5 Ingredients or Fewer

Homemade Cheez-Its

March  3, 2022
7 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes 5 cups crackers
Author Notes

These tasty little cheese crackers are extra-delicious when made from scratch. Once you've gotten your fill of classic cheddar, feel free to switch them up. Try grated Parmigiano-Reggiano instead of cheddar or add a little cayenne for some kick. —Samantha Seneviratne

Test Kitchen Notes

You may not ever think about making something like Cheez-Its at home, but it's a lot easier than you think, and you know exactly what goes into them—not something you could probably say about the crackers that come in a bag at the store. They also taste better and are super-fun to put together. No fancy ingredients or chemicals you can't pronounce here. All you need for this recipe is flour, baking powder, salt, butter, cheddar cheese, and an egg white. That's it! You do, however, need a food processor and fluted pastry wheel to get that classic square shape. They're perfect to make for a party appetizer or fun game day snack. Or just keep a container in your pantry so you can reach for a Cheez-It or two whenever the craving strikes.

After pulsing the flour, baking powder, and salt in the food processor, simply add the cheese and butter and keep pulsing. Gradually adding water helps bind the dough together. It really is so simple, and you'll find a variety of uses for this foolproof dough. It has to first chill for a half an hour, then after cutting (and poking the hole in the center!), the dough continues to set in the freezer for about 10 minutes, though you could store the dough in the freezer for a few weeks if you want to plan ahead of time. After that, the crackers take just about 15 minutes to bake in in the oven, and your Cheez-Its are ready to go. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 7 1/2 ounces finely grated sharp cheddar (about 3½ cups)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) ice water
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt, and baking powder until combined. Add the cheese and butter and pulse until very well combined. Add the water and pulse until the dough is just wet enough to hold together when squeezed. Add up to 2 tablespoons more water if necessary.
  2. Divide the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Press each half of dough into a flat square, wrap well, and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Working with one square at a time, roll the dough out to a scant ⅛ inch thick. Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut the dough into ¾-inch-wide strips. Cut the dough in the other direction to make ¾-inch squares. Using the flat end of a wooden skewer, poke a hole in the center of each square. Freeze the dough for 10 to 15 minutes, until firm. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°F. Brush half of the dough (keep the remaining dough in the freezer) with the egg white and sprinkle with salt. Using an offset spatula, gently break the dough apart and place the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until puffed, set, and browned on the bottom. (Make sure to cook them well so that the finished crackers are crisp. Completely frozen dough may take a few extra minutes to bake.) Transfer the parchment with the baked crackers to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining frozen crackers. Store the cooled crackers in an airtight container.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Carol Skeer Diamond
    Carol Skeer Diamond
  • luvcookbooks
  • Ali Slagle
    Ali Slagle
  • QueenSashy
  • Dina Moore-Tzouris
    Dina Moore-Tzouris

34 Reviews

Nick D. November 29, 2019
Definitely a crowd-pleaser! I added a dash of cayenne and cumin for some added flavor, and have made similar crackers with some seeds on top, too (cumin and/or fennel seed....Everything Bagel seasoning would be good here, too).
Doreen October 22, 2018
Has anyone made these with a gluten-free flour blend? Just wondering if so, how much to reduce the fat (cheese and butter) by to have success. GF flour can't absorb the same quantities of fats. Rather not lose ingredients to failure to find out if someone already has a suggestion. Thanks!
Randi December 17, 2018
I've made these several times with gfjules all purpose g-f flour. They come out perfectly without reducing the fat. However, I add considerably more ice water while pulsing in the food processor and rest the dough for at least an hour so the flour can absorb as much moisture as possible. Worth the effort.
Carol S. October 12, 2018
Have not made them yet, but I would add paprika right off the bat.
ViDonna May 9, 2017
Can't wait to try this recipe. Our 6 yr old & 4 yr old grandson's would love these. They are big cheese eaters.
luvcookbooks October 28, 2016
I made these two days ago and they were delicious! Very cute, too. I was sure they wouldn't turn out like the picture but they did. I'm encouraged to take other forays into crackers now. Thanks!
ella J. January 22, 2016
So excited to try these for a party tomorrow! One looming question, how does one freeze the dough after it had been rolled out and sliced?
ella J. January 22, 2016
Sorry, it just hit me, keep on the pan and hope it fits in the freezer!
Bebewatson August 13, 2015
These look great, what is the shelf life after baking?
GarnishGirl June 23, 2015
Thanks for the great recipe! I used it as a base for my Rosemary Cheese Crackers: http://www.garnishblog.com/2015/06/rosemary-cheese-crackers.html
Raegan February 16, 2015
Can you substitute the flour for Bread Flour?
Samantha S. February 18, 2015
Hi Raegan,
Good question. I never tested the recipe with bread flour but I suspect it would work just fine. I'd love to hear what you think if you try it.
Raegan February 18, 2015
It turned out like you said but a little thicker.
Angela F. January 27, 2015
Made some of these and while the crackers were quite good, the dough really shone as a biscuit! (Cut half the dough into four biscuits.) Next I wanna use this dough as a pie crust!
Samantha S. January 27, 2015
I love these ideas. Biscuits!? Yum.
beejay45 November 26, 2014
This is a nice surprise. My mom loved these babies! ;)
Do you think this dough would work for a bigger cracker, one you might use like a soda cracker or something similar? Thanks!
Samantha S. February 18, 2015
Hi Beejay45. I'm sorry I somehow missed this question! Did you ever try a bigger cracker? I bet it would work.
lbling November 16, 2014
The crackers were very tasty despite the un-uniform shapes.
ltaliaf November 16, 2014
I'm thinking of all the magically delicious ways to add different flavors! Cayenne, anyone?? This recipe is amazing - my 10 year old can't wait to try them!
Ali S. November 16, 2014
How long will the dough keep in the fridge, if I'd like to prep in advance?
Samantha S. November 16, 2014
Hi Ali,
I haven't tested storage on the dough but I'd imagine it's just the same as a butter pastry dough. I wouldn't keep it longer than 2 days in the fridge and up to a month in the freezer. Hope that helps!
QueenSashy November 13, 2014
Wow - are they for real? I am super excited, cannot wait to give them a try
Samantha S. November 16, 2014
I hope you do, QueenSashy. Let me know what you think. : )
Dina M. November 13, 2014
mine turned out perfectly! super excited!
Samantha S. November 16, 2014
That's great, Dina! I hope you like them.
Burf November 13, 2014
These are great! And it's a really great way to use up an assortment of cheese nubs (it's a thing, definitely in my fridge). Mine took a hair longer to bake (I think my oven is rebelling), but totally worth it.
Making crackers isn't for everyone, but it's definitely for me.
Samantha S. November 16, 2014
Thanks, Burf! I'm so glad. Cheese nubs - I know exactly what you're talking about. Thankfully now my cheese nub pile is a little smaller. I think it's time for some puff pastry to take care of all those butter nubs...
Anna November 13, 2014
Does anyone think this would work this Parmesan? Trying to work with what I've got to hand...
Samantha S. November 13, 2014
Hi Anna,
I think these would be be great with Parmesan!
Anna November 13, 2014
Brilliant, thanks.
arcane54 November 10, 2014
I do! They're tastier, less expensive and better quality crackers than I can buy.
Samantha S. November 16, 2014
I'm with you, arcane54! (Although...sometimes I cave at the supermarket.)
Michael H. November 10, 2014
Who makes crackers!?!?
Dina M. November 13, 2014
who doesn't, is the real question.