Cheddar Cheese “Goldfish” Crackers

by Marla on June 29, 2010 · 47 comments

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Kid friendly recipe, cheese snack crackers

I had so much fun putting this cracker recipe together. My goal was to lighten up and add lots of nutrients to the standard mass marketed “Goldfish” crackers.

How are my cheddar crackers different you ask?  First of all, unlike the overly processed packaged versions these are best served straight out of the oven.  They have a crispy outside and a doughy, biscuit type interior.

My recommendation is to munch them pretty quickly as they are best fresh (this is not hard to do!)

Healthy Kid crackers with whole grains and low fat cheese

Here are more fabulous details that make these cheddar sea creatures a bit different:

I used Organic Whole Wheat Pastry FlourCabot Low fat Cheddar Cheese(a combo of sharp white and mild yellow) Instead of Butter I used Walnut Oil(you can use any oil or butter) I added a pinch of my favorite Smoked Paprika.

I suggest each time you serve them you heat them a bit under a low broiler or toaster oven to achieve the optimal texture  These had much more flavor and kick to them then the pre-packaged, factory made “fishies.”  I liked them & so did the kids.  The kids liked cutting the shapes out of the dough too.

Healthy cheddar crackers, kids love them

If you guys have any suggestions how to crisp these up a bit more, please share with us.  Perhaps if they are baked a bit longer?

I suppose they could go a few additional minutes in the oven (I just couldn’t wait to eat them!)  They could be “finished” with a few minutes under a low broiler.  I will continue to experiment with them, but they were mighty tasty as is.

Organic Whole grain crackers

These cheddar crackers are also delish dipped in peanut butter or extra decadent dipped in cream cheese.  Mr. Fresh thought I was crazy to make little cheddar cracker PB & J  sandwiches…..but they were oh so good.  Gosh, I need to be a kid again!


Cheddar Cheese Goldfish Crackers

Yield: about fifty 2 inch crackers

Cheddar Cheese Goldfish Crackers


  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 2 tablespoons Walnut Oil (any oil or melted unsalted butter good too)
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika or Sweet Paprika
  • 8 ounces low fat Cheddar Cheese (white & yellow)
  • 3-4 tablespoons Water


  • Add flour, oil, salt and paprika to food processor. Combine into a coarse meal texture. Slowly add cheese in about 3 additions to mix. Combine well.Add 3 tablespoons of water. Continue to process until dough forms. Pinch dough to see that it sticks together well. Add another tablespoon of water if needed. Remove dough from food processor and flatten into 1 or 2 discs. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for at least 1/2 hour, overnight if needed.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the center. Remove dough from fridge. Roll it out to about 1/8" inch thick. Cut out your desired shapes. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 15-17 minutes. Crackers should be golden brown when finished. If you want them crispier you can add on a few minutes of baking time - or - maybe put them under a low broiler for a few minutes. Just watch carefully if you do this so they do not burn.

Homemade Cracker Recipe Links

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mo June 29, 2010 at 5:21 am

I love the quote, “Whole wheat meets cheese & is very impressed”. 😛

These look great!


2 Deliciously Organic June 29, 2010 at 5:22 am

What a creative recipe! I’ll have to try these for the kids soon. You asked about how to crisp them up…I’d suggest using whole cheddar cheese because it contains less water and fillers that may contribute to the crackers being softer than you prefer. The way to get a pie crust super flaky is all in the butter to flour ratio so maybe use butter instead of walnut oil….although the flavor of the oil sounds so good!

The photos look great!


3 marla June 29, 2010 at 8:54 am

Carrie, thank you so much for that info. It makes so much sense. I do hesitate to use lower fat ingredients because of those fillers. I will go with regular cheddar on the next batch….and perhaps the butter too. All good stuff, that’s for sure.


4 Joanne June 29, 2010 at 5:32 am

I adore that you made these from scratch. I think that is just the coolest thing ever.

You’re right, eating a whole batch would NOT be difficult! Now sharing these…that’s another story.


5 Jessica @ How Sweet June 29, 2010 at 5:35 am

I am blown away! Seriously, these look incredible. I can take down an entire bag of goldfish, so I know I would love these!


