EASY! Gluten-Free Cheese Bread Rolls

These Cheese Bread Rolls are incredibly addictive. Crisp on the outside and chewy and cheesy in the middle. They are made with tapioca flour so are naturally gluten-free.

Cheese rolls on a wire rack on a wooden table

This is the easiest and most addictive gluten-free cheese bread recipe you will find. These rolls take just 30 minutes from grabbing the ingredients to munching on one warm from the oven. And there is no way you will stop at just the one.

Here’s what you need to know

  • These cheese bread rolls are based on a Brazilian recipe called Pão de Queijo.
  • The only flour used here is tapioca flour so the recipe is totally gluten and grain free.
  • They are made in the blender!
  • 5 minutes to blend and 20 minutes to bake.
  • So little washing up required!!
  • Be warned – they are addictive.

Cheese Rolls on a wire rack and one being pulled apart to show cheesy inside

I’ve been baking up batches of these rolls for a few years ago, ever since my market stall days. My cake stall was next door to a Brazilian bakery stall and they sold mounds and mound of these gorgeous rolls. Mainly to me!! I used to buy a big bag for snacking on over the course of the day. Gluten-free offerings at the market were in short supply in those days (except for the amazing cake stall of course!)

When I changed markets and lost my cheese roll supplier I was devastated and resolved to learn how to make them myself. Well, over the past few years I have really perfected the recipe and made sure they take no more than 30 minutes to make from getting out the ingredients to enjoying one straight out of the oven.

ingredients for cheese bread rolls in blender

What ingredients do you need?

  • Tapioca Flour
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

What cheese do you use?

You can use 120g of any cheese you’ve got to hand. Here we use mozzarella for extra chew and cheddar for a deep cheesy taste.
You can use anything though. All cheddar, or feta for a bit of tang, gruyere for melty nuttiness or even blue cheese.

How do you make them?

  1. Weigh out all the ingredients straight into your blender and blend.ingredients for cheese bread rolls in blender cheese roll batter in the blender
  2. Pour into a lightly greased muffin tin.batter for cheese rolls in a muffin tin
  3. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Eat warm straight out of the oven.

Cheese Roll being pulled apart to show cheesy inside

Oooh, that ooey gooey cheesiness. So good!!!

Baker’s Tip!

Place your blender jug on the digital scales and measure your ingredients straight into the jug then there is just that and your muffin tin to wash up. So easy.

Don’t have any digital scales? I seriously recommend you get some. They are an essential kitchen appliance which makes baking so much easier and so much more accurate. Plus – they are super cheap!!

See this post for why you should weigh your ingredients rather than measuring with cups.

How do you eat these cheese rolls?

These rolls are a perfect snack warm from the oven, on their own as they are. They are ridiculously addictive.

However… I learned this from a local chef. If you bake them up nice and big then you can make burger rolls out of them. Now this, my friends, is the greatest dinner invention in the world! You must try it!

This recipe makes 4 burger rolls if you divide the batter into 10cm tart tins to bake.

Burger in a cheese roll with plenty of garnishings

FAQs

How long do the cheese rolls keep? Eat the rolls straightaway out of the oven, or at least the same day. If you keep any longer you will need to refresh them in the oven (see below)

Can you reheat? Yes! Re-heat in an oven for 10 minutes at 190°C/ 170°C fan/ gas mark 5.

These Gluten-Free Cheese Bread Rolls are really quick and easy to make, unfortunately even quicker and easier to eat and I really encourage you to give them a go whether you’re gluten-free or not. I cannot stress how good they are.

Cheese Bread Rolls on a wire rack on a wooden table

If you like this recipe then you may like…

Juciest Burgers

The Ultimate Guide to Tapioca Flour

Gluten-Free Irish Soda Bread

Gluten-Free Naan Bread

If you make these Easy Gluten-Free Cheese Bread Rolls then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Easy Gluten-Free Cheese Bread Rolls

These Cheese Bread Rolls are crisp on the outside, chewy in the middle and utterly irresistible. They are made with tapioca flour so are naturally gluten-free.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Brazilian
Servings: 9 rolls
Calories: 212kcal

Ingredients

  • 240 g tapioca flour
  • 180 ml whole milk
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 egg medium
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 80 g mozzarella cheese cubed
  • 40 g cheddar cheese cubed

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 190°C/ 170°C fan/ gas mark 5.
  • Grease 9 holes of a standard muffin tin.
  • Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into 9 muffin tin holes, filling almost to the top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
  • Remove the rolls from the tins straightaway onto a cooling rack.
  • The rolls are delicious eaten directly from the oven.

