Gluten free Brazilian cheese bread

Have you ever had Brazilian cheese bread? Brazilian cheese bread is easy to make, full of cheesy flavor, and naturally gluten free! That is because Brazilian cheese bread is made with tapioca flour rather than wheat-based flour. In addition to being gluten free, this recipe for Brazilian cheese bread is egg free, nut free, and vegetarian friendly. 

This recipe for gluten free Brazilian cheese bread is one of my absolute favorite snacks to pop in the oven when I am craving something cheesy. It also freezes incredibly well so it is a great option if you like to meal prep and freeze leftovers for later. 

Fully cooked gluten free Brazilian cheese bread.

What is Brazilian cheese bread made of

What is this gluten free Brazilian cheese bread made of? Here are the main ingredients in this gluten free Brazilian cheese bread recipe.

  • Tapioca flour. Tapioca flour is the main ingredient in this recipe for Brazilian cheese bread. Tapioca starch is lighter and fluffier than regular all purpose flour and it produces a dough that is chewier than regular flour. There are not many types of flour that work great as a replacement for tapioca flour. If you are having trouble finding tapioca flour in stores you can pick up some up online.
  • Parmesan cheese. We use parmesan cheese in this recipe because of the sharp, nutty taste of parmesan cheese. The parmesan cheese adds a whole lot of cheesy flavor to the cheese bread. Make sure to grab a vegetarian friendly brand of parmesan cheese if you are a vegetarian.
  • Mozzarella cheese. Mozzarella cheese is used in conjunction with parmesan cheese to improve the texture of the Brazilian cheese bread. The mozzarella cheese melts perfectly and helps to ensure that the cheese bread comes out with the perfect amount of chewiness.
  • Heavy cream. Heavy cream is the main liquid that is used in this recipe. If you do not have heavy cream, you can also use light cream or whole milk. We recommend using heavy cream if possible to give the gluten free Brazilian cheese bread an extra creamy flavor.
  • Sour cream. The tanginess of the sour cream provides a nice contrast to the richness of the heavy cream and nuttiness of the parmesan cheese. Brazilian cheese bread is traditionally made with sour cassava flour, which is a close relative of tapioca flour that has a tangy flavor to it. We use tapioca flour in this recipe because it is much easier to find in the United States, but the addition of the sour cream preserves the slight tanginess of the dish.
  • Vegetable oil. A little bit of vegetable oil is added to this recipe for gluten free Brazilian cheese bread. Many recipes for Brazilian cheese bread or pao de queijo use olive oil rather than a neutral oil such as vegetable oil. We find that the strong flavor of olive oil detracts from the intended cheesy flavor of the gluten free Brazilian cheese bread so we stick with vegetable oil.
  • Garlic powder. A little bit of garlic powder is added to this gluten free Brazilian cheese bread to finish it off. The garlic powder enhances the taste of the parmesan cheese rather than making the cheese bread taste like garlic. We use Spicely garlic powder because it is certified gluten free.

What shape is Brazilian cheese bread

What shape should Brazilian cheese bread be? Brazilian cheese bread usually comes in small, bite sized pieces. The exact shape of the cheese bread can vary depending on the consistency of the dough that is used to make the cheese bread. Recipes that are more dry and do not have a lot of liquid in them will make cheese bread that maintains a round shape while it is cooked. Recipes that are more loose and have more liquid in them will generally make cheese bread that flattens into more of an oval shape as it cooks. 

Uncooked gluten free Brazilian cheese bread on a baking sheet.

Tips for making round cheese bread

Do you want to make cheese bread that is nice and round? Here are our tips for making round cheese bread. 

  • Add more tapioca flour if the uncooked dough flattens. You can generally tell whether your cheese bread is going to come out nice and round based on what happens if you roll a ball of uncooked dough and let it sit out on the table for a few minutes. If the uncooked cheese bread starts to flatten then the cooked cheese bread will almost certainly continue to flatten. If the uncooked bread maintains a nice, spherical shape then your cooked cheese bread will likely maintain the same shape. You can roll one ball of dough out and use it as a tester to see if your dough needs more flour. If the ball starts to flatten then you should mix it back in with the rest of the dough and add more flour 1 tbsp at a time until the dough maintains a spherical shape. 
  • Lightly dust the outside of the cheese bread in tapioca flour. If you dust the outside of your cheese bread with just a little bit of tapioca flour before you cook it, then your cheese bread will be more likely to maintain a round shape. Dusting the outside of the bread with tapioca flour dries out the surface of the cheese bread faster so that the surface of the bread cooks through and holds the rest of the cheese bread in place. Do not use too much tapioca flour or your bread will have a thick powdery coating on the outside when it is done cooking. 
  • Freeze the uncooked cheese bread. Putting your cheese bread in the freezer for 20 – 30 minutes before you cook it might help it maintain a nice, round shape when you cook it. I will caveat this tip by saying that I do not do this so I do not know whether this will affect the cook time of the Brazilian cheese bread. However, it is a tip I see thrown around sometimes. I figured I would bring it up in case any of you find it helpful!

How to make cheese bread uniform in color?

If you look at the images of the gluten free Brazilian cheese bread in this article, you will see that there are bright orange spots on the outside of the Brazilian cheese bread. These spots are actually patches of cheese that have darkened as the cheese bread cooks. 

How do you make Brazilian cheese bread that is uniform in color? Brazilian cheese bread will be more uniform in color if your cheese is fully melted and incorporated into the dough. There are two things you can do to ensure the cheese melts – use warm cream and use a cheese that melts well. If you boil the heavy cream before you add it to the cheese bread then the cream will melt the cheese. If you substitute some extra mozzarella in for some of the parmesan cheese, the cheese will also melt better. This is because mozzarella cheese melts much better than parmesan cheese. 

Gluten free Brazilian cheese bread

This delicious Brazilian cheese bread is gluten free, vegetarian friendly, and egg free.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Brazilian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegetarian
Servings: 12 cheese breads


  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy creamy
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (vegetarian parmesan style cheese)
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix all of the ingredients other than the tapioca flour and the cheese in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the tapioca flour to the mixing bowl. Due to the starchiness of tapioca flour, it is much easier to add the tapioca flour to the liquid ingredients than the other way around.
  • Add the cheese to the dough and knead until the cheese is thoroughly incorporated.
  • Take balls of dough that are 1 - 2 inches in diameter and put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake the gluten free brazilian cheese bread for 20 - 25 minutes at 400 degrees. The cheese bread is done when it starts to lightly brown.

Substitutions for Brazilian cheese bread

  • Tapioca flour. There are not many good replacements for tapioca flour. Breads that are made with tapioca flour have a nice chewiness to them that breads that are made with other types of flour lack. That being said, you can try using cassava flour or sour cassava flour rather than tapioca flour. Cassava flour is made from the root of the cassava plant just like tapioca flour. The difference is that tapioca flour is made with the starchy part of the cassava root whereas cassava is made from the entirety of the cassava root. 
  • Heavy cream. If you do not have heavy cream then you can use light cream or whole milk rather than heavy cream. 
  • Garlic powder. If you do not have garlic powder then you can omit the garlic powder from the gluten free Brazilian cheese bread. 

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