5 Ingredients or Fewer


June 15, 2011
5 Ratings
  • Serves 10
Author Notes

I come from a Brazilian State named Minas Gerais. It is one of the major producer of coffee in Brazil and most of my relatives plant coffee. If you go to England, you will enjoy the tradition of having a cup of tea. But if you go to Minas Gerais, you will appreciate a delicious cup of coffee, made only with freshly harvested grains. This is an especial tradition that unites people around the table not only to drink coffee, but also to have a “Quitanda”. “Quitanda” is a collection of divine treats like polenta cake, Brazilian cheese bread, cream biscuit, and sequilhos. My grandma has a lot of passion for making these treats and then gets together friends and family at her home. It was a great pleasure for her baking and rejoices people, and we also could see that. The treat that most represents this passion are the sequilhos. Besides its wonderful flavor, it is gluten free and perfect for all kind of Tea Parties. These little sweet circles are made with sour tapioca flour, sugar, butter and eggs. The biggest surprise about this story is that my grandma, helped by my mother and aunts, also used to prepare the tapioca flour itself in the farm. Nothing was purchased in the market, making all the process extremely laborious.
Tapioca flour is made with cassava roots, which are widely used in Brazilian cuisine. Nowadays, it is very common to find tapioca flour in Asian and Brazilian markets, but in the past, each family had to prepare its own tapioca flour. My mother explained me how they used to make it. To obtain tapioca starch, they peeled and grinded the roots. The dough obtained was rinsed several times for the total extraction of the starch. With the process of decanting, the tapioca starch was separated from the water mixture. To get the sour type, the starch was maintained for a fermentation period and then dried in the sun. The sour type is considered a starch modified by oxidation, whose main characteristic is its expansion property without the use of leavening agents (baking powder or yeast).
Sequilhos are not difficult to make. You just have to mix all the ingredients together. This was the first time that I made sequilhos and I tried to make them with the same passion as my grandma. She used to flavor them with lemon zests but I made it different, I used coconut. The results were light and soft biscuits.

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups tapioca flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut
  1. Preheat the oven to 360°F
  2. Sift the sugar with the tapioca flour. Add remaining ingredients and work the dough with your hands until it forms a ball.
  3. Make the biscuits, as desired, and bake in moderate oven in a greased sheet pan about 10 minutes or until golden.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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8 Reviews

Elli3 April 28, 2020
The measures are wrong, this recipe doesn’t work out.
Elli3 April 28, 2020
The measures are wrong, this recipe doesn’t work out
Ingridjee P. June 22, 2019
Story. The recipe did not work for ne. The balls did not stay they melt into a pool even before going to oven. Tried to add more polvilho but nope. Now I out the mixture in the refrigerator to see if I can form anything. Maybe it is because as a good Brazilian I used the real thing? Polvilho azedo? I hate to throw it away.
creamtea November 18, 2011
Beautiful story lulu, a babysitter of mine was also from Minas Gerais & grew up on a farm. I owe 2 recipes contributed on the site to her! Wish she'd made these!
Poppi June 28, 2011
My 2 year old daughter saw the picture and is now begging for the circle cookies. I can't eat coconut, is there anything I could substitute in it's place?
nogaga June 25, 2011
Beautiful picture and gorgeous headnote! I'm going to try making these, with store-bought flour...
boulangere June 16, 2011
"Sequihlos are not difficult to make." Not if one doesn't have to first make the tapioca flour! What a beautiful story, and thank you for sharing it.
dymnyno June 15, 2011
I love the name...they look like the name! I am excited about trying this recipe. Thanks for the story and history of the ingredients and the connection with your family.