Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gluten Free “Cinnamon Roll” Tapioca Bread

One of my families favorite foods is Brazilian cheese bread. It’s so good and the recipe is really versatile. If you’ve been a long-time reader, you know I rarely deal with lots of crazy gluten free flours. I prefer to have one big bag of Grandpa’s Kitchen Gluten Free Flour mix (which already has the xantham gum mixed in) and some tapioca flour. I can basically make everything I care to make with those two things (I don’t do a ton of specialty gluten free treats. It costs more and it’s healthier to just stay away from all of the carbs and sugar anyway).

When I make something with the gluten free flour mix, I hoard it all for myself. Even though the mix I use is a good price as far as gluten free flours go, it’s still pricey enough that I don’t love to share it with people who don’t need gluten free. On the other hand, tapioca flour can be purchased in bulk and isn’t a bad price at all. Because of that, I gladly share the Brazilian cheese bread when I make it.

I love adding new spices to the cheese bread each time I make it. I’ll add extra garlic, try different cheese, put parsley in, and once made pizza ones with spinach, pizza seasonings and cut up pepperoni (we dipped them in pizza sauce).

Back at the beginning of September, when I was 8+ months pregnant with my cute little Emma, I craved carbs and sweets big time! I especially wanted a cinnamon roll. Problem was, I had run out of my GF flour and didn’t want to run to the store for more. I was making some of the cheese bread for dinner that night (great as a side for cheesy brocolli cauliflower soup) and I had an idea. Why not try to turn this recipe into a dessert recipe?

So I tried it, and it worked!

Now I’m not going to say that these are the most amazing dessert I’ve ever had and everyone should try them because they’re not. But I really enjoyed them and they fixed my craving.

I took a picture of my changes so I wouldn’t forget them:IMG_7135

Here’s what you do:

Gluten Free “Cinnamon Roll” Tapioca Bread


  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 T cinnamon
  • Optional: 2/3 cups pecans
  • 2 beaten eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Pour butter, water, milk, and salt into a large saucepan, and place over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat immediately, and stir in tapioca flour, sugar and cinnamon until smooth. Set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Stir the nuts and eggs into the tapioca mixture until well combined, the mixture will be chunky like cottage cheese. Drop rounded balls of mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet (any size you want, from popper size to cookie size).
  4. Bake until tops are lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.

Ready to bake:


All done:IMG_7142IMG_7143

Of course, they need icing to truly make them like cinnamon rolls. I found this icing recipe from allrecipes to dip them in.



  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk

  • Directions:

  • Stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk.

  • I softened (aka melted) my butter a little too much, so it was more runny than frostingy, but I liked it that way. I dipped the “cinnamon rolls” in rather than frosting them. You can do either.


    Yummy and actually quite addicting!IMG_7145

    Now remember, these are made with tapioca flour. Brazilian cheese bread is supposed to have a rubbery texture inside and so these do, too. Make them smaller if you don’t love the rubbery texture on a dessert recipe like this. I don’t mind it. I thought they were really good!

    If you take this simple base recipe and a little creativity, you could come up with a lot of great new treats, savory or sweet!

    Base Recipe for Tapioca Bread


    • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1/2-1 tsp salt (1/2 for sweet, 1 for savory)
    • 2 cups tapioca flour
    • seasonings of any kind
    • 2/3 cups something with substance (cheese, nuts, etc… depending on what you’re going for)
    • 2 beaten eggs

    I’m thinking I really need to try some sort of a pumpkin treat using this base recipe. Yum… pumpkin…

    I think I know what I’m going to do today. Smile

    Give this a try and let me know what you think! And if you come up with any other great recipes using this base recipe, be sure to let me know!


    P.S. Tapioca flour can be purchased in bulk at places like Winco and Whole Foods. If you’re worried about cross-contamination in the bins, ask the manager if you can get a new bag.


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