Gluten-Free Cheese Bread




About: Learn more about me here: or follow me on Twitter (@shesparticular) (if you're into that sort of thing).

Known as "Pão de Queijo" in Brazil, "Pan de Yuca" in Ecuador, and "Pan de Bono" in Colombia these yummy little breads use tapioca flour instead of wheat flour, making them gluten-free. A variety of herbs and cheeses can be substituted or added depending on your taste.

The method of making the dough is similar to a pâte à choux, resulting in wonderfully light and puffy little breads. They're frequently served with marinara or other tomato-based sauce, but they can be also be used in dishes in place of standard bread, and are also awesome on their own or served with soups or other dishes.

Step 1: You'll Need. . .

  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic (minced very fine)
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Large microwave-safe mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking pan/cookie sheet
  • Small cookie dough or ice cream scoop (or just two teaspoons)

Step 2: Heat the Liquids

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit
  2. Mix melted butter, milk, water, and salt
  3. Microwave for approximately 1 minute or until the mixture reaches a gentle boil (mixture can also be heated in a small saucepan over medium heat)

Step 3: Add the Dry Ingredients (and the Egg)

  1. Add tapioca flour and garlic and stir well to fully combine
  2. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes
  3. Add egg and grated cheese and stir well to combine (the mixture will resemble cottage cheese)

Step 4: Scoop and Bake

  1. Scoop dough onto sheet pan (either greased lightly or with a silicone liner). Don't worry about the balls of dough being perfect balls - as they bake they form pretty little domes all on their own
  2. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned
  3. Enjoy!



    • Big and Small Contest

      Big and Small Contest
    • Toys Contest

      Toys Contest
    • Baking Challenge

      Baking Challenge

    30 Discussions


    2 years ago

    I made these and they were amazing! They were crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside! I did, however, have to add more tapioca flour than the recipe called for.


    2 years ago

    I'm afraid I haven't had an issue when making these so I'm not sure, however mine are always soft/doughy in the center.


    2 years ago

    Hi! I need some help. I just did this recipe but had some trouble.

    First, my mixture never became dough. It was too liquid, there was no way I could make scoops with that. (And yes, I did everything according to the recipe). So I decided to add more tapioca flour in order to get it more dense.

    Then, after the scoops got a nice light brown in the oven, I took them out and discovered the crust was excellent but the center was not done. I had to cut them in half and put them in the oven again.

    The end result tasted very good, but due to the need of halving the scoops, they were not like the balls I expected. What can I do?


    3 years ago

    One of my best friend's is from Brazil and she used to make these for me. We don't live near each other anymore. I am definitely going to try this recipe! Thanks!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is definitely not Colombian Pandebono. Pandebono is made with a mix of precooked cornmeal and tapioca starch. Proportions vary, some use more corn than tapioca and vice-versa.

    We made these today and they are delicious!!! Thank you for sharing your recipe, we loved them :)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    These were the exact texture of the package my husband brought back from Chile. Delicious-thanks!

    Slight modification, used dried out Broncha (from Achadinha Cheese Company) because that was in the fridge. Nice!

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Oooh, I like their Broncha, but the Capricious is my favorite! Good stuff. :)

    Doyle Newton

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Ok, got a chance to try these this morning, they were great but they did not rise at all. They came out like cornbread or a pancake. Can some one tell me what I may have missed. The rest of the family loved them as well.

    2 replies
    nbronsonDoyle Newton

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Doyle I had the same, try to bake longer - 30 min at 375F. It took me a while to figure it out. First I tried to make these bread myself - it was so mess =), used some ready mixes as someone suggested already - and every time they did not rise, uh!. Then friend of mine, she is Brazilian, showed me how to make them, but she used frozen cheese breads, Brasil Cheese Bread -, check at your stores. and sure enough it worked! The secret was to bake just right time and defrost them for couple minutes.

    I'm afraid I'm really not sure - did you mix well after adding the egg? The only thing I can think of is that there wasn't enough air incorporated at that stage.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you thank you thank you! I have used this recipe more times than I can count in the past few months and it always turns out well. Parmesan is tasty, but I love switching up cheeses with what I have on hand. Sharp cheddar with a little bit of rosemary is a favorite among my friends.

    1 reply

    So glad to hear you enjoy them! Cheddar and rosemary sounds awesome - will for sure have to give it a try!


    7 years ago on Introduction


    So, I'm having a bit of a problem. It's turning out to be mostly liquid like, rather than a cottage cheese texture. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. I'm thinking maybe not heating it long enough? They tasted great, but had more a cracker/cookie texture, rather than bread.

    Any help would be appreciated!


    2 replies

    Hmm, well the "dough" itself is pretty wet (if you look at the last photo in step three it should give you some idea of how it should look). I wouldn't say it's as wet as cottage cheese, but it isn't dry at all. In terms of the baked puffs, they're not really like "standard" bread but are much lighter and don't tend to dry out inside.

    From what you've described, it sounds like they've turned out exactly how Pão de Queijo usually do. If you'd like them to be more bread-like, baking them and then splitting them in half and toasting them should help some.

    Thanks so much for the comment!

    So, I was in the process of trying another batch as I posted that comment, and I was right. It was definitely the heat. I added the tapioca flour while the mix was still boiling on the stove and it instantly turned into the fluffy, light mixture it was supposed to be.

    As for the batch before that, I put it in a small dish and am now just baking a mini bread loaf. lol

    Thanks for the quick response and help! ^_^


    7 years ago on Introduction

    What about high alititude? That can change recipes. It's 6100 feet above sea level here in southern Colorado. About 1.8 km above sea level if I didn't mess up my math.