6 Sophie June 29, 2010 at 6:20 am

Hello Marla!!

These fish & other shaped cookies look like the real thing!!

They look so appetizing & I love that you used walnut oil in here!


7 FoodFitnessFreshair June 29, 2010 at 6:42 am

This is impressive! I love that you definitely upped the nutrition content on a childhood favorite. The shapes are great too. Did you have a cut-out to make them?


8 marla June 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

I used my kids Play Doh cutters for the shapes!


9 Rosa June 29, 2010 at 7:49 am

I love cheddar cheese biscuits! Yours look lovely!




10 sweetlife June 29, 2010 at 9:12 am

marla, these are super cute , my girls love goldfish crackers, oh i detest them…but homemade now we’re talking..great recipe



11 Jenn June 29, 2010 at 9:24 am

Hi Marla – These look so fun! How long would you say they keep for? (If we don’t scarf them all up first!) :) Thanks for sharing!


12 angie June 29, 2010 at 9:34 am

Yummy! You are so creative. I love the “get baked’ quote. When my son is making me crazy (like now when I am trying to do this comment) I can put a bowl of these in front of him and we will both be blissfully happy!
You are a genius. What is the shelf life of these? If you made alot would you freeze them?


13 marla June 29, 2010 at 1:41 pm

How long do these cheddar crackers stay fresh? I would say optimally a few days, sealed air tight on your kitchen counter. They tend to soften up a whole lot If you opt for the fridge or freezer. You would really have to heat them up if you do this. They are best “crisped up” in the toaster or under the low broiler before serving no matter what.


14 Esi June 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

I love these! I’ve been wanting to make my own cheese crackers for a while. You’ve inspired me.


15 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather June 29, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I am so making these! We’re picnicing Thursday so hopefully I have time to get baking before then. They’d be great to take along.


16 Bamboobaileys June 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Cheese crackers are the best and I love the idea of eating them fresh from the oven!! Awesome.


17 A Canadian Foodie June 29, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Did your kiddies help you make these? They would have so much fun cutting them out. Do they help in the kitchen? I am sure they do! These would be YUMMY and so much more nutritious than those light fluffy ones in the store!


18 marla June 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Valerie, yes they do help me in the kitchen. I often give them their own little “projects” that are part of the bigger picture :) They do love to cut out these crackers.


19 sippitysup June 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I have been thinking about doing over the “chee-to” in a healthier way myself. This is infinitely more interesting? GREG


20 marla June 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Greg, you have to do the “Chee-to” We can have a homemade snack potluck!


21 Barbara @ moderncomfortfood June 29, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I like that you’ve both used more healthy ingredients and made the recipe fun (for both kids and adults) by mixing up the seafood shapes. I’m a Southerner, and thus anything resembling cheese straws immediately appeals to me. Well done, Marla!


22 Sonia June 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm

These Cheese crackers are so cute. It’s indeed very cool and innovative idea of yours Marla. Love all the refreshing pics. xo…


23 Faith June 30, 2010 at 4:43 am

I absolutely love these Marla! They are so adorable — I’m going to make them for my niece but I bet I’ll eat just as many as she does, lol! Little pb&j goldfish crackers sound delicious!


24 megan June 30, 2010 at 10:29 am

These are adorable! I could see a few of those sea horses floating around in my clam chowder!


25 grace June 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm

i won’t lie–i’d pick all the penguins out and eat them first. how adorable. :)


26 Barbara June 30, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Really, how cute are these??
My daughter adores seahorses…can’t wait to make them for her!


27 CookiePie July 1, 2010 at 6:45 am

WOW – what a fantastic idea!! They are so adorable!! I love the idea of an icky, chemical-filled snack turned into something healthy AND delicious. You rock!!


