While heated argument rages over what constitutes a dumpling, let’s push some boundaries with this recipe that is well loved around our home. They’re baked balls of dough, round, tasty – are they dumplings?

Pão de queijo

Translation: “Bread of cheese”

Thank you to my partner’s Brazilian mother, who has provided us with this scrumptious recipe. Though the recipe has been ‘Aussified’ due to the difficulty of getting the traditional ingredients, it still makes for a tasty starter or snack.

pão de queijo


  • 500 g tapioca starch
  • 200 g grated cheddar
  • 200 g grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp margarine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Combine tapioca starch, cheeses, margarine and salt in a mixing bowl. Rub together with fingers until loose.
  3. Add eggs and mix together with hands.
  4. Add milk gradually until a firm, moist dough is formed.
  5. Roll into balls and place onto a greased baking tray. Cook in the oven for 12 minutes or until lightly brown.
  6. Cook for approximately 12 minutes.

Try adding chives or aniseed for a slightly different twist.

*Important note: if you happen to be making a copy of this recipe, perhaps to pass onto a friend, please don’t forget the tilda over the word pão. I had this recipe published once and somewhere in the process this tiny symbol was lost. I’ve been told that pao is a slang word for dick. And nobody wants a dick of cheese. Trust me.


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