Homemade Cheese Crackers

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!

overhead picture of homemade cheese crackers

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.

bowls of homemade cheese crackers

(Noelle 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.)

The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 16-20 minutes.

Homemade cheese crackers ingredients

A food processor is key to this recipe. I recommend this one or this one. Different price points, but both are great products and suitable for this recipe.

2 images of cheese cracker ingredients in food processor

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.

Cheese cracker dough shaped into squares

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.

2 images of cheese cracker dough in large squares and cut into crackers

If desired, poke a hole in the center of each square. Use a skewer or large toothpick.

cheddar crackers before baking on baking sheet

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.

Homemade cheddar cheese crackers

bowls of homemade cheddar crackers

More Homemade Snacks

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Homemade cheddar cheese crackers

Homemade Cheese Crackers

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 128 small crackers
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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!


Ingredients

  • 6 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (1 and 1/2 cups shredded)*
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (spoon & 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the baking sheet before serving.
  7. 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.

Notes

  1. Instead of classic yellow cheddar, white cheddar is a wonderful substitute. In fact, any medium-hard cheese is great. Avoid soft cheeses.
  2. 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.
  3. Special Tools: Food Processor – this one or this one, Baking Sheet, Rolling Pin, Fluted Pastry Wheel

Recipe reprinted in partnership with America’s Test Kitchen from The Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook

Keywords: cheddar cheese, snack

92 Comments

  1. I would like to give these a spicy kick. Would I have to add the spice in the dough or sprinkled when done?

    1. I would add spice to the dough. Maybe a little cayenne? Taste the dough and add a little bit at a time.

  2. Sally, one of us in trouble and I think it’s me. You know those little, tiny boxes they sell in the store are never big enough either! Especially in front of a really good movie. The hand in mouth thing keeps happening until they are gone. Teaching me how to make these could be very hazardous to my health knowing I can make those delightful crackers anytime I want. I wonder how these would be with pepper jack cheese? Hmmm….may have to try that if I can drag myself away from the cheddar cheese. Thank you for sharing this recipe Sally! 🙂 I’m in going to the grocery store tomorrow! 🙂

    1. If I’m being honest, these crackers were gone in 24 hours. They’re like popcorn– a “handful” type of food. It’s impossible to only eat 1 at a time! Pepper jack cheese would be excellent!

  3. One of Noelle’s favorites, no doubt. I’ll definitely be making this for our 21 month old granddaughter, Tilly.

    Thanks for this recipe!

  4. I how well do these store in an airtight container? Can’t wait to try them!

    1. Since there’s no added preservatives, the crackers will soften up after a couple days. Store them in a loose container to maintain some crunchiness – you can leave the lid slightly ajar. However, I’m not sure how much “storing” instructions you’ll need– I’m certain 1 batch won’t last more than an hour 🙂

  5. Susan Richmond says:

    I’m wondering if these could be rolled, cut and baked on parchment? Also, in case little munchers leave the storage container open, crackers can be refreshed on a single layer on a paper towel in the microwave for one carefully watched minute. Fat in cheese could cause a fire if you don’t watch. C’mon, I know you’re busy, but it’s only a minute.

    1. Hi Susan! You mean rolled out and baked on parchment? Yes, definitely.

      1. Hi! Can I freeze the dough and if so, do I just thaw in the fridge? I made these and they are so yummy but am wondering if i can make dough and freeze. Thanks!

  6. Samantha Wellington says:

    I don’t have a food processor. Is this a recipe I can still do with other tools?

    1. How about a blender?

      1. Hi sally I don’t have a food processor nor a blender – can I use a stand mixer instead? Thanks!

  7. Homemade is always so much better than store bought! I made these today and I can’t believe how quick and easy they are to make and they taste so delicious! My 17 month old loves these too! Thanks for sharing this recipe, that book seems like a great investment 🙂

  8. These look great! Do you know if they can be frozen?

    1. Hi Emily! I’m sure they can, no problem. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

      1. Made these for a kids’ birthday party this weekend but they never made it past the parents, ha! They were a hit! Can’t wait to try again with some smoked paprika added, or a pepper jack version.

        Would love to prep a double or triple batch for later… tips on freezing? I’m thinking roll and cut, then freeze them separated by layers of parchment?

      2. Hi Kate! Are you asking about freezing the cut squares before baking? That’s exactly how I would do it. Roll, cut, freeze in layers between parchment.

  9. Hilary Pointer says:

    Hi Sally – long time fan of yours 🙂 I made these crackers this weekend as my husband is a fiend for Cheezits. They tasted great! Although my dough didn’t come together quite as nicely as yours…mine was more clumpy, and not a solid orange color. Any suggestions for improving next time?

    Already planning to make your berry fritters this week to take to work as Friday goodies (:

    Thanks for all you do!

    1. Hi Hilary! If you ever decide to try these crackers again, try pulsing/processing the mixture more until it all comes together in one uniform consistency/color.

  10. MARYANNE DONAHOE says:

    The first thing I did was change from wheat flour to Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour so these would be gluten-free. I was VERY skeptical when I turned this dough out of the processor. It seemed too crumbly. Fast forward: these crackers are divine! They turned out with a kind of flaky pie crust texture and a perfect cheesy bite! They are really delish!!!

  11. They turned out amazing! I definitely recommend taking the crunchy route & leaving them in the oven for a little longer. My husband & I can’t stop munching on them!

