Pão de Queijo

Pão de Queijo

September 7: Brazilian Independence Day

We met a Brazilian bridesmaid when Islander was also in the entourage of a mutual friend’s wedding. Fabiana H. is married to an American and we enjoyed exchanging stories about our intermarriages. Inevitably, our conversation also led to Brazilian culture and, of course, cuisine!

Since meeting her, we have treated ourselves to Brazilian steakhouses for special occasions, like birthdays. The servers, who look so fashionable in their gaucho pants, come around to each table and slice various fire-roasted meats from their skewers onto our plates. It is quite a carnivorous experience, balanced by a salad buffet and appetizers, including pão de queijo, a bite-sized, puffy cheese bread made especially with tapioca flour/starch. It is slightly crisp on the outside and chewy and hollow on the inside, like an addictive popover, and is best eaten hot and fresh from the oven.

For our blog recipe post, we feature pão de queijo on Sete de Setembro (7th of September), the date that commemorates Brazil’s independence from Portugal in 1822.


(Adapted from CopyKat)


  • 2 cups tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup corn oil
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese


Sift the salt with the tapioca flour/starch and put in a mixing bowl.  In a small saucepan, simmer the milk and oil, stirring to combine well.  Pour into the tapioca flour/starch and blend until a smooth but sticky dough forms.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add the beaten eggs slowly into the dough and continue to blend until incorporated.  Stir in the cheeses.

Pão de Queijo

Scoop the batter three-quarters full into greased mini muffin tins. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the bread puffs up and turns golden. Yield: About 3 dozen.

Pão de Queijo


  • The Portuguese spelling for Brazil is Brasil.
  • Gluten-free tapioca flour/starch can be found in the specialty-baking aisle of larger supermarkets, at Whole Foods or in international grocery stores.
  • See our blog recipe post for caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, on June 12, National Cachaça Day.