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Healthy White Cheddar Vegan Goldfish Crackers

One fish.

Two fish.

Homemade White Cheddar Goldfish Crackers

Red fish.

Blue fish.

Say! What a lot of fish there are.

-Dr Seuss

Quoting a beloved childhood author seemed a fitting way to begin a post about a beloved childhood snack: goldfish crackers! Or, as Pepperidge Farm says, they are “the snack that smiles back.”

 

smiles

I drew on the smiles.

But these homemade goldfish crackers—filled with whole grains, fiber, vitamins, and deliciousness—are surely smiling inside.

Vegan Goldfish

The recipe was inspired by (and heavily adapted from) an adorable cookbook called Classic Snacks Made from Scratch, by Casey Barber. Her recipes are neither vegan nor particularly healthy; but the photos are super-cute, and I love flipping through the book for ideas. Next on my “healthy makeover” list are Klondike Bars, pudding pops, and Milano Cookies. Today, we are going with the goldfish: they taste more rustic (and less “fake”) than goldfish crackers from a store, yet they are just as delicious!

Homemade White Cheddar Goldfish Crackers

Healthy White Cheddar Vegan Goldfish

Print this recipe

  • 1 cup spelt or all-purpose flour (Bob’s gluten-free will work here) (130g)
  • 1 1/8 tsp salt (If you don’t like salty crackers, decrease to 3/4 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • optional: pinch turmeric for color
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp milk of choice (75g)
  • 3 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil (30g)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine first five ingredients in a bowl, and stir together. Mix in remaining ingredients until evenly incorporated. Transfer to bag and smush into a ball, then roll out between two sheets of parchment paper. Cut goldfish shapes, either with a goldfish cookie cutter or with a knife. (I cut them out carefully with a knife. After the first few, I gave up with the goldfish and cut the rest out with a circle cookie cutter.)  Cook on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10-11 minutes. The yield will depend on the size of the cookie cutter you use (about 150 of the size shown in the photos). Thicker dough means puffier crackers; thinner dough yields crispier crackers.

View Nutrition Facts

homemade goldfish

Question of the Day:

Do you like Goldfish crackers?

Cheeze-Its, Cheez Doodles, and Goldfish were some of my sister’s favorite snacks when we were growing up. Me? I rarely ate any non-chocolate snack foods. I have a theory that my sister subconsciously developed a taste for salty, cheesy snacks as a defense mechanism when I refused to share any of the chocolate!

Link of the Day:

fudgsicles

……..Chocolate Fudge Pops

Published on April 7, 2013

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131 Comments

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  1. Tanner says

    I never really liked goldfish crackers, but these look so cute, I think I might have to make them. You said they don’t taste “fake”, though, so they’ll probably be great! I like Annie’s chocolate chip bunny grahams, they’re delicious!
    P.S. For my English class we had to write evaluation essays this week, and I evaluated Chocolate-Covered Katie! It was hard because there are so many great things about the site, but a 525 word limit 🙂 🙁

  2. Jenny says

    This is just plain adorable. I used to love munching on goldfish as a kid, but they were always so processed… I’m definitely gonna to try this 🙂 Thanks, CCK!

  3. Claire Elizabeth says

    Oh my goodness! This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for! Thank you SO SO SO much! I am DEFINITELY going to make these after I decide what to cookie-cut them with! I am very excited now! Thanks again, Katie! 😀

  4. Lisa says

    These look super interesting!
    But, I love anything with nutritional yeast so they look like a win for me.
    I love how cute they are ha, so creative.
    I always loved goldfish crackers and those graham bunnies at the grocery store. Those were my top picks!

  5. Anonymous says

    Ha-ha, Katie, I like your theory about why your sister developed a taste for salty things. I wonder what sort of an impact I had on my younger sisters’ preferences (though, terrible to admit: she used to LOVE this snack called “Snappea Crisps” when we were little, but after I *gasp* showed her my mouthful of the chewed up snack, she was grossed out and didn’t touch them for YEARS. I felt so bad . . .)

    Anyways – I used to LOVE goldfish very much – they’re so darned cute! Now I need to make these . . . Maybe I’ll add beet juice and spinach to make some colored ones!

  6. Leah says

    Hi Katie! Just wondering, are these supposed to have any vegan cheddar in them? It isn’t listed in the ingredients, but I would imagine that they have some sort of vegan cheese product in them to make them taste like goldfish!

    • Allie says

      that’s where the nutritional yeast comes in, it gives our the cheddar cheese flavor. 🙂 the bulk bins at most health food stores have it! sprinkle on popcorn or anything you want for chest flavor!

