Sequilhos, or Brazilian Cornstarch Cookies, are the easiest cookies you will ever make! Only 4 ingredients are all you need to make the cookies that were part of every Brazilian’s childhood.

Here for all my Brazilian recipes? Make sure to also check out my dulce de leche casadinhos, brigadeiros, paçoca and bolinhos de chuva.

A platter of sequilhos (cornstarch cookies), two cups of coffee, a napkin , a sugar dish and a cream dish.

You know those simple, bland looking cookies that you don’t think much of, but when you start eating them you can’t stop? Sequilhos are like that!

They are the epitome of simplicity and every Brazilian grandma had some on hand (or could whip some up in no time), to serve to unexpected guests with their “cafezinho da tarde” (our version of an afternoon tea, but with coffee).

They are sweet, buttery and naturally gluten-free, since they are made with cornstarch.

If the classic version is a bit bland for you, scroll down to the variations section of this post to check out some flavoring suggestions. ♥️

A closeup photo of cornstarch cookies (sequilhos).

What are Sequilhos?

Sequilhos are popular Brazilian cookies made with cornstarch and – often – sweetened condensed milk. They can also be called Biscoitos de Maizena, since Maizena is a popular cornstarch brand in Brazil.

They are quite crumbly but have a soft, delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture inside, making them the perfect little cookies to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

A photo of all the ingredients to make Brazilian Sequilhos.

Ingredients

To make my sequilhos recipe, you will need:

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – Adds sweetness and contributes to the soft texture on the inside of the sequilhos.
  • Cornstarch – These cookies are naturally gluten-free, since they are made with cornstarch. The cornstarch is responsible for the crispy on the outside + melt-in-your-mouth on the inside texture of these cookies.
  • Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temp before you make this recipe!
  • Salt – This is where I deviate from the original recipe. I like adding a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors!
An overhead photo of a platter of cornstarch cookies (sequilhos).

How to Make Sequilhos

Sequilhos are VERY easy to make and they bake super quick too!

I do recommend chilling them before baking, which adds about 30 minutes to the recipe, but you can skip that if you’re in a rush.

Recommended tools and equipment: large bowl, spatula, baking sheet, parchment paper, fork.

Here’s how I make this Brazilian Cornstarch Cookies recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!

Step 1: Make the Dough.

  • Combine the room temperature butter and the sweetened condensed milk. Mix with a spatula, trying to incorporate the butter as much as you can to the condensed milk. It’s okay if there are a few lumps.
  • Slowly add the cornstarch, a little bit at a time, mixing well. Once it’s too hard to mix, you can use your hands. Add as much as you need to form a dough. The dough should be very soft and smooth so your sequilhos are not too dry.
  • You might not need all the cornstarch.

Step 2: Shape the Sequilhos.

  • Roll about 1 teaspoon of the cookie dough into a ball then press with your thumb, just like you would thumbprint cookies. Repeat with all the dough.
  • Place the sequilhos on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Using a fork, slightly flatten the cookies, pressing to make the characteristic indentation.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Bake!

  • Bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes, until they begin to gain some color on the bottom.
  • Remove the sequilhos from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 15-20 minutes. Then, carefully transfer to a wire rack so they can finish cooling.

Olivia’s Tips

  • To achieve the best melt-in-your-mouth sequilhos, avoid the temptation to add all the cornstarch. Stop adding once the dough comes together and is smooth, even if it feels quite soft.
  • After testing this recipe a few times, I’ve found that refrigerating the cookies before baking helps them to not spread so much in the oven.
  • Do not overbake your sequilhos or they will get too dry and even get hard. They are supposed to look quite pale and you should take them out of the oven when you notice the bottom edges begin to turn golden.
A stack of sequilhos, with the top of cut in half to show the texture.

Variations

This recipe, as written, is the recipe almost every grandma uses in Brazil. That being said, it is really customizable and I love changing it up a bit with different ingredients to add more flavor.

Here are some suggestions:

  • 1/2 teaspoon lime, lemon or orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (you might need to add more cornstarch to reach the dough consistency)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will sequilhos keep and how to store them?

The sequilhos will last for up to a week, stored in an airtight container at room temperature. More than that and I find that they get quite dry.

How many cookies does this recipe make?

It depends on the size of the cookies. It makes about 4 dozen small sequilhos.

Can I freeze them?

While I haven’t tried freezing them, I can’t see why not. I would freeze them unbaked though, as their delicate texture might suffer when frozen and thawed after baked.

More Cookie Recipes

Did you make this recipe? I love hearing from you! Please comment and leave a 5-star rating below. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #oliviascuisine.

Sequilhos (Cornstarch Cookies)

Sequilhos, or Brazilian Cornstarch Cookies, are the easiest cookies you will ever make! Only 4 ingredients are all you need to make the cookies that were part of every Brazilian's childhood.
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Ingredients  

  • 113 grams unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), softened to room temperature
  • 200 grams sweetened condensed milk (½ cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 280 grams cornstarch (2 ¼ cups)

Equipment

Instructions 

  • Combine the butter, sweetened condensed milk and salt in a large bowl. Using a spatula, mix everything until the butter is incorporated into the condensed milk. A few remaining lumps is okay!
  • Slowly add the cornstarch, mixing with the spatula to combine. It will eventually get hard to use the spatula, and you can then use your hands. Mix just until a smooth dough forms. You might not need all the cornstarch and should avoid the temptation to add everything if it's not needed.
  • Roll the cookie dough (about 1 teaspoon per cookie) into balls and press each ball with your thumb (like you would thumbprint cookies). Place the balls on a two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using a fork, slightly flatten the cookies, also making their characteristic fork indentations.
  • Refrigerate the cookies for 30 minutes to avoid them spreading when baking.
  • Preheat oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle.
  • Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until they begin to gain some color on the bottom. They should still be quite pale on the top.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool slightly still on the baking sheets. After 15-20 minutes, carefully remove them to a wiring rack so they can finish cooling.

Notes

Customizations
Want to add some fun flavorings to your sequilhos? These are some of my favorites:
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime, lemon or orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (you might need to add more cornstarch to reach the dough consistency)
Storage
Sequilhos will keep for up to a week, stored in an airtight container. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 52kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 35mg, Potassium: 16mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 70IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 1mg

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