each mini cup to the top. (If you do regular sized muffin tins, make sure to only fill halfway.)
  • Place the pan in the oven. Reduce the heat to 400°F. Bake for 12 minutes for mini cups or 18 minutes for full sized cups. The tops will not get golden.
  • Once removed from the oven, let the pan rest for 1 minute. Then transfer to cool on a wire rack until ready to serve. These are best served fresh out of the oven while still hot.
Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Brazilian Cheese Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 muffin)
Calories 65 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 118mg5%
Potassium 15mg0%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Sugar 0.3g0%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 40IU1%
Vitamin C 0.01mg0%
Calcium 26mg3%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

Categories:

More Cheesy Gluten-Free Snacks

You can make all of these in a mini muffin pan too!

6 Comments
  1. Shannon

    I just stumbled upon your website today and I’m so excited! I’m the only gluten free member of my family, but I’ve recently decided to start making more gluten free dishes for everyone, instead of making 2 separate versions of things, and you feature so many great recipes j know my family will enjoy!!

    I’m especially excited about this cheese bread! I’ve always assumed it was made with wheat flour, so I forgo it at our local Brazilian steakhouse, including just 2 weeks ago (I’m kicking myself). But thanks to your recipe, I will be enjoying this bread tonight!!

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