Extra Puffy Brazilian Cheese Puffs! (Pão De Queijo)

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Extra Puffy Brazilian Cheese Puffs, Quirky Cooking

We love it when my sister Joye comes over and makes us Brazilian Cheese Puffs!! 😍 They never last long unless I hide some, so she usually makes a double batch, and we keep half the batter in the fridge for the following day. They are the BEST hot out of the oven, sliced open and slathered with butter… YUM!!!! But they’re also great cold, and since they are nut free they make the perfect lunchbox filler.

Extra Puffy Cheese Puffs, Quirky Cooking

There’s plenty of recipes for cheese puffs out there, but Joye’s always seem to rise better than the others I’ve tried (sometimes they rise CRAZY high, as you can see above!!), and they don’t deflate as they cool due to her method of chilling the batter really well before baking, and cooking for longer than most other recipes I’ve seen.

Extra Puffy Cheese Puffs, Quirky Cooking

These cheese puffs have a deliciously crunchy crust and are soft and stretchy inside… soooooo good!! I asked her if I could share her recipe and she said I could, so here it is. ❤️ Thanks Joye!

Extra Puffy Cheese Puffs, Quirky Cooking
Sometimes they turn out more like ‘cheese monsters’!! Which is also awesome. 😂😂

This recipe is gluten free, grain free and nut free. I haven’t tried using a dairy free cheese substitute, but if you try it, let us know how you go! My recommendation for those who are dairy free is the dairy free version of the Fat Bomb Muffins in our Life-Changing Food Cookbook.


Extra Puffy Brazilian Cheese Puffs! (Pão De Queijo)

Extra Puffy Brazilian Cheese Puffs, Quirky Cooking

Thanks to my sister, Joye, for this AWESOME version of an old favourite! Deliciously crusty outside, soft and stretchy inside, and the perfect vehicle for butter (if you’re a butter addict like me!!) 😀 Gluten free, grain free, and nut free. 

  • Author: QuirkySister


200g cheddar cheese, or a mixture of cheddar and parmesan
200g milk of choice
100g olive oil or melted butter
1 tsp sea salt
300g tapioca starch, or arrowroot
3 large eggs
extra olive oil or butter for greasing tins, or paper muffin cups


Thermomix Method:

Cut cheese into 2cm cubes and grate in Thermomix 8 sec/speed 8. Remove from bowl and set aside.

Place milk, oil and salt into Thermomix bowl and heat 5 mins/90C/speed 1.

Add tapioca starch and mix to combine, 20 sec/speed 6.

Allow to cool for 20 mins or so.

Add eggs and cheese and mix 20sec/speed 6.

Place mixture into a large bowl and set in the fridge or freezer to completely cool and become firm (at least 30 mins in freezer, or 1 hour in fridge – can be left a day or two in fridge in a sealed container).

Meanwhile, prepare a 12 hole muffin tin by greasing with some olive oil or butter, or line muffin tin with paper liners. 

Preheat oven to 200C.

Scoop out cold mixture into muffin cups with an ice cream scoop or large dessert spoon, so the cups are approx 3/4 filled with a rounded top. (Mixture will be very stiff and even have a dry, crusty layer – that’s fine, the crusty bits will melt and they will cook perfectly.)

Bake for 25 mins, or until golden brown and crunchy on the outside. Make sure they are firm to touch before removing from oven, so they don’t fall. To make them even crunchier on the outside, you can turn off oven, leave door a little ajar, and leave them there for another 10-15 mins.

Serve hot for super crunchy outside and chewy inside! (I love to split them open and slather with butter… mmmmm!!)


Conventional Method:

Grate cheese and set aside.

Heat together milk, oil and salt in a saucepan on the stovetop for about 5 mins at med-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Add tapioca starch and mix to combine, then cool mixture for 20 mins or so.

Add eggs and cheese and mix well. Place into fridge or freezer so mixture is completely cold before continuing with recipe above.


Keep batter in fridge for up to 3 days. Keep baked puffs in a sealed container/bag in the fridge for up to a week, or in freezer for a month or so. They’re yummy served cold but will be chewy, not crunchy on the outside. Leftover puffs can be halved, turned upside down, and heated in hot grill to bring back the crunch! 


If you’re looking for a grain free, nut free, dairy free savoury muffin that is similar, try the nut free, dairy free version of the Fat Bomb Muffins in our Life-Changing Food cookbook! They are delicious too!!


  1. Sonja says:

    Sounds yummy. Does it have to be Tapioca starch or does potato or corn starch work as well? thx.

  2. Deanne Cumming says:

    Could you use Coconut flour instead of tapioca or arrowroot? Trying to limit carb intake

  3. Deanne Cumming says:

    Or Almond flour?

  4. Liza says:

    Hi, how many muffin-sized puffs does this make? They look delicious 🙂

  5. Cathy says:

    Made these tonight, using coconut milk. I decided to make them at the last minute so i didn’t chill them, but they still turned out extra puffy and nice and crusty on the outside. Absolutely delicious!

  6. S says:

    Hi can you make tapioca starch out of blitzed tapioca? Thanks

  7. Amy says:

    I am hoping to make this recipe x 4 for a party. Can several trays go into an oven without impacting the batter? Can I double the mixture? Any other tips?… 🙂

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Yes to several trays in oven, just make a few batches of the batter and chill well then bake all at once! Will need to make each batch separately if using Thermomix, or it won’t fit. 🙂

  8. Temperance says:

    I tried this recipe with almond milk and cashew cheese. They didn’t puff up as much but they were still delicious!
    Thank you!

  9. Alex says:

    Should I reduce oven temp for fan forced?

  10. Adele Wilter says:

    Could you use guar gum instead of the tapioca?

  11. Kellie says:

    I made these today and they tasted amazing, my daughter was q big fan too!! But my batter was very clumpy. Should it have more of a smooth texture?

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Did you use a Thermomix to blend it or a food processor? I found that in a food processor you end up with a more lumpy batter as it doesn’t blend as smooth and it doesn’t rise quite as high. But it should still be just as good.

  12. Katherine Mackay says:

    Thank you so much Jo and your sister for this amazing recipe! Only trouble is I can’t stop eating them.

  13. Lisa says:

    These are delicious, a bit hit in our household and so versatile with different meals. Great option to have in the freezer.
    Thanks ladies once again on a winner xx

  14. Amy Chung says:

    This looks amazing! I love the saltiness of the parmesan so definitely going to include that when I try this recipe on the weekend!

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