28 marla July 1, 2010 at 7:02 am

Beth, I bet the Mush would love ’em :)


29 My Man's Belly July 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I love making the usually processed foods healthier. These look almost too cute to eat…almost. 😉


30 sophia July 1, 2010 at 4:54 pm

MARLA!!! That is freaking genius! I used to love these goldfish crackers…it’s ridiculous that they tried to “healthify” their products…now yours is the real deal! 😀


31 FOODESSA July 4, 2010 at 7:10 am

Marla…I absolutely appreciate the flare you reach for when coming up with such creativity. Love all those ingredients…those crackers wouldn’t last long around my guests…especially next to a very tasty beverage;o)

Thanks for sharing such enthusiasm.
Flavourful wishes,


32 Kelly Lester July 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm

The recipe looks amazing and I think it goes without saying that these would get gobbled up right out of the oven. Who cares about shelf life? There won’t be any – lol!! What I’m having a tizzy over though is how gorgeous the photos and layout of your fabulous snack looks. Seriously. And do you really have lobster napkins just waiting around ready to make their perfectly cast appearance in these photos?? 😉


33 marla July 5, 2010 at 6:13 am

Kelly my friend those fabric swatches come from some very interesting places. I will share when I see you. xxoo


34 Melissa July 11, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I made cheddar crackers awhile ago and had such weird results. From the same batch of dough I’d get some crackers that were crisp and PERFECT and others that were more bisquit-y, doughy and chewy. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was causing the mixed results. I’d even have a mix of outcomes on each baking sheet.
LOVE the shapes you used! I made my crackers into puzzle shapes (for Autism Awareness Month in April). :)


35 Marla July 12, 2010 at 6:59 am

Melissa, I know for some reason the crackers tend to bake a bit uneven. Perhaps give them all a few minutes under a low broil at the end of baking time. Some will be extra crispy & the others just crispy enough….perhaps! Do share if you have better results next time. xo


36 Jennifer Jo July 14, 2010 at 4:44 am

I popped over here from your post on Simpleorganic….

About the crisp factor: have you experimented with coconut oil? It tends to add more of a crunch to baked ingredients, I’ve learned.


37 Marla July 14, 2010 at 5:08 am

Jennifer, I have not tried the coconut oil but I think that is an amazing idea! I do use it in a lot of my cooking.


38 db August 7, 2010 at 9:25 pm

To get them crispy I did what I do with pizza dough and put them through a pasta roller. On the thickest setting that makes them about an 1/8 inch thick or so (much thinner than the pictures). I need to experiment some more because the roller works best if the dough is more elastic and this dough isn’t really elastic. I added a bit of all-purpose flour as I put the dough through the roller. Then I cut them with a a daisy flower cookie cutter and used the petals of the flower as the fish. I cut the cooking time down to about 12-13 minutes (maybe a little less).

On another note, my 4-year old daughter loved helping to mix and roll out the dough.


39 Marla August 8, 2010 at 3:18 am

db-Love your adaptations to these crackers. The pasta roller sounds like a great idea. Not only would it help with the crisp factor, it would keep ensure that they cooked through at the same rate. So glad that your little girl was able to assist you! Did you post any pictures on Facebook? I would love to see your budding chef at work :) The daisy flower cutter……very smart!


40 Pretty. Good. Food. September 11, 2010 at 12:29 pm

These are adorable! What a fantastic recipe!! Great photos too :)


41 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets January 25, 2011 at 4:54 am

Oh this looks fab, Marla! Think I’m going to try this next
in my homemade boxed snacks quest :).


42 Elena V April 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I love that you incorporated walnut oil into this recipe!


43 Andrea May 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

I would LOVE to make these. I think they would be gone in one day though 😉


44 RayLynne September 19, 2012 at 1:08 pm

We (my son and I) LOVE this recipe! I don’t enjoy gold fish because I can taste the oiliness and try to eat as little processed food as possible. On the other hand these are perfectly cheesy and nutty without tasting oily at all and have very few preservatives (just whats in the cheese i suppose.) I add milled flax to boost the nutrition then form the dough into a snake of sorts, refrigerate, then slice rounds thinly since I can never roll them out thin enough to be good and crunchy! We go through a batch a week!
Thank you for the great recipe!


45 Marla September 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Yay!! I am so happy this recipe is one of your favorites. I love your idea of the snake/roll. I will try that next time I make them. Sounds like the perfect size for munching and a quick way to move onto other things outside the kitchen. Perfect! Thanks for your sweet comment :)


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