Spicy Southern Cheese Crackers
These homemade cheese crackers are spicy, buttery, and totally addicting!
I love when fellow food bloggers release new cookbooks, so I was thrilled to get a copy of the Add a Pinch cookbook a little while back. If you don’t already follow Robyn’s blog, Add a Pinch, run over there immediately! She shares some of the most amazing recipes – a combination of sweet and savory, and a lot of Southern-inspired recipes, which I love. Everything looks so cozy and approachable; so when she wrote her first cookbook, I couldn’t wait to check it out.
Every single recipe is mouth-watering, but it was no surprise that my first stops were the appetizers and desserts, and well, butter and cheese? I didn’t need to go very far!
Let’s talk about these cheese crackers, because they were here and gone in the blink of an eye, which means you’re probably going to LOVE them!
A number of years ago, I made homemade cheez-its, which were absolutely phenomenal. So, when I opened up Robyn’s new cookbook, the southern cheese crackers jumped off the page at me. Once I saw how much cayenne was in the recipe, I knew my husband would love them.
These are spicy, to be sure, so if you like things with a little bit less of a kick, feel free to decrease or omit the cayenne. I photographed these on Saturday and they ended up being my lunch (oops!)… I COULD NOT STOP eating them!
On Sunday, I put them out in a bowl for our Sunday dinner crowd. Everyone raved about them and after everyone left, I went to eat a handful and saw… crumbs. Always a sure sign that a recipe is a winner!
If the butter and cheese doesn’t have you convinced yet, you can make this dough wayyyy in advance and have it waiting in the fridge or freezer for whenever you have a cheesy cracker craving. Bust out that grater!
One year ago: Baking Basics: Flour 101
Spicy Southern Cheese Crackers
- 8 ounces (226.8 g) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
- ½ cup (113.5 g) salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon (0.13 teaspoon) garlic powder
- 1½ cups (187.5 g) all-purpose flour
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cheese and butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the salt, cayenne, black pepper, and garlic powder. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the flour ½ cup at a time, until the ingredients are well combined and a dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap and shape it into a 1-inch-diameter log. Twist the ends of the parchment or plastic wrap to seal. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and place on a cutting board. Cut the log into ⅛-inch-thick slices and place ¼ inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and allow the crackers to cool completely. The crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- If the dough seems to stiff or dry, gradually add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice water until it reaches the right consistency.
- You can store the unbaked cracker dough in the refrigerator for up to 1 week before baking. It can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months - just place the wrapped dough in a resealable freezer bag.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Great recipe! I also added 1/4 tablespoon of caraway seeds to give them a little more interest. Thanks for the recipe. I will make these often!
I haven’t made these in a long time, but made them today as appetizers for Christmas Eve. They are as delicious as ever! Now the hard part will be keeping myself from eating them all before Saturday.😊
I’m so glad I found this recipe! I used to make similar crackers in the early 1980s but they also had dry mustard, just a dash of cayenne pepper, and a little bit of Worcestershire sauce. They were brushed with egg whites and sprinkled with sesame seeds. I’ve been craving them but I couldn’t find the recipe. This is so similar that I can modify it and make those awesome crackers again! I’m sure they would be great without the modifications, but I’m really looking forward to making them the way I remember them!
Personally, I never use salted butter. Prefer to add my own. The cheddar already has a salted taste especially extra sharp cheese
I have been making these for years. Wonderfully addicting. I use extra sharp cheddar and on occasion, finely chopped green olives. They are always a hit.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl before adding. Flour plus all spices. Also I used a bit more cheese.
This recipe is one of my favorites. I’ve made it with different types of cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack). They always turn out great, not mention they are addicting. Thank you for posting this recipe.
So yummy. Made these for back packing.
This is a great recipe. Easy to make and very tasty. I followed it to the letter the first time I made this but found it too salty so omitted the salt entirely this time. The person I made these for does not like things too spicy so I used mustard powder instead of cayenne pepper. Many of the suggestions in the comments sound very good. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe.
Can I make this recipe using nut flour instead of wheat flour?
I love these from the bottom of my heart. Thanks.
Absolutely love!!! I did find it to be too salty though, so I used unsalted butter and only 1/2 tsp of salt. I also baked at 360° for about 16 min, flipping them after 10min. I wanted a little more spicy, so I increased cayenne pepper. These truly are addictive!!!
Delicious! I eyeballed the butter and some of the other ingredients, so they’re a bit greasy, even for me. I thought I eyeballed the cayenne right, but I must not have because they’re totally not spicy to me. I might try crushed chilis and/or hot sauce next time ;) I also added a tiny sprinkling of baking soda to make them a bit fluffy, and it worked ;)
Can these be made keto friendly?
Hi Ashley, I am not familiar with that eating regimen, so I couldn’t say.
EXTREMELY salty! If there’s a next time, I’ll use unsalted butter & scant 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt. I know crackers are supposed to be salty, but not inedibley so.
Also, this is a recipe where altitude matters. Not so much for flour, etc., but for TEMP and TIME. I live close to 6000 ft., so adjust oven down to 360° and bake time *no more* than 12 – 12 1/2 minutes. Watch carefully!