  7. Dawn says

    Excuse my vegan ignorance….however, is there white cheddar in the “Healthy White Cheddar Vegan Goldfish?” or does the cheddar type flavor come from the nutritional yeast?? They look yummy, and I would like to try them…just do not see the cheddar in the recipe.

    • Karen says

      Yes, the nutritional yeast has a “cheesy” flavor and is used to replace traditional milk-based cheeses.
      Also, and excellent source of B12 for vegans.

  8. Sam says

    I’m also new to using coconut oil (my first time was with your homemade chocolate recipe, which was AMAZING by the way!) So if using coconut oil, is it 3 tbsp of the solid stuff or melted down?

  9. Regina @ Fit4Mom says

    Can’t wait to try these for my toddler! Any idea how long the shelf life is? Can I freeze the dough if I make it in big batches? Or the crackers? Sorry, I’m new to baking, especially with bread/crackers.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Caloriecount. And yes, sometimes you have to watch it and figure things out by hand. Some items are listed incorrectly (such as canned beans or rolled oats). Definitely keep in mind that a free online calculators provide a general guideline but are rarely 100% accurate.

  10. stephanie chin says

    ..I’ve been looking to buy some nutritional yeast for popcorn and i guess for these goldfish as well… suggestions on places?

    I have to say that I’m not much a of cheesy snacker… recently no added sugar persimmon cinnamon chocolate chip cookies have been my “go-to”..

    • Tanner says

      They have a bunch of different kinds of nooch on iherb.com 🙂 That’s where I get a lot of my specialty foods, because they are inexpensive and shipping is usually free.

  11. Christine Moore says

    Terri Romano and Isa Chandra Moskowitz, in their book “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar,” have a copycat recipe for Milano cookies. They call them “Mo-Mos” or something of that nature.

  12. Yvonne says

    Yummy! I jumped up and made these the moment I saw this recipe today and they are dee-licious! I will probably back off the salt a little bit next time for myself, but you did warn me! 😉 I didn’t have any tumeric so I opted for a pinch of paprika

  13. Samantha&Nicholas! says

    OMG these are so perfect! We are vegetarian, not vegan, and my mother got my son Nicholas addicted to “whole grain” Goldfish, of which I do not approve <_< (Thanks, mom) I've been looking for a satisfactory copycat recipe- and now I have one! You are a mind-reader, Katie! Thank you so much!

  14. trajayjay says

    I was never in love with goldfish, but i ate them anyways b/c i didnt know about sodium or refined flour or tbhq for freshness. But i do have two interesting stories about goldfish. One time we bought a big box of goldfish but we barely ate any of it. One day my mom decreed that we werent allowed to eat any other snacks until we ate all the goldfish. So for the rest of the day, practically the only thing we did was eat goldfish and water. It sucked.
    Another time we had to write a letter to pepperidge farm to persuade them to make another goldfish color. This was a school project. How the hell am i supppsed to say i want blue goldfish and not not sound ridiculous

  15. Nicole @ Fruit 'N' Fitness says

    Yum, these sound amazing! I have just recently tried nutritional yeast for the first time and really liked it, and loved goldfish when I was little.

  16. Jenae says

    Is there anything I could substitute for the nutritional yeast? I don’t necessarily need a vegan option either. Thanks!! If I can substitute the yeast somehow I would love to try these! 🙂

  17. Anonymous says

    What do you mean by “transfer to bag and smush into a ball”? Is it a special bag for making dough? Btw this recipe sounds delicious!

    • Louise says

      A bigger ziploc bag for example works like a charm. Or if you don’t mind getting your hands sticky you can just use your hands to smush the dough together.

  18. Melissa says

    As soon as I saw this recipe I went to the kitchen and made them! They are super easy and super delicious!!! I didn’t have a little fish cookie cutter (plus I was feeling pretty lazy and wanted to eat them as soon as possible!) so I just rolled it rolled and baked it as one giant cracker! Amazingly delicious! Thanks for such a great, easy, delicious and healthy recipe! You are the best!

  19. Julie says

    So, if I read the comments correctly, the nutritional yeast is for “cheesy” flavour only? I’m not familiar with nutritional yeast, sorry!

  20. Katy @ Katy's Kitchen says

    These are so cute! Absolutely adorable as always. I love that last photos with the one fish in focus and the rest blurred. 🙂

  21. Tala says

    Hey Katie! I’ve noticed that a lot of your recipes call for nutritional yeast. I can’t find it anywhere here as I live in Paris. I’m not vegan, do you think I can substitute it for plain old shredded cheese? I understand that it will increase the calories, or can you think of any other substitute? 🙂 thanks

  22. Yolan says

    haha.. the fish with smiles drawn on them look adorable! I wonder how using these would go as fishing bait?

