Try making homemade Cheez-Its, the popular cheddar cheese crackers. They’re so delicious, and easier to make than you might think.

Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: Homemade is always better: healthier, more economical, and made with wholesome ingredients.

How long it takes: about an hour (that includes chilling time)
Equipment you’ll need: food processor, baking sheet, parchment paper
Servings: Makes 15 dozen small crackers

Overflowing bowl of homemade cheez-it crackers.
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Crisp golden cheddar cheese crackers are wholesomely addictively delicious. They are surprisingly easy to make (it’s actually kind of fun!). You probably have everything you need in your pantry and refrigerator: sharp Cheddar cheese, butter, flour, ground mustard, salt, and water.

Did you know that the best combination in the world (okay, maybe “the world” is a bit of an exaggeration) is Cheez-Its and Diet Coke?

The Cheez-Its are best if they are on the extra brown side, and the Diet Coke is best out of a can. Trust me on this one.

So why not make homemade Cheez-Its? Or Cheese-Its, if you will. Sorry! I can’t stand it, I’m giving in to my inner editor. Does it bug anyone else that Cheez-Its is spelled with a Z?

About homemade Cheez-Its

These crackers are really easy (easier than you would guess!) and I bet you have everything you need in your pantry. Why not try them today?

If you’re wondering how the homemade version compares to the store-bought crackers, be assured that homemade wins hands-down!

A food processor makes it easy to shred the cheese and to mix everything together. If you don’t have one, the dough can be stirred up by hand but it will take a little arm power.

Cheez-its laid out on a white surface.

What You’ll Need

  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: You’ll need 8 ounces of sharp cheese. Avoid using pre-shredded cheese. It just doesn’t work as well in this recipe. The sharper the cheese, the tastier your crackers will be. Look for extra sharp cheddar cheese.
  • Butter: Use cold unsalted butter, no substitutes. This is not the place for butter spreads. If you need to use salted butter, that will work. Decrease the amount of salt you add slightly to balance it.
  • Flour: Plain all-purpose flour is all you need.
  • Ground Mustard: Dry ground mustard is found in the spice aisle of the grocery store. It looks like a pale yellow powder. The crackers don’t taste like mustard, I promise you, but the spice adds depth to the flavor of the crackers. If you don’t have it, don’t worry, they can be made without it.
  • Salt: Crackers just need a bit of salt or they won’t taste like crackers. If you’re really concerned about sodium, cut back on it a bit but not too much.
Ingredients in separate bowls.

How To Make Homemade Crackers

Begin by shredding the cheese in your food processor. Use the shredding disk. Did you know that well-chilled cheese shreds more easily than warm cheese?

Shredded cheese in a food processor.

Remove the shredding disk and the shredded cheese. Insert the normal, S-shaped blade. Add the flour, butter (cut into little pieces), dry mustard, salt, and cheese.

Pulse the mixture several times. Stop when it looks like coarse crumbs.

Coarse crumb mixture in a food processor.

Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse briefly each time. The dough should come together. Don’t overprocess it.

Cheez-it dough in a food processor.

Remove the dough from the food processor, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes so it will roll out easily.

Wrapped cheez-it dough.

On a floured surface, roll the dough out nice and thin. If you want to divide the dough into two portions first to make it easier to roll it, that’s up to you. The thinner it is, the crispier your crackers will turn out. Shoot for ⅛-inch or even less.

Dough being rolled out with a wooden rolling pin.

Cut the squares with a pastry cutter to give them that trademark crinkle edge. If you don’t happen to have one, a pizza cutter or sharp knife works fine. Cheez-Its are about one inch square. You’ll get a lot of crackers, about 15 dozen, but that depends on the size and thickness. Re-roll the scraps to use up every bit of dough.

Dough being cut into small squares.

As for that little hole in the center, use a chopstick, skewer, knitting needle or whatever you can find. A toothpick is too small. If you want them to look like the store-bought crackers, go ahead and put a hole in them. If you don’t care, leave it out. It does help them crisp up a bit, too.

Hole being poked in crackers.

Arrange the crackers close together on a parchment-lined baking sheet. They won’t spread, so put them as close as you can so you can fit a lot of them on.

Unbaked cheez-its on a baking sheet.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until they are as crispy as you like them. The browner they are, the crisper they are. Pop the tab off a can of Diet Coke and snack away!

If you want, you can share them with the kids.

Baked crackers on a baking sheet.

By the way, these homemade crackers are perfect for a cheese board or charcuterie board. Your friends will be really impressed when they try your homemade crackers.

FAQS

Are Cheez-Its really made with real cheese?

According to the Cheez-It website, Cheez-Its are made with real cheese. If you take a close look at the list of ingredients, cheese made with skim milk is listed.

What kind of cheese is in Cheez-Its?

They are not specific about the kind of cheese other than that it’s made with skim milk. These cheez-its are made with sharp cheddar. If you prefer a more mild cracker, try mild cheddar.

Why is there a hole in Cheez-Its?

From what I can tell, the hole is there to make them crisp. It’s part of a process called “docking”. It allows the steam to escape while they are baking and keeps them from looking like little pillows. If you think about it, most crisp
crackers are punctured with holes.

