Gluten-Free Brazilian Cheese Bread (pão de queijo)

gluten free Brazilian cheese bread on a sheet pan just coming out of the oven

It's pretty rare that we ask for gluten-free bread when we're out to dinner because we know that they either won't have it, it will be chalky and dry, or it will have ingredients that I don't tolerate well. Well a couple of months ago we were out to dinner in Napa and the server offered us gluten-free bread to start. We asked what brand it was and she said it was made in house but was similar to Brazilian Cheese Bread. This Gluten-free Brazilian Cheese Bread is naturally grain-free and gluten-free so my eyes lit up and we said yes!!

We both eat some cheese now after cutting most dairy from our diets for many years. You can read about the types that I tolerate well in this post. The bread did not disappoint. In fact, Ryan asked for a second and third helping and took a few home to eat his leftover steak in between as a sandwich! haha!

He begged me to recreate the gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread at home, so after a half a dozen tester batches (which he didn't mind in the last bit!), I perfected it! This bread traditionally uses soured tapioca flour, but since I don't tolerate tapioca or cassava well, I make it with arrowroot. I tested it with both arrowroot and tapioca, and have to say I much prefer the arrowroot version, but you are welcome to sub in tapioca evenly as well!

For those who will ask if these can be made dairy-free – I will say – I may know my way around in the kitchen but I'm no wizard! 😉 The cheese is what creates the texture of these delicious, heavenly dough balls, so I would suggest trying one of my other grain-free and dairy-free biscuit recipes from my cookbooks instead!

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Watch my Full Step-by-Step Video Below

Gluten-Free Brazilian Cheese Bread (pão de queijo)



Cuisine: Brazilian

Category: Breads

PREP TIME: 11 mins

COOK TIME: 20 mins TOTAL TIME: 31 mins


  • 1/2 cup melted ghee
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (can shaken to combine fat and water)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 cups (about 245 grams) arrowroot powder*
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 180 grams)

* tapioca starch may be substituted in 1:1




  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine coconut milk, water, ghee, and vinegar in a small pot and place over medium-high heat. Bring to boil, whisking occasionally to incorporate the ghee and milk.
  3. Put the arrowroot powder and salt into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.
  4. Pour the hot milk mixture into the bowl over the arrowroot and mix on low until smooth. It will look stringy. Once the dough is close to room temperature, mix in the eggs once at a time, beating in between, until fully incorporated.
  5. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and mix until the batter thickens and is smooth, about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the cheese and beat just until combined.
  7. Scoop the dough out by large tablespoons or a cookie scoop and roll the dough between your hands to create a smooth ball. Place the dough on to the prepared baking sheets, spaced about an inch apart.
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden and puffed.
  9. Eat warm right away or let cool. Cool any leftover Pão de queijo to room temperature, then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a low oven before serving.

To freeze: scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, then freeze unbaked dough. Remove desired amount of rolls and bake from frozen at 400ºF for 30-35 minutes.

Keywords: gluten free, nut free, paleo, snacks, breads, vegetarian, Brazilian