Make that 360° & more than 11 – 11 1/2 min., depending on when they were taken out of fridge! STILL… WATCH CLOSELY!! Once they start browning they go FAST!!
Your picture with the grapes is VERY misleading! There is NO WAY ON EARTH I can only eat 5 crackers in one sitting lol! These are for real addictive and I love them sooooo much! I’ve been making for the past year and just now getting around to this review. Sometimes I run pecans through the food processor to chop & add those. Bacon crumbles are super good too! Thank you, these are just soooo good and a fabulous base for whatever flavors someone wants to add.
Hello love love this recipe how long in advance can you freeze the logs . Thanks
YES! I used to make a recipe like this from The Joy of Cooking in the appetizer section. I would bake some, and freeze the remainder of the log for whenever company popped in. It was always a hit! now I am older, I would like to replace the butter with some other ingredient — what would you suggest!? Thank you, stay safe ,stay well. Stephanie in Baltimore. PS you can do this all by hand, without a mixer, and without a food processor.
Hi Steffi, I’ve never substituted the butter, but do you mean something like margarine? I don’t think an oil would work.
I used a food processor to bring the dough together and it worked a treat! I also swapped 1/4 of the cayenne for chili powder and everyone loved these and wanted the recipe. Will try with chopped pecans next time! Thank you for posting this recipe!!
I have made these wafers for 30 years, and my mother before me. I tried mixing the dough in my food processor, but found the food processor ruins the texture of these wafers. I grate the cheese in my food processor, but mix by hand. It takes just a couple of minutes and the wafers are so much more tender.
Will these stay crispy if I make several days before serving? Can they be frozen? Thanks!
Hi Karen, They do lose a little crispness as the days pass, but they don’t get soft. I think they are very freezer-friendly!
Hello these crackers look delicious but I was wondering if anyone think substituting oil for butter would work for this recipe?? Thanks for your help!
I would not make that substitution; the butter is what gives these such amazing flavor.
These are wonderful. I added chopped pecans and white sesame seeds……Yum!
Would this be good recipe for making a cheese/appetizer house like a gingerbread one?
what is the texture of these, are they crunchy crisp?
These were really good!! Very crisp and a super reliable recipe!
Can I use almond flour in place of the AP flour, I’m on a low carb lifestyle and this sound good? I’d love to make these so I’m hoping I can use Almond flour in them. Please let me know as soon as you can. Thank you.
Hi Debi, I think almond flour should work just fine. Enjoy!
These were really good! I definitely will make again — thank you!
These crackers are awesome. I like putting chopped pecans in them.
So glad that I came across this recipe… it is truly a “can’t stop eating” situation – made my first batch 2 days ago and just made my third batch – everyone is hooked! Thank you so much for sharing!!!!!
I just made these with chickpea flour (used about 1/4 c. less than the recipe called for) and they turned out great!
These crackers are so delicious! Easy to make with great directions. Thanks!
Thank you for sharing.
These are great! I just made them for a care package and I’m not sure how many will make it ;) lol I halved the cayenne, added poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and some roasemary to give it an “everything” taste and they’re wonderful, the kick is still there.
Just made these today and they are deee-lish! You’re right about not being able to stop eating them. I think I’m going to make a big batch and divide into little fall-themed treat bags and have them as place settings/party favors for Thanksgiving. Thanks for the recipe – definitely going to check out her book.
I made these without any of the spices listed because I used Habanero shredded cheese and figured that would be flavour enough. They were delicious. We couldn’t stop eating them. I had many requests for the recipe. Great base to make your own combinations. Maybe even a little rosemary in my next batch. 😃
These were easy to put together and so yummy! I’m serving them later today and I had to hide them from myself! Because hubby and I don’t like super spicy, I reduced the cayenne by half. They still have a nice bite, so that’s an option to consider. Thanks for this lovely recipe. I can’t wait to review your site for more!
What a great recipe and such beautiful photos.
I substituted dairy-free cheddar cheese to make it vegan, and it was excellent!
Fun to make, and yummy to eat. Thanks for another great recipe!
can you use a mixed cheese of cheddar and mozza to make these crackers with
Hi Debbie, Yes, I think that would be fine!
My (southern) grandma made these all the time. She added 2 C Rice Krispies so they were crunchy. They bring back so many great memories!
Ooooh what a fun idea!
Could these be made low carb?
Hi Kenita, I’m not sure? They definitely need flour in there…
I’m so thrilled that you made these Southern Cheese Crackers and they were a hit in your home too! We love these in my family – and they are deliciously addicting!
Thank you so very much for sharing these on your site – and for the super sweet review of the book!!! Your pictures are so gorgeous and appetizing!
I hope your family and your readers enjoy the recipes in the cookbook as much as my family does!
Again, hugs to you for such a wonderful post and review!
You are so welcome, Robyn! Congratulations on a fabulous book!
I make a similar cracker only they have crumbled bacon and some smoked sea salt. They’re fantastic and I swear they are better every single time I make them.
Crumbled bacon and smoked sea salt sound AMAZING! Going to try those next time!
It has never occurred to me that we can control what’s in our crackers by making them ourselves. And it’s never occurred to me to make cracker before. Good idea! Lightbulb just went on.