Make It Your Own

  • Try different kinds of cheese. One note about the cheese: I find that pre-shredded cheese doesn’t work as well as block cheese. You have your food processor out anyways, why not quickly shred the cheese with it before you make the crackers? So easy and fast!
  • Try different spices. You could really go crazy experimenting with spices. I’d love to hear some of your combinations. Try adding taco seasoning, all-purpose seasoning, or curry powder!
  • Cut the homemade cheez-it crackers in different shapes. Have fun with this! Maybe the kids would like to help. Add homemade crackers to an after school snack board.
Pile of cheez-its.

Storage Tips

Let crackers cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They’ll keep for at least a week at room temperature. For longer storage, put them in a freezer-safe container and freeze for a month or even longer.

More Easy Snacks

I have a few more ideas that I’m sure you’ll love! Try:

Recipe

Homemade Cheez-Its

4.77 from 39 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 15 dozen
Try baking Cheez-Its, the popular cheddar cheese crackers. They're so delicious and fun to make!
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Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (see note)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dry ground mustard (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Instructions 

  • In a food processor, shred cheese using shredding blade. Remove shredding blade and cheese from food processor and replace the blade with the normal blade (s-shaped).
  • Add flour, butter, salt, mustard, and shredded cheese to the food processor and pulse until mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  • While pulsing, add water 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together.
  • Remove from food processor, wrap in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare baking sheet by lining with Silpat or parchment paper.
  • On lightly floured counter, roll out dough quite thin (1/8 inch or less). The thinner they are, the crisper they get. Cut into one inch squares. A pastry wheel or pizza cutter works well. Use the tip of a chopstick or skewer to poke a hole in the middle of each cracker (see note).
  • Place crackers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can place them close together, not touching, as they do not really expand.
  • Bake for 17 minutes or until crispy, up to 20 minutes. They should be lightly browned on the bottom and firm to the touch. The browner they are, the crisper the crackers will be. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Notes

  • It’s important to grate your own cheese for this recipe for best texture. Don’t use pre-shredded.
  • Yield depends on the size and thickness of crackers. 
  • A one inch square with a hole in the middle mimics the Cheez-It crackers. Be creative and cut them into any shape you like!
  • Adapted from Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 118kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 24mg, Sodium: 211mg, Potassium: 25mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 245IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 111mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.77 from 39 votes (28 ratings without comment)

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142 Comments

  1. Don says:

    5 stars
    Fun to make . Tastes great. Simple as pie to do.
    Easy to eat all by yourself, if you don’t be careful

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hahaha yes these are definitely hard to resist!

  2. Mctango says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! You cannot ruin this dough, so easy to roll out. Made exactly the amount shown 15 dozen. But careful these are so addictive; you will be able to eat them in one sitting.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m so glad you like them! Thanks for the review!

  3. Naomi Alemneh says:

    5 stars
    Great easy recipe. Fool-proof!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Hooray! Thank you for leaving a review!

  4. Alisha C says:

    5 stars
    These were delicious. I used gluten free flour and regular mustard since I did not have the ground mustard. I also decided to cut them into cute little bows.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      These are so cute! Thank you for sharing a pic!

  5. Provident Ecopolitan says:

    5 stars
    I Liked this!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad to hear it!

  6. Molly H says:

    5 stars
    These were really tasty! They didn’t quite look like Cheez Its since they shrank and became puffy instead of flat, but the whole family loved them. The crunch was great and it really did taste like Cheez Its… but better! I used onion powder instead of mustard powder and I think it made it really good.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you liked them! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.

  7. Rodrigue Planck says:

    4 stars
    Very good recipe. I would only add to make them a perfect score, I have added a bit to the recipe. Before I bake them I brush lightly with butter then throw some nice thick Celtic Salt on them. The butter removes any flour left that the cheese has not taken care of. The salt gives you the in the box texture that the brand name gives.

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I’m glad you liked them! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  8. Lulu says:

    5 stars
    These are delicious!! And they make my whole apartment smell amazing when they are baking haha! I used sharp cheddar & ground my own oats for the flour. They came out beautiful & light-crispy, perfect w/with a healthy broccoli cheese soup on a rainy day!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you like them! I want that combo for lunch now!

  9. Shannon says:

    Hello,

    Love the look of these crackers! I googled to see if I could swap almond flour out for all purpose and the results weren’t conclusive; “yes, but add more of a binding agent”, “yes, but swap the almond flour at 3/4th of the amount of white flour required”, etc.

    I’m super picky about the dairy I purchased and don’t want to waste a batch. Do you think these could be made with almond flour & if so – at what ratio? Thank you in advance, can’t wait to whip some up if they can be made gf!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Unfortunately I can’t advise on this. My kids have severe nut allergies so I don’t have much experience baking with almond flour. I think it would be better to use a 1:1 GF alternative if you’re looking for a GF cracker.

      1. Shannon says:

        Thanks :)

  10. Tialyn John says:

    5 stars
    Love how crispy these turned out to be! Perfect recipe!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed them!