Notes

  • You can place your blender jug on the scales and weigh all the ingredients directly into the blender. It makes for very low key washing up when you're done.
  • The rolls are best eaten straightaway but are good up to a day.
  • If you can’t manage all the rolls within the day then keep in an airtight tin and re-heat in an oven for 10 minutes at 190°C/ 170°C fan/ gas mark 5.

Nutrition

Calories: 212kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 50mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 163IU | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 1mg

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake {without xanthan gum}

This Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake is deliciously fluffy, light and moist. It is filled and covered with a dreamy vanilla swiss meringue buttercream and is the cake you will turn to time and time again when you need a simple yet stunning vanilla layer cake. And guess what?? No xanthan gum. We just use the most delicious alternative flours for a gluten-free white cake with perfect texture and taste.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

The vanilla layer cake is such an important cake to master as not only should the cake shine in its own right but it is also the building block through which many other celebration cakes can be made.

  • change the buttercream to chocolate and you have a perfect chocolate vanilla birthday cake.
  • add some lemon or orange zest to the sponge and buttercream and you have a gorgeous citrus cake.
  • Add chopped nuts to the batter, chocolate chips or even sprinkles for a funfetti cake.

Your basic vanilla cake is where it all starts.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

Why is this Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake so brilliant?

  • It’s the perfect gluten-free birthday cake or any other kind of celebration.
  • Light fluffy texture – no claggy, dry sponge here. This has the perfect balance of moist and gentle bounce.
  • This cake holds together beautifully, giving lovely even slices that do not crumble when it sees a knife.
  • Taste – of course it’s thanks to the vanilla but also our specially selected gluten-free flours. Let’s make our alternative flours do double duty of taste and texture here!
  • Also no fancy techniques. Once you’ve whisked together our chosen flours then the cake proceeds the same as any cake. Creaming the butter and sugar, adding the eggs and vanilla then beating in our flour blend. Easy.
  • No xanthan gum! 

READ MORE >>> Why I Don’t Bake with Xanthan Gum

So what’s the secret to the best Vanilla Cake?

Let me tell you… it’s our choice of gluten-free flours. We don’t use a branded supermarket gluten-free flour but blend our own choice of alternative flours. It’s the best way to bake gluten-free then you have total control over the ingredients. And you don’t even need xanthan gum.

Gluten-Free Flours

We only need three gluten-free flours for this beautifully white cake, to make it as accessible as possible, keep costs down and our larder more streamlined.

  1. Sweet Rice Flour – It’s used here for the best texture. Also called glutinous rice flour it has a unique sticky texture that binds the ingredients together and gives great structure and bounce to the cake (you cannot substitute regular rice flour here as they are totally different). Sweet rice flour is not super available in the UK but it’s easy to buy off Amazon.
  2. Gluten-Free Oat Flour – A delicious flour that gives a toasty buttery flavour to enhance the vanilla. It has a lovely fluffy light texture. Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy on Amazon. Or you can even make your own – there’s all the info on how to do that in this Ultimate Guide to Oat Flour. If you are intolerant to oat flour you can substitute for sorghum flour. 
  3. Tapioca Flour – a starchy flour which alleviates some of the density of the sweet rice flour and bakes up beautifully, giving the sponge a gorgeous golden colour. It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. You can often find 100g pots of Doves Farm Tapioca Flour in the supermarket but it’s quite costly and doesn’t give you very much. You can find more varied brands in health food shops in bags of about 500g or you can buy online.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

How to make a Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

(more detailed instructions in recipe card below)

  1. Beat together the sugar and butter until pale, light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time.
  3. Whisk together the whole milk and vanilla extract and set aside.
  4. Whisk together sweet rice flour, oat flour, tapioca flour, baking powder and sea salt in a large bowl.
  5. Add the flour mix along with the milk and mix until just combined.
  6. Divide between 2 round cake tins and bake for 45 minutes.