  23. Carole-Ann Charles says

    Just made them!!! :p they are really good and cute but maybe a little too oily for me do you think it’ll turn great if I’d put lets say 2tbsp of oil instead of 3? thank you very much for all your delicious recipes

  24. Hannah says

    Ah, Dr. Seuss. I grew up on him, and at sixteen years old he’s still one of my favorite authors.

    I always hated Cheeze-Its. I’ve never had Cheez Doodles, though. But Goldfish? Love!
    Whenever I ate them, I used to have them swimming at the table while I plotted their fate, which was either being eaten by sharks, or caught by fishermen.

    But this sounds cool! I’ll have to try it sometime!

  25. Erica says

    My dad is addicted to Cheez-its. He’s never without a box of them, and as a result, I never cared one way or another for them. My best friend in school did, so she would make sure to grab them when he was watching, just to make him squirm. 🙂 But these crackers look like a lot of fun, and I can have my 7 y/o help me cut them out. I’m working hard on getting more real food in her and this looks like an excellent way to do that. Thanks for posting this!!

  26. Kavli says

    My toddler absolutely loved goldfish crackers…and then we found she’s allergic to wheat and eggs (and a bunch of other stuff). I’ve been on the hunt for such a makeover of these famous kids snacks, and can’t thank you enough for this recipe! You are a star!

    • Anonymous says

      Be careful as spelt is like a cousin of wheat so she might still react to it. You could try millet flour or quinoa flour but you need to add something like gluten free gluten. Good luck!

  27. Kitty Bea says

    That is so clever! I don’t even care for gold fish that much, but I’m sure I’d LOVE these! This is soo much better to feed children. Do you think sweet white sorghum flour would work?

  28. Brenda Walker says

    Hey there! These sound WONDERFUL! I’m so excited to try them. Do you think I could use freshly milled hard white or soft white flour in place of the spelt? I know they would no longer be GF but that is ok with us. 🙂

    • Anonymous says

      Yes you could. Spelt flour isn’t gluten free either its just a cousin of regular flour that hasn’t been modified so has less gluten. It also is much harder to mill therefore not as processed

  29. Susan Stone says

    Yes, I like goldfish, but I mostly don’t want to waste my calorie intake on high carb junk like that (my husband and I are on an eating plan and we watch what we eat carefully – most of the time). Your crackers sound wonderful. They are something I would make if I need crackers. When I was growing up we rarely were allowed snacks, so I never developed snack habits. Mostly now we eat things like higher protein energy bars, Greek yogurt, and other healthy foods.

  30. Maram says

    Look delicious
    But where does the white cheddar part come in?
    I didn’t see it in the ingredients, am I missing something?

  31. Amy McCann says

    I found nutritional yeast at the health food store, FINALLY! Guess I need to go back and buy some. This is a fun snack for my 4 girls (and me, shhh). THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!!

  32. Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen says

    Yum! Can you put these in a bag and start selling them at the grocery store? 😀 And I’ve always been a chocolate lover too. My roommate has a salty-tooth and I have the sweet-tooth!

  33. Maise says

    OH.MY.GOSH. Whole grain cheddar gold fish have become a regular snack for me.. I LOVE THEM! It is pretty much the only cheesey snack I like… this is amazing! ps. What would an easy add in be to make them cheddar flavored?..

  34. Tina says

    Can anyone tell me what the difference is between nutritional yeast flakes and brewer’s yeast powder? Can I use them interchangeably? I tried googling it but the answers varied and were unclear. Thanks!

  35. Lisa says

    Hi Katie,
    The recipe doesn’t make complete sense, so I had a question to clear it up…

    1. Each of the flours have a different weight. Which is accurate? The weight or the measurement?

    2. Do you mean nutritional yeast or nutritional yeast flakes?

    3. Different milks will yield different results because of the fat content. What did you use?

    4. Coconut oil and vegetable oil have different baking properties. Also, coconut oil.. if used, should it be virgin? Should it be melted?

    Just also wondering if you tested each version, that way I know which one would work 🙂

    Thanks for clearing these up.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Yes, they will have different gram measurements, but it won’t actually make enough of a difference that the recipe won’t “work” in each case. Same with the coconut and veg oils. Both will work; they’ll yield slightly different tastes/textures, but both will work and yield delicious results.

      I always test multiple versions, to make sure something I’ve listed will work. (I didn’t actually test with both oils; just the coconut oil. But I’ve done enough baking experiments to know that either will be ok in this recipe.)

      Oh, and nutritional yeast flakes :).

