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Homemade Goldfish Crackers + Classic Snacks Made from Scratch

Homemade Goldfish crackers, ahoy! While there are as many cheesy crackers in the supermarket aisle as there are fish in the sea, there are certain brands that perpetually float to the top.

At the store, the bags of these classic Cheddar crackers seem to magically swim into my cart. We never really grow out of some childhood favorites, do we?

homemade Goldfish crackers
Photo: Casey Barber

That’s why, along with homemade Cheez-Its, making my own version of cheddar Goldfish was at the top of my list when working on my cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats.

Classic Snacks Made from Scratch

If you’ve ever made homemade gingerbread men or sugar cookies for the holidays, you’ve already got the process down pat: just stir together an easy, cheesy dough, roll it out, cut into fishy shapes, and bake.

The dough is much more pliant and supple than fragile buttery cookie dough thanks to lots of cheese and a touch of oil, and there’s no stand mixer or expensive equipment required to make it.

homemade Goldfish crackers
Photo: Casey Barber

Speaking of equipment: is a homemade Goldfish cracker really a Goldfish cracker if it’s not fish-shaped? If you’re bent on accuracy, you can do as I do and use this USA-made copper fish-shaped cookie cutter.

But if your cookie cutter collection already contains a mini heart, star, circle, or other tiny shape, the taste will be the same. In a pinch, use a pizza cutter to slice out little diamonds or rectangles.

goldfish crackers

In my quest to make these cute little crackers taste as much like the store-bought version as possible, I added one “splurge” ingredient to really seal the deal: King Arthur Flour Vermont cheese powder.

While you can find other versions from other brands at specialty grocery stores and big-box stores like Walmart, he King Arthur Flour version is pure Vermont cheddar cheese.

It’s so tart, tangy, and creamy that it’s become indispensable in my kitchen.

In addition to the homemade Goldfish crackers recipe, I use the cheese powder as a crucial ingredient in Classic Snacks Made from Scratch‘s recipes for homemade Cool Ranch and Nacho Doritos, Cheetos, cheddar popcorn, and more.

homemade Goldfish crackers
Photo: Casey Barber

Plus, it makes a hell of a homemade mac and cheese when you’re feeling Kraft-y but also a little virtuous. So it’s worth getting your hands on this generous half-pound tub to see what you can do with it.

These homemade Goldfish crackers have been heartily approved many times over by the under-six set.

They were the centerpiece snack at all my book tour stops, road-tested at kids’ cooking classes, and sneakily scarfed down by many grown-ups at parties over the past five years.

homemade Goldfish crackers
Photo: Casey Barber

While making your own crackers will never be quite as easy as ripping open a bag, this way of getting your Goldfish is a lot more fun.

Watch the video and get the recipe below, courtesy of Classic Snacks Made from Scratch!

Homemade Goldfish Crackers
Homemade Goldfish Crackers

Homemade Goldfish Crackers

Yield: 10 dozen crackers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Homemade Goldfish crackers from the cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats are easy to make and just as cheesy as the ones from the store.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (4 ounces; 113 grams) sharp Cheddar cheese, very finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces; 60 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/8 ounces; 60 grams) cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup whole or reduced-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Stir the cheese, flours, cheddar cheese powder, salt, baking powder, and onion powder together in a large bowl until the cheese is evenly distributed and coated. 
  2. Add the milk and vegetable oil and continue to stir with a spatula, then knead in the bowl with your hands until a cohesive dough forms. It will be crumbly at first, but continue to press and knead the dough until any dry bits are incorporated.
  3. Transfer the dough to your work surface, cover with the upside-down bowl, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.
  5. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Refrigerate one piece while you roll the second piece as thin as humanly possible, no more than 1/8-inch thick. (The thinner your dough, the crispier your crackers will be; thicker dough means puffier, more bread-like crackers.)
  6. Stamp out cracker shapes with your cookie cutter of choice: a fish is the traditional shape, of course, but the crackers taste just as good as hearts, stars, circles, or small squares. Transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheets.
  7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until the crackers are crispy and just turning golden at the edges. The timing will vary according to the size and shape of your crackers.
  8. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Notes

The crackers will soften when kept in an airtight container, so they’re best eaten within a day or two.

I use this fish-shaped cookie cutter to cut out my homemade Goldfish crackers, if you want to replicate the exact shape.

Did you make this recipe?

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72 Comments

  1. Congrats on the book release, Casey! I once made homemade white cheddar cheezits and they were delicious! The only downside was that grating all that cheese took forever. Using powdered cheese is probably smarter and King Arthur’s products are great (I’ve been to the flagship store in Vermont).

  2. I’m very exited about the Homemade Goldfish Crackers, will definitely be making a vegan version.

  3. Well, I’m excited to try the Twinkies because my nearly 12-year-old niece is completely creeped out by them after doing an experiment in school on the real deal. I’d like to show her you can make neat stuff at home that isn’t creepy. Plus, I would love a tiny goldfish cookie cutter. ;o)

    I already like you FB and follow you on twitter, so those probably don’t count.

    Yay!

  4. My mouth is watering just reading the recipe for the goldfish crackers. My favorite anytime snack addiction is Pringles (have they been around long enough to be classic?), although my movie-food has always been Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so I MUST make them.

  5. How about the old Ice Cubes chocolate, can never find another chocolate that melts so amazingly in my mouth

  6. When I think back, there were always rice cakes in my house. We would top these with all manner of things; cheese and tomatoes, peanut butter and raisins, grape jelly and sprinkles (not all creations were equal). Every now and again, I find myself craving the simple cakes.

  7. I was happy to see Mallomars listed as one of the cookies in this book! I fondly remember begging my mother to buy Mallomars every time she took me grocery shopping. No wonder she preferred to go alone!

  8. These goldfish actually! My kids love goldfish and I hardly ever buy them because I don’t love all the ingredients. I will be a hero at home when I pull a batch of these out of the oven. Plus, I think my kids will have a lot of fun making these with me. (When no one is looking, I might need to make myself some twinkies too)

  9. The junk food we craved when we’ve lived overseas is Kraft Mac Macaroni & Cheese. One year we had my father in law bring a whole suitcase of it to last the rest of our stay in France.

  10. When I saw your recipe for sour patch kids I nearly swooned! I love making things at home, but I just assumed that this was one treat I’d have to resort to going to the store for. I’m also excited to try the Oreos for my brother who is a confirmed oreoholic. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to win your book. And thank you for writing such a comprehensive guide to creating all these nostalgic snacks!

  11. Actually, I think I am pretty excited about making the Twinkies. As an adult, they don’t seem to taste very good, so I think a homemade version would be awesome. It wouldn’t taste like stale chemicals.

  12. The nostalgic treat I miss is a Black Cow. But I don’t think they are in this cookbook. But I do like those Chicken in a Biscuit crackers lol

  13. Totally psyched about OREOS!!! Seriously the one cookie you can’t eat just one of :) Can’t wait to check out your new book!

  14. And I signed up for your e-mail updates! (Used a different e-mail address, but signed up all the same :))

  15. I love fishy crackers but truly consider selling my soul for a Twinkie right now, so I scooted over to Facebook and liked your page :)

  16. I always consider junk food to be good news, so I subscribed to your newsletter about 10 seconds ago!

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