Tiny fish-shaped cookie cutters work best for replicating the classic cheese crackers.–Lara Ferroni

LC Non-GMO Goldfish Note

We love these healthful goldfish crackers for countless reasons, among them the fact that they contain only ingredients we can pronounce and that the optional corn and oat flours in this recipe boost the nutrition and give a more complex texture to the crackers without making them icky to little palates. Mind you, if you want non-GMO goldfish, you’ll need to rely on organic ingredients. But just cutting out the lurid artificial coloring and unpronounceable preservatives is a start. A big one. We call these cheesy fish, and come to think of it, any leftover crackers may make a nice crumb crust in place of bread crumbs next time you make Fancy Fish Sticks….

A glass jar filled to the brim with cheesy fish crackers.

Cheesy Fish Crackers

5 from 1 vote
This cheesy fish crackers, that look just like Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, contain all the flavor and none of the artificial ingredients. Just all-natural ingredients. The kids will love ’em. (And so will the big kid in you.)
David Leite
Servings10 servings
Calories92 kcal
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup corn or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup oat or all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces grated, loosely packed mild Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons hot water, or more as needed


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  • Combine the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, corn flour, oat flour, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade and pulse to combine. Add the cheese and butter or coconut oil, and pulse to incorporate. Scrape down the sides of the food processor to free any trapped flour. With the food processor running, drizzle in the hot water, a little at a time, just until the mixture begins to pull together. You may not use all of the water.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather it into a ball. Knead gently once or twice. Roll out the dough until it is slightly less than 1/8 inch thick.
  • Using a very small fish-shaped cutter or the cutter of your choice, cut out the crackers and carefully place them on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets.


Gluten-Free Cheesy Fish Crackers

For gluten-free Cheesy Fish, replace the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours with an equal amount gluten-free all-purpose baking mix. Place the dough between 2 sheets parchment paper for easier rolling.
Real Snacks

Adapted From

Real Snacks

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Serving: 10 crackersCalories: 92 kcalCarbohydrates: 9 gProtein: 3 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 3 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 6 mgSodium: 96 mgPotassium: 33 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 0.1 gVitamin A: 57 IUCalcium: 44 mgIron: 1 mg

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Lara Ferroni. Photo © 2012 Lara Ferroni. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I really enjoyed these crackers. They were very easy to make and the texture and flavor are good. I just tossed mine in a bit of sea salt and they were fabulous. I chose to make these by hand, so I cut the butter into small cubes and mixed the dough with my fingers, as if I were making scones. (I think using salted butter might be a plus next time.) I actually needed a little more than 4 tablespoons hot water; otherwise, the recipe was spot-on. I couldn’t find an aspic cutter in the shape of a fish at the spur of the moment, so I used my small Wilton leaf fondant cutter, which worked very nicely. I just left the crackers on the paper-covered baking sheet to cool. They were perfect.

These little “fishies” are a real delight. Easy to make, fast to bake, no preservatives or bad things for little tummies, and as cute as a bug. I didn’t bother making a fish-shaped cutter, but I did use a couple I had in the shape of a hippo, squirrel, and acorn. The dough comes together very quickly. I used 3 tablespoons water, drizzling it in 1 tablespoon at a time. I liked that there was little kneading involved. I found I needed to bake the crackers for the full 12 minutes until crisp and slightly golden on the edges. I allowed them to cool on the tray, as it only takes a few minutes and it doesn’t overcrisp the crackers. I made these as a treat for my granddaughter and with careful cutting I got about 150 little crackers out of a single batch. There’s something about this type of little cracker that little ones go bananas for. As a grandparent, I can feel good about giving these to her, as I know every ingredient in them. The only slight change I might make is to use a stronger-tasting Cheddar to increase the cheesiness. I can’t wait until my granddaughter is old enough to help me make them.

These cheesy crackers were soooo good, both with a bowl of tomato soup and by the handful. They were simple and quick. I substituted a rye flour blend for the corn and oat flours with delicious success. Instead of a fish cutter, I used a pastry wheel to cut small squares. A sprinkle of sea salt before baking was a nice addition. I used slightly less than 3 tablespoons water and baked them for 10 minutes. I thought the cooking time was perfect for a great crisp texture.

My immediate reaction upon trying these was, “Hey, these don’t taste like Goldfish crackers.” And then I was like, “Hey! These DON’T taste like Goldfish crackers!” They’re pleasantly crunchy and light with a very mild cheesy flavor. Next time, I’ll definitely try a bright, aged, extra-sharp Cheddar for a brighter color and stronger cheese flavor. And there will be a next time—these come together so easily and I love making them for my son’s preschool class! I was unable to find corn or oat flours, so I used 3/4 cup all-purpose and 1/4 cup whole-wheat flours. It took almost 4 tablespoons water for the dough to come together, so don’t be worried if, after adding 3 tablespoons your dough is still incredibly crumbly.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I will need to use gluten-free all purpose flour. How much do I substitute for all of the flour noted?

    1. Christina, I believe it’s typically a 1:1 ratio, but I’ve asked a gluten-free baking expert, Sofia, to weigh in….

          1. Okay, I heard back from Sofia, our resident gluten-free guru, and here’s what she has to say, Christina.

            “I am actually going to make these over the weekend and convert them to gluten-free, so if you are in no hurry, I can report back once I try making them. Meanwhile, in case you’re in a hurry, here is what I am thinking of doing: I will be using GF all-purpose flour in place of the 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface. For the 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour, I find that the best thing is to mix 70% whole grain with 30% starch, so I am going to do 35% oat flour + 35% brown rice flour (for whole grains) and 20% potato flour + 10% arrowroot. For the 1/4 cup corn or all-purpose flour I will use GF all-purpose flour and for the 1/4 cup oat or all-purpose flour I will use 1/4 cup oat flour.

          2. 5 stars
            Christina, I made two different batches to see how they would come out. Both came out perfectly, though I liked the white Cheddar cheese taste better.

            1st batch ingredients:
            1/4 cup GF all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
            4 full teaspoons oat flour
            4 full teaspoons brown rice flour
            2 scant teaspoons potato starch
            2 scant teaspoons arrowroot (cornstarch)
            1/4 cup GF all-purpose flour
            1/4 cup oat flour
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            2 ounces grated, loosely packed white Cheddar cheese
            2 tablespoons coconut oil
            3 1/2 tablespoons hot water, or more as needed
            These were amazing, just not as yellow as the typical goldfish due to not using yellow Cheddar cheese and corn flour, so I decided to make them again…

            2cd batch ingredients:
            1/4 cup GF all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
            4 full teaspoons oat flour
            4 full teaspoons brown rice flour
            2 scant teaspoons potato starch
            2 scant teaspoons arrowroot
            1/4 cup corn flour
            1/4 cup oat flour
            1/4 teaspoon salt
            2 ounces grated, loosely packed yellow Cheddar cheese
            2 tablespoons coconut oil
            3 tablespoons hot water, or more as needed
            These came out more yellow yet the taste though still very good the cheese taste was more mild. Hope this helps you.