Pro baking tips

  • In any vanilla cake, gluten-free or not, the quality of your ingredients is absolutely key. Do use the best unsalted butter and whole milk from a local dairy if you can, the freshest eggs from the happiest chickens.
  • Always use the best vanilla extract (never essence) that you can afford. Nielsen Massey is my favoured brand.
  • Use room temperature butter and eggs.
  • Beat the butter and sugar for about 6 minutes, scraping down the sides a couple of times. This is how your cake will be beautifully fluffy.
  • Break eggs into a separate bowl before adding. Then you’re not fishing shell out of your cake batter. It also means you can spot if one of your eggs is bad – although this is a very rare occurrence. 
  • Add the flour mix alternately with the milk – a few spoonfuls at a time – this ensures it is all evenly mixed.
  • After it has baked check for doneness by inserting a clean cocktail stick or skewer. It should come out clean with no wet batter.
  • Leave the sponges for 5 minutes to rest in their tins before sliding a palette knife around the edges and turning out carefully onto cooling racks.
  • Always leave to cool completely before covering with buttercream.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This buttercream is light as air, dreamy as a cloud and buttery as hell. If you have never made or tasted swiss meringue buttercream then you will be transported.

The method sounds more intimidating than the practice. But don’t be in fear of it, once you have dabbled in the delights of swiss meringue buttercream then you will never look back.

How to make it

  1. Heat egg whites and caster sugar in a double boiler, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved the temperature has reached 71°C.
  2. Remove from the heat and pour into a stand mixer. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks and the temperature has lowered to about 32°C.
  3. Then on a low speed beat the butter in one cube at a time until it’s totally incorporated. 
  4. Add the salt and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Tips for SMB

  • SMB is incredibly forgiving and if you are worried that it has broken at any stage it can always be rescued (about 95% of the time). 
  • If you are new to the SMB party then use a sugar thermometer so you know exactly when to move onto the next step of the process.
  • Any problems with the buttercream are usually down to certain ingredients being the wrong temperature – don’t worry, we can fix it! – The problems will always seem to arise when you add the butter.
  • The butter should be at room temperature – just slightly soft.
  • If you are doing everything right then when you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  • If when you add the butter the buttercream turns to soup then your butter was too warm. Place the whole mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes then try mixing it again.
  • If the butter is too cold then it won’t whip nicely into the egg whites. The mixture will seem greasy and the butter won’t incorporate. Put the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, when the butter melts at the edges, remove and beat it up again.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table with little boy in background

Recommended Equipment

  • Stand Mixer – The Kitchenaid is definitely my choice for the ultimate stand mixer. It’s used everyday in my kitchen for all my cakes, bakes, buttercreams plus so many other savoury uses like making mayonnaise or whipping sauces.
  • 8 inch Round Cake Tins – These cake tins are what I always use. They have completely straight sides so your cakes will be beautifully neat, the anodised aluminium means the heat disperses evenly throughout the cake without cooking the sides too quickly, which some darker cake tins do. The cakes slip out of the tins easily and they come in all the sizes you would need, although typically I use the 8 inch tins.
  • Cooling Racks – These are actually really useful as they are nice and high which allow more air to get to your cakes to cool quickly. Plus the cooling cakes take up less room on your kitchen counter if they stack up.
  • Sugar Thermometer – this thermometer is the best way of checking those temperatures when you’re making the buttercream. If you want to temper chocolate or make fudge or other sugary treats then this tool will be invaluable to you.
  • Double Boiler – I use this double boiler for everything – it’s brilliant for melting chocolate.
  • Large Closed Star Piping Tip – This is the piping tip to use if you want to recreate those buttercream flowers
  • Large Flower Petal Piping Tip – This is the one to use if you want to recreate the leaves.
  • Recyclable Piping Bags – I get a huge pack of them as the worst thing is to get ready to ice your cake and discover you don’t have any piping bags left. I use these piping bags for everything from cupcakes to drizzling melted chocolate to piping a straight level of buttercream evenly over a whole layer cake. 
  • Small Offset Spatula – I love the control this spatula gives to smoothing down the sides of the cake.

slices of Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a wooden table

FAQs

  • This cake is suitable for freezing either before or after you have covered in buttercream for up to 3 months.
  • Keep the cake in the fridge if you are not serving it straightaway. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving.
  • You can use this recipe to make gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. This recipe makes enough for 18 cupcakes.

