Fogo de Chao Cheese Bread

There’s a restaurant I’ve been to a few times–the first time in Austin, Texas, and the second here in D.C. Both times I’ve fallen in love with what I’m not supposed to. Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian Steakhouse, or churrascaria, so the main attraction is supposed to be the meat. But because I have strong pastry inclinations, what I lust for is their cheese puffs, or pao de queijo. This recipe tastes EXACTLY like what they serve at Fogo.

These cheesy bread thingies are unique in that they use a special flour to give them a kind of super soft, chewy texture–almost like you’re biting into a hot mozzarella ball tucked into a warm bread shell.

And while these aren’t really desserts, I eat them at all hours of the day, before or after any meal. So go ahead, be semi-French and eat cheese for dessert 😉

* This recipe was adapted from one on and makes about one mini cupcake pan’s worth.


  • 1 mini muffin or mini cupcake pan

Ingredients: (you can find these ingredients in a specialty food store such as Whole Foods)

  • 2 cups Tapioca flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup Cotija cheese, grated + more for sprinkling (this is the Mexican equivalent of Parmesan)
  • 3/4 cup Queso Fresco (a wet, crumbly, mild white cheese)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the insides of your mini muffin/cupcake pan (spray Pam works just fine).

Bring the milk, salt and butter to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and SLOWLY add the tapioca flour, stirring constantly until thoroughly mixed.

Add the cheese, eggs, and sugar.

Knead the dough until smooth (I do this with disposable gloves because it’s super sticky!)

Form dough into balls from about 2 Tbl. worth, and place into cups.

Sprinkle Cotija on top of dough.

Bake until golden brown about 20 min. and eat while nice and hot.

(These can be saved in the fridge in a ziplock bag for about 2 weeks. To reheat, microwave on high about 40 seconds for 3 puffs)


2 thoughts on “Fogo de Chao Cheese Bread

  1. I just finished making these, the only difference is I only have Kraft Queso Blanco cheese, and kraft parmesan cheese. But I had eaten at Fogo de chao 2 weeks before making these and I could barley tell the difference, this recipe is Delicious!

  2. I keep meaning to go to Fogo de Chao but now I can at least eat some of their offerings from home, yummy! Plus my Brazilian relatives will be proud of me. Also, I linked to your blog on my blog 🙂

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