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ATK Kids

Make Pão de Queijo, a Cheesy Brazilian Roll

They’re cheesy, stretchy, and naturally gluten free.
By Published Nov. 16, 2022

Eating gluten-free doesn’t have to mean missing out on great rolls at the dinner table, or settling for subpar gluten-free bread.

The answer to the conundrum? Pão de queijo—a cheesy, naturally gluten-free bread originating from Brazil and adapted by the ATK Kids team for The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs.

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These rolls have crunchy exteriors and uniquely chewy, stretchy centers. Instead of using flour like most baked goods, they take a different approach: tapioca starch. Tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) is made from cassava root (which is native to South America) that has been ground up into a powder. 

When combined with liquid, tapioca starch makes a gooey paste that can trap air and make baked goods rise in the oven—no gluten needed!  

Plus, who doesn’t love cheesy bread? We use a combination of extra-sharp cheddar cheese and Pecorino Romano to get the best balance of flavor. 

The lack of gluten means no kneading, rising, or shaping required either; just mix up the batter in a blender, pour it into a muffin tin, and pop them in the oven. It’s faster (and less messy) than making traditional flour-based dinner rolls. But one crucial tip: Add the tapioca starch to the blender last, or the mixture will turn the consistency of glue before you blend it.

The finished product is so delightfully cheesy and stretchy that even family members who can have gluten might find themselves reaching for one.

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