      • Lisa says

        Thanks for the feedback!

        Since gluten-free flour lacks gluten, which specific combination did you use when you tested it, to make sure it works the same? Because the fiber, fat, protein contents can be quite different, along with the weight (VERY different with GF flour), knowing which one you tested will help.

        Coconut oil and veg oil might both taste delicious, but the final result will be quite different… same with virgin versus nonvirgin. Can you explain which ones you used? I want to make sure I am not going to waste ingredients.

        Yes, they will have different gram measurements, but it won’t actually make enough of a difference that the recipe won’t “work” in each case. Same with the coconut and veg oils. Both will work; they’ll yield slightly different tastes/textures, but both will work and yield delicious results.

        Thanks re: flakes!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Julie,
      If I adapt a recipe from another source, I always give proper credit. Not sure why you’re assuming I used the recipe you linked (which I can guarantee you I never even saw until just now). Please read my post again, as I specifically state my inspiration for this recipe.
      Your passive-aggressive comment was just hurtful and uncalled-for.

    • Donna says

      This comment doesn’t even make sense. Anyone with half a brain can see that the two recipes are not the same.

    • R says

      Nope, not at all the same recipes and if you did a google search you would find that there are many recipes for goldfish-type crackers online. Goldfish crackers are not a new invention and Katie’s recipe accommodates many dietary needs. Are you going around to every blog with a goldfish cracker recipe saying the same thing then?

  36. Anonymous says

    YAY!! I cannot WAIT to try these! My GF starches are arriving on Friday, and I am going to make these as soon as they show up. I have TOTALLY been dying for some cheese-like goldfish crackers. Thanks for making and sharing these!

  37. cucicucicoo says

    mmm! i’ve always loved goldfish and now my kids do, too. this recipe looks super easy and yummy. can’t wait to try it! now i just need to find some little cookie cutters… 🙂 lisa

  38. Chris says

    Can’t do yeast. NO yeast. Am considering subbing ground nuts for the nutritional yeast. And ideas about that notion?!? Must.make.these.crackers…!!!

  39. Kate says

    When I saw this recipe the other day, I was actually kinda creeped out.

    About a week ago, I found a recipe for home made Cheez-Its (which are my favorite) and it was chock full of butter, but I bookmarked it anyway (I’m not vegan) because at least they wouldn’t be full of chemicals like their pre-packaged counterparts. I thought about them a couple times, I couldn’t wait till I had the time to make them! I looked here a couple days later, and I saw this recipe. I began to wonder–How did she know that I was looking for cheesy, crispy, home-made goodness? Can she see my browsing history? Does she now know about my Tiny Tim obsession? Is she going to post about that now too???

    I’m so glad I didn’t have time to make that Cheez-It recipe when I found it, because I’m sure I would have been hooked on them. These just came out of the oven, and they are AMAZING. My roomies are never going to guess these are vegan! I may even let them think they are the butter-laden recipe I found last week just to see the look on their face when I reveal the truth! Bwahahahahahahaha! Muaaahahahahaha!!!

  40. heavenlywhisprz says

    Katie, I love, love, LOVE Your recipes. I’ve tried a lot of your recipes and they all have been excellent! Except, this one. I’m sorry, but I just didn’t like this at all 🙁 I don’t know if it was the ground onion or nutritional yeast, but I ended up tossing it. I think I better stick to your chocolate recipes, because they are delish!! (and your pumpkin recipes, and your banana recipes, oatmeal recipes, cookie recipes, yeah, you get the point!…Yumm! Yumm!)

  41. Zanita says

    Make Milano Raspberry-Chocolate Cookies next! Please? They are so unhealthy but I can’t get away from them!

  42. anonymous says

    I use a similar recipe to make homemade dog treats for my puppy. Good to know they make tasty human treats too!

  43. Maura says

    Can anyone suggest a brand of nutritional yeast that is not processed in a place that also produces tree nuts and peanuts (bobs red mill is) thanks. My son has allergies and would love to make these for him. Thanks!

  44. Amanda says

    My son HATED these, but has spent the past half hour playing with dough scraps, so I guess that’s a win. I’m currently risking eating all of these, and think they’d be great with soup.

    • Amanda says

      Correction, he’s decided he likes the crackers, but they taste a little yuck when hot. Also, he liked squeezing the bag. I guess the moral of the story is that four-year-olds make crappy food critics.

  45. Lilly Sue says

    I was just thinking today that I would love to bake cheeze-its! I love them but I try not to buy them because of the stuff they put in them. I also have an addiction to gold fish…who doesn’t?! 🙂

  46. Becky says

    Thank you Katie! I love your blog! Our brains must have been