Make homemade cheese crackers with only 6 ingredients. These crisp crackers are a simple take-anywhere snack and have the most unbelievable salty, cheesy flavor. You’ll appreciate the straightforward instructions and quick baking time!
What’s on the menu today? CHEESE.
Store-bought crackers are obviously delicious—there’s no denying the lure of Cheese-Itz!
But did you know that you only need 6 ingredients to make cheese crackers at home? Using real cheese and zero added preservatives, you can make homemade cheese crackers with cheese, flour, cornstarch, salt, butter, and water. The dough comes together in a few minutes, then after about 45 minutes of chilling, roll it out, cut into squares, and bake for 16-20ish minutes. Yes, it’s that easy.
(My daughter makes her debut in my food photography!) 🙂
ATK’s Baby & Toddler Cookbook
This recipe comes straight from a new cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen called The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook. This book is packed with baby food recipes, toddler-friendly recipes, and family-loved EASY meals that have all been developed by test cooks with the guidance from a pediatric dietician and a pediatrician. The book starts with baby’s first single food purees, moving along to multiple food puree recipes, then 9+ month finger foods and recipes. There’s also 18+ month smoothies, dinner recipes that baby and toddler can enjoy, preschool lunches, and a chapter dedicated to cooking with kids. Here a list of what else I love and if you’re a parent or caregiver, I know you’ll appreciate these too:
- highlights allergens at the beginning of each recipe
- recipes organized by age
- colorful photos of each recipe
- “why this recipe works” snapshot for each
- simple ingredient lists
- tips for babies, tips for toddlers, and tips for “how your child can help”
If you’re a parent or caregiver, you have a lot on your mind—and I appreciate that this book offers dozens of homemade ideas, while encouraging the family to get in the kitchen. We’ve already tried the parmesan chicken cutlets, turkey veggie burgers, zucchini carrot fritters, peach spinach smoothie, and homemade cheese crackers. And I’ve already bought copies for 3 of my friends who are first time moms! This book gets my full support, especially for busy first-time parents. (While I was sent this cookbook, I’m not being paid to write this post—I genuinely LOVE the book.)
How to Make Homemade Cheese Crackers
Turns out that homemade cheese crackers are surprisingly simple! My #1 tip is to use a block of real cheddar cheese that you freshly grate at home since it has more flavor than pre-shredded cheeses. I recommend a sharp yellow cheddar, but you can use mild or even white cheddar cheese. I doubled the recipe in the cookbook and the recipe below reflects that. It’s a very easy recipe to double or halve, depending how many mouths are hungry!
- Pulse ingredients together in food processor. Pulse the dry ingredients together, then pulse in the butter until the mixture resembles wet sand. Add cold water and pulse until the dough forms large clumps, pictured below.
- Pat into a square. Pat the dough into a rough 6-inch square so that you can wrap it up and chill it. Since I doubled this recipe, I divided the dough in 2 and patted each into separate squares. Wrap each in plastic wrap.
- Chill for 45 minutes. Chill the wrapped doughs. Without chilling, the crackers lose their shape in the oven. You can chill the dough for up to 2 days.
- Roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Roll the chilled squares into thinner squares. They’re really easy to roll out since they chilled in a square shape.
- Slice into 1 inch crackers. Using a pizza cutter, small sharp knife, or fluted pastry wheel, cut each square into 64 1-inch squares. I used a fluted pastry wheel to mimic the fluted edge of the store-bought version.
- Bake. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 16-20 minutes.
As I patted it into squares, I noticed the dough felt a little dry. Have a little extra cold water nearby to moisten your fingers if needed. After you pat the dough into 6-inch squares, wrap it up and refrigerate it for 45 minutes.
After refrigerating, roll each square out until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Trim the sides so they’re straight, then cut into squares. I use a fluted pastry wheel.
If desired, poke a hole in the center of each square. Use a skewer or large toothpick.
Before baking, I topped the crackers with a little sea salt! These crackers are obviously not the healthiest snack, but I feel better serving them compared to the store-bought versions. I know exactly what’s in them and they certainly make a fun homemade treat.
Are They Crunchy?
So, are these homemade cheese crackers crunchy? They can be, yes! I found that if I slightly extended the bake time to about 19-20 minutes, the crackers had a crunch comparable to the store-bought version. If you prefer a slightly softer cracker, stick with about 16 minutes. I personally loved the softer texture!
Keep in mind that since there’s no added preservatives, the crackers will soften up after a couple days. Store them in a loosely covered container to maintain some crunchiness. However, I’m not sure how much “storing” instructions you’ll need—I’m certain 1 batch won’t last more than an hour. These homemade crackers are truly addicting.
More Homemade Snacks
Make homemade cheese crackers with only 6 ingredients! Chilling the dough for 45 minutes is important– the crackers won’t hold their shape otherwise. You’ll appreciate the straightforward instructions and quick baking time!
- 6 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (1 and 1/2 cups shredded)*
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 6 pieces
- 2 Tablespoons cold water
- optional: sea salt for sprinkling
- Process cheddar cheese, flour, cornstarch, and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 30 seconds. Add butter and process until mixture resembles wet sand, about 20 seconds. Add water and pulse until dough forms large clumps, about 10 pulses.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Divide in half and pat each into a 6-inch square. (No need to use a rolling pin, just pat with hands.) If the dough feels dry, moisten your fingers with cold water. Carefully wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes and up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Unwrap each dough square. Place each on a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 9-inch square. Doesn’t need to be perfect! Using a fluted pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or small sharp knife, trim dough into a neat 8 inch square. Slice square into 8 strips, each 1 inch wide, then make 8 perpendicular slices, each 1 inch wide. Each 8-inch square will have 64 squares (crackers).
- Place squares on prepared baking sheet. Use a skewer or large toothpick to poke a hole through the center of each. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 16-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking. For crunchier crackers, bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheet before serving.
- Store leftover crackers at room temperature for up to 1 week. If tightly sealed, they’ll lose their crunch. Feel free to keep the lid slightly ajar to maintain some crunchiness.
- Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the wrapped dough instead of refrigerating it in step 2. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature for 10 minutes before continuing with the recipe.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Food Processor (I also own and love this one) | Baking Sheets | Silicone Baking Mats or Parchment Paper | Rolling Pin | Fluted Pastry Wheel or Pizza Cutter
- Instead of classic yellow cheddar, white cheddar is a wonderful substitute. In fact, any medium-hard cheese is great. Avoid soft cheeses.
- I doubled the recipe found in the cookbook. Feel free to halve this recipe to yield less crackers or double the recipe for more. The original recipe (which is half of this one) calls for 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, but I found 2 teaspoons made the crackers too soft. I reduced the double recipe to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons.
Recipe reprinted in partnership with America’s Test Kitchen from The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook
Keywords: cheddar cheese, snack