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Biscoito de maizena are Brazilian cornstarch cookies made with just 3 ingredients and no mixer! Also called sequilhos, these cookies have a light, melt-in-your-mouth texture and this version is completely vegan and gluten free!
Growing up in Brazil, biscoito de maizena were one of my favorite sweet treats! They have a soft and slightly crumbly texture and are a staple in most Brazilian households.
Sequilhos are the perfect cookie to pair with a cup of coffee or espresso, and they are made in just one bowl with no mixer!
The traditional version of these maizena cookies isn’t dairy free since it’s made using condensed milk and butter, but this vegan version uses vegan condensed milk and vegan butter, and still taste just how I remember them!
Why You'll Love These Biscoito de Maizena
- Biscoito de maizena are made with cornstarch instead of flour, which makes them naturally gluten free!
- You don’t need a mixer or any special equipment to make sequilhos - just a bowl, a spoon, and a fork. Some even like to mix the dough by hand!
- While traditionally these cookies are a no-no for people with dairy allergies like myself, this version has been adapted to be completely vegan!
- With 3 simple ingredients, they are ready in a flash.
- Cornstarch: Weighing the cornstarch is the best way to ensure accurate results for the recipe. Too much will make the cookies too crumbly (we want them soft with just a slight crumble), and not enough cornstarch will cause the cookies to spread.
- Vegan Butter/Margarine: Many recipes in Brazil actually use margarine instead of butter, so I recommend using a vegan butter that has a margarine-like consistency.
- Vegan Condensed Milk: I had mixed results with different vegan brands of condensed milk when testing this recipe. Nature’s Charm vegan condensed milk was the only one that gave me the authentic texture and flavor I was looking for.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step One: Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. Add vegan condensed milk and vegan butter to a large mixing bowl.
Step Two: Slowly add in the cornstarch. When you've added in most of it (you may not need all of it), use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together until a dough forms. If the dough seems too sticky, add in the remaining cornstarch.
Step Three: Roll the dough into 1 tablespoon-sized round balls and place them on the baking sheet. Use a fork to gently flatten the tops of the balls.
Step Four: Bake the biscoito de maizena for 10-14 minutes or until the edges and the bottoms are lightly browned (not too dark!). Do not over-bake, or else the cookies will be too crumbly.
FAQs and Expert Tips
What are biscoito de maizena?
The direct translation of biscoito de maizena is cornstarch cookies. They are also called sequilhos, and are made using cornstarch instead of flour. They are often enjoyed with coffee or espresso in Brazilian households. Biscoito de maizena have a delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a slight crumble.
This is likely due to not using enough cornstarch, or using too much butter or condensed milk. Certain vegan brands of condensed milk can also cause the cookies to spread.
Do I have to chill the dough?
Nope! Vegan biscoito de maizena can go straight into the oven, no chill time required.
Yes, but the ingredient measurements will be different. I’ve included the amount of each ingredient for a non-vegan version in the notes section of the recipe card.
Properly measure the cornstarch: This recipe can be a little fussy, I’ll be honest. It’s easy to measure too much cornstarch, so I recommend using a $10 kitchen scale instead. If you don’t have one, be sure to use the scoop and level method.
Use Nature's Charm condensed milk: Different vegan brands of condensed milk can yield different results. The best and most authentic results in all my testing were achieved using the Nature’s Charm brand.
Use a soft, margarine-style vegan butter: Because many recipes in Brazil use margarine, I developed this recipe using a vegan butter that has a margarine-like consistency. I found the cookies to be softer and less crumbly that way.
Add the cornstarch into the dough slowly: You may not end up needing the full amount of cornstarch, and that’s okay. The dough should be smooth and soft, but not sticky.
Don’t over-bake the cookies: If the biscoito de maizena cookies are baked for too long, they’ll become hard and the texture will be completely different. You can carefully turn one of the cookies upside down to see how the bottom looks. They shouldn’t be golden brown; there should be a pale yellow color on them, like in the photo below:
Storage and Freezing Instructions
Biscoito de maizena can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to one week.
I don’t recommend freezing the cornstarch cookies. Freezing then thawing these cookies creates a dry, crumbly texture. If you’d like to freeze the dough and bake the cookies later, that will work better.
More Vegan Recipes You'll Love
Biscoito de Maizena (Cornstarch Cookies)
- 2½ cup cornstarch SEE NOTES
- ¾ cup vegan butter, softened
- ½ cup Nature's Charm vegan condensed milk SEE NOTES
- SEE NOTES if making the non-vegan version.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add vegan condensed milk and vegan butter to a large mixing bowl. Slowly add in the cornstarch. When you've added in most of it (you may not need all of it), use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together until a dough forms. If the dough seems too sticky, add in the remaining cornstarch.
- Roll the dough into 1 tablespoon-sized round balls and place them on the baking sheet. Use a fork to gently flatten the tops of the balls.
- Bake for 10-14 minutes or until the edges start to get golden brown, and the bottoms are lightly browned (not too dark!). I like to lift one up to check (carefully so I don't burn myself!). Do not over-bake, or else the cookies will be too crumbly. Let cool then enjoy!
The calorie information provided for this recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.