More Gluten-Free Vanilla Cakes

If you are looking for a more casual Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake perhaps you might like to try this Gluten-Free Victoria Sponge recipe. It’s an incredibly simple cake to whip up that uses regular gluten-free flour.

Or what about if you want to bake something up with the kids? Then these Gluten-Free Fairy Cakes are exactly the right recipe for you. So easy – especially for little helpers and such fun to decorate with them too.

If you make the Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which helps others find the recipe on Google. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake {without xanthan gum}

The Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake is made without xanthan gum and is deliciously fluffy, light and moist. It is filled and covered with a dreamy vanilla swiss meringue buttercream.
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 882kcal

Ingredients

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150 ml whole milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 160 g sweet rice flour
  • 140 g oat flour
  • 40 g tapioca flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 9 egg whites 270g
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 540 g unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan assisted oven/gas mark 3/320°F and line and grease 2 x round 8 inch cake tins.
  • Beat together the sugar and butter until pale, light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating on a low speed.
  • In a measuring jug whisk together the whole milk and vanilla extract and set aside for a moment.
  • Whisk together the flours, baking powder and sea salt in a large mixing bowl until completely combined.
  • Add the flour mix alternately with the milk, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed and mix until just combined.
  • Divide between the cake tins and bake for 45 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Heat egg whites and caster sugar in a bain marie, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature has reached 71°C.
  • Remove the egg whites and sugar from the heat and pour into a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
  • Change the attachment to a paddle attachment. On a low speed add the butter slowly cube by cube. When you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the frosting will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  • Add the salt and vanilla extract. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Assembly

  • Place one of the cake sponges on a cake board or cake stand.
  • If you are going to be piping the buttercream flowers and leaves then set aside a small amount of buttercream for that purpose.
  • Fill a piping bag with the rest of the buttercream. Snip the very top off the piping bag and pipe concentric circles around the top of the cake sponge. Use a small spatula to smooth so it creates an even layer of buttercream.
  • Place the second cake sponge on top of the buttercream then add another layer of buttercream.
  • Pipe the rest of the buttercream around the sides of the cake and use a spatula to smooth.
  • Decorate with piped buttercream flowers and leaves if you wish.

Notes

The Cake
  • Use the best quality ingredients you can and always use vanilla extract (never essence).
  • Use room temperature butter and eggs.
  • Beat the butter and sugar for about 6 minutes, scraping down the sides a couple of times. This is how your cake will be beautifully fluffy.
  • Break eggs into a separate bowl before adding.
  • Add the flour mix alternately with the milk to ensure it is all evenly mixed.
  • Check the cake is baked by inserting a clean cocktail stick or skewer. It should come out clean with no wet batter.
  • Leave the sponges for 5 minutes to rest in their tins
  • Always leave to cool completely before covering with buttercream.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  • Use a sugar thermometer so you know exactly when to move onto the next step of the process.
  • The butter should be at room temperature - just slightly soft.
  • If you are doing everything right then when you have almost added all the butter the mixture will look curdled. Do not fret – this is supposed to happen and just means you are nearly done. Just continue to add all the butter. Once the butter is totally incorporated the buttercream will miraculously become a smooth velvety consistency.
  • If when you add the butter the buttercream turns to soup then your butter was too warm. Place the whole mixing bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes then try mixing it again.
  • If the mixture seems greasy and the butter won’t fully mix in with the egg whites then the butter was too cold. Put the mixing bowl over a pan of simmering water, when the butter melts at the edges, remove and beat it up again.

Nutrition

Calories: 882kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 33g | Cholesterol: 192mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 192mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 71g | Vitamin A: 1695IU | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 0.9mg

The Ultimate Guide To Tapioca Flour


Tapioca flour is an incredibly useful starchy flour to have in your toolkit. It can be used as a thickener for sauces, pie fillings and gravies. It’s also an essential flour in gluten-free baking and gives an excellent crust and golden brown hue to your bakes.

Pin image which says The Ultimate Guide to Tapioca Flour

What is tapioca flour?

It is a light powdery flour ground from the dried starchy and tuberous root of the cassava plant which is native to South America. Tapioca flour is slightly different to cassava flour itself in that it is extracted from the starch of the cassava root whereas cassava flour is made from the entire root so is less processed. 

Along with sweet rice flour and oat flour, tapioca flour is one of the most useful gluten-free flours as it is invaluable in both everyday cooking and baking. I use a little here and a little there in my bakes and when making sauces so although it is a flour you may use often, you rarely need vast quantities of it.

What is the difference between tapioca flour and starch?

There is no difference and the names can be used interchangeably (unlike potato flour and potato starch).

Is it good for you?

It’s not the most healthy alternative flour you could choose as it’s made up of nearly all carbohydrates with little protein. However, it is a good source of iron and calcium so it’s not all bad.

We also can’t knock it for its incredible versatility in the kitchen.

an image showing tapioca flour on a board and in a mug

What is tapioca flour good for?

The main benefit is its thickening properties, due to the fact it absorbs and retains a high water content. When we remove gluten from our baking then one of the crucial elements that we lack is the binding properties of the gluten. Tapioca flour (similarly to sweet rice flour) is one of the ways we can mimic this binding and create bounce in our bakes. It saves our cakes from being a dry crumbly disaster.

Also, due to its light texture, it promotes springiness in your bakes. Tapioca flour also helps the browning of your baked goods and encouraging crusts to crisp, hence it is very useful when making pizza bases or pastry.

How can you use tapioca flour in gluten-free baking?

There is no protein in tapioca flour as it is a starch, like potato flour or cornflour. The starch helps mimic the binding properties of gluten and tapioca can be found in many commercial blends of gluten-free flour to aid in the structure and texture of bakes.

You can get the most out of tapioca flour in your baking by mixing it with whole grain or nut flours. A little goes a long way so it can be used judiciously but its role is by no means insignificant.

Best Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake on a cake stand on a wooden table

Can tapioca flour replace all purpose/plain flour?

It’s not a great 1:1 substitute for baking cakes or cookies as too much of it can cause bakes to go gummy. However, it can be used to replace flour on a 1:1 ratio when making sauces or gravies.

Is it good for frying?

Yes, it is. Since tapioca flour gives an excellent crust and also browns very well it’s great to use instead of all purpose flour as a coating for frying. I include it in my recipe for Crispy Salmon Nuggets to give a lovely golden hue to the coating of the salmon.

Close up of Salmon Nuggets on a plate with dipping sauce

Is tapioca flour better than cornflour (cornstarch)?

Tapioca and cornflour (cornstarch) are both starches and so perform similar functions. Tapioca flour definitely provides a smoother more velvety texture. However its slightly sweet flavour is a little more pronounced and gives more of a sticky bind than cornflour. In this Piccalilli recipe I use the best of both worlds when thickening the sauce for the best taste and texture.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

Brazilian Cheese Bread Rolls

Although as mentioned above tapioca flour isn’t a great gluten-free 1:1 flour, there is one particular bake in which tapioca flour shines. This recipe is certainly reason enough for stocking up on tapioca flour forever more. These Easy Gluten-Free Cheese Bread Rolls (also known as Brazilian Cheese Bread or Pão de Queijo) are incredible with tapioca flour as the main ingredient.

It highlights all the best qualities of tapioca flour. The bread rolls are crisp and golden on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside.

Brazilian Cheese Rolls {Pão de Queijo}

Looking for more uses for your tapioca flour?

Hey, why not try making your own tapioca pearls for bubble tea. It’s easier than you think.

Where can you buy tapioca flour

It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. You can often find 100g pots of Doves Farm Tapioca Flour in the supermarket but it’s quite costly and doesn’t give you very much. You can find more varied brands in health food shops in bags of about 500g. The cost depends entirely on the brand you purchase. 

BUY HERE >>> Gluten-Free Tapioca Flour

If you’ve loved learning about tapioca flour then you might like to view other posts in this series: