Need a fun new breakfast side or snack? These easy pão de queijo, or grain-free Brazilian cheese buns, are whipped up in a blender or food processor and perfect for a bite-sized snack! Bake up a batch and watch them disappear…

Grain-Free Brazilian Cheese Buns.

Pão de queijo literally means “cheese buns” in Portuguese, and that’s exactly what they are. Small, chewy, cheesy buns. And in all seriousness, if you’re gonna eat savory things, what better than cheese buns? Talk about the ultimate comfort food. In Brazil, pão de queijo are a popular snack and breakfast food. 

As one who’s been gluten-free for the past 12 years, I can attest to the rarity of finding any sort of bread recipe that is originally gluten-free. It’s practically unheard of (other than corn tortillas). But due to the use of the lack of wheat flour and the abundance of cassava in the 1700’s Brazil, these delicious little grain-free Brazilian cheese buns were born. The most traditional recipe uses cassava flour, oil, eggs, milk, salt, and cheese, and I really don’t stray much from that in this recipe!

pan of brazilian cheese buns

The ingredients.

Eggs. Even though this recipe only uses one egg, I have not tried any egg substitutions here. I think they probably would work, but would definitely yield a different texture than pão de queijo usually would have. If that doesn’t bother you, go for a sub! I would start trying a flax egg sub, and then maybe applesauce, though that would also change the flavor quite a bit.

Oil. The oil for these grain-free Brazilian cheese buns is not very specific. Most of the recipes I looked at when brainstorming usually just called for “oil” or vegetable oil, which I am not about to use. Friends don’t let friends use vegetable oil! For my recipe, I use extra virgin olive oil. You can probably use butter or coconut oil, though they would change the taste a little, or avocado oil. Avocado oil would be my go-to sub if you don’t have evoo on hand or can’t use it for some reason.

Milk. I just use whatever milk I have on hand for these cheese buns. They’re not dairy-free, but if you can handle cheese and not milk, I have used coconut milk for these and they still turn out great! I’ve even just used water and they’re still find, though have a little less taste.

stack of brazilian cheese buns

Flour. Cassava flour all the way, baby! When I first started baking with cassava, I was rather annoyed at how everything turned out chewier than I wanted (I learned how to remedy that, don’t worry). But for these little grain-free Brazilian cheese buns, chewy is just what you want! Cassava flour is the perfect texture for them!

If you don’t want to use up all your precious cassava flour on the little buns, you can use half cassava and half tapioca starch or arrowroot powder. The texture changes slightly, but they’re still deliciously chewy.

Cheese. Most of the traditional recipes I read use a combination of hard cheeses like Parmesan or grana padano, and soft fresh cheese like queso fresco or mozzarella cheese. Of those, I only ever have mozzarella on hand, so I have experimented with different combinations of that with white cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, and pepper jack. I’ve also tried all mozzarella and all cheddar. For these photos I used half mozzarella and half extra sharp cheddar, but my favorite combo is white cheddar and mozzarella.

More grain-free breakfast bread options.

Easy grain-free Brazilian cheese buns from Raia's Recipes.

In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!

Easy Pão de Queijo

Free from grain, gluten, and refined sugar.

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice (raw milk or coconut milk work)
  • 1 1/2 cups cassava flour
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a mini muffin tin well or line it with paper liners. Set aside.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until combined.

Scoop heaping spoonfuls of batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each place to the rim.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove cheese buns from muffin tin to wire rack to cool.

Raias Recipes - https://raiasrecipes.com

brazilian cheese bun with a bite