  12. Sheila Calnan says:

    Plans for the weekend. Picked up a block of medium and mild. Figured I’d do half and half on the crispy side. What would you suggest for seasoning? I saw cayenne, but don’t have any on hand.
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Sheila! I love these homemade cheese crackers with just a little salt on top. You can try topping (or adding to the dough…) with smoked paprika too!

  13. Heather M. Whipple says:

    Hi sally.
    I do not like sharp cheddar cheese. I think the Mild cheddar
    will work better for me when i make them for me to eat.
    I also sent a copy via your website to a woman i know
    who has a little girl who is toddler age here in Elkins, WV. she thanked me
    for it.

    1. So glad to read this and thank you so much for sharing the recipe and my site with others!

  14. Austria Azaceta says:

    I’ve been wanting to make these ever since the recipe was posted. I finally got around to it today & they are fantastic!! The recipe is so easy to follow. I was surprised that only 2 tablespoons of water brought the dough together. My food processor didn’t want to work today & I didn’t want to continue wasting time with it so I used a pastry cutter & it worked just fine. I salted the first batch I baked up but found that for my taste they didn’t really need it so I left it off of the rest. So So cheesy & delicious!!

  15. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and recommending the cookbook! I’ve made these a few times now and all 3 of us are obsessed! I also picked the cookbook up a few days ago and I’m obsessed! I already read through cover to cover 🙂
    The tiny carrot muffins are awesome! My 18 month old loves them! Thanks Sally, you are the best!

  16. These looked so good and in my rush to make them for my daughter and son in law for the beach, who BTW are huge America’s Test Kitchen fans, but especially for my 9 month old grandson, I guess I didn’t read through the recipe throughly and used baking SODA instead of corn starch!! No worries though…what I wound up with are delightful little squares that are very similar to cheese straws only smaller! My husband says they are addicting!! Love your recipes Sally and USUALLY follow them to a “T”!!!

    1. Oh my goodness! Well I’m so glad they still turned out for you! I’ll have to try your “mistake” sometime. 🙂

  17. So tasty and hard to stop eating! Looking forward to trying a white cheddar variety. Thanks for sharing!

  18. So easy to make and so yummy! Only bad thing is i didn’t make enough because i can’t stop munching on them!

  19. Hi Sally,
    Question for you…I’m going to make these today, and instead of squares, I was thinking about using mini cookie cutters and making fun shapes…..just cause! Can the dough scraps be rolled out again, or would that ruin the texture? Sometimes when I roll scraps of cookie dough, the end product ends up with air bubbles and I can’t decorate them; didn’t know if the same would apply here. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa! Small shapes would be fun! Make sure the shaped dough is sufficiently chilled before baking to ensure the crackers hold the shape. You can re-roll the scraps, yes!

      1. Watch out for re-rolling if you use normal flour. The gluten will develop with additional kneading and it will turn them tough.

  20. I used whole wheat for a quarter of the flour, and sprinkled the crackers with a little parmesan before baking. Turned out great…thanks for the recipe!

  21. I made these while friends were over and they were very skeptical but ended up loving them! Even my very healthy brother ate quite a few! Thanks for another solid recipe! I love that they taste much cleaner than my typical snacks!

  22. Katie Hoffman says:

    These were so yummy, even my picky kiddos loved them!

  23. Can these be made with mozzarella?

    1. Absolutely! Same amount.

  24. So yummy and easy. Looking forward to tweaking with seasonings and different cheeses.

  25. These are so delicious and very easy to make! The soft crackers are great, but I recommend a couple of extra minutes for the crispy version. These actually taste better than cheez-its, which are one of my favorite snacks.

  26. janice laforest says:

    I made these cheese cracker just now what beautiful crackers never to buy crackers again at the grocery store ,my grand kids will go wild when they get home from school there always hunger after a hard day at school , always trying new things love this recipe using this all the time from now on thanks ..grandma Pye

  27. I was comparing a few different recipes for these cheese crackers. Yours is the only one that uses corn starch. What does that ingredient do for the recipe?

    1. Can I make these without a food processor ? Can you tell me how to mix them instead ? Thank you

      1. A food processor is key to this recipe. In a pinch, you can try using a pastry cutter to bring all the ingredients together.

      2. My food processor just broke so I used my kitchenaid mixture with the paddle attachment! I just mixed the first 4 ingredients on medium low speed and then added the butter and eventually it all comes together just like when I made it wiht the food processor!

  28. Laila Huijsmans says:

    Hi Sally. I have made many of your recipes, which have all been beautiful!. I am making the teacher Xmas gifts soon, so experimenting with recipes. I am making a hamper, including home infused gin, plum chutney and want to include some crackers. How long will these keep?

    1. Hi Laila, Since there’s no added preservatives, the crackers will soften up after a couple days. I recommend making them just before gifting them.

  29. These are amazing. The first batch I rolled them out too thick, but they were delicious anyway. They came out like little cheesy puff pastry bites. I was more careful with the second batch and measured them out and they were more cracker-like. I’ve been looking for more creative ways to send cheese in my toddler’s lunchbox. He loves these!

  30. Hi Sally,
    Will it work when I put a little chopped (very small bits) jalapeno in the crackers ?
    Fresh or from a jar?
    Thanks X.

    1. I haven’t tried this but I bet it would be delicious! I would try fresh jalapeno so that you aren’t adding extra liquid. Let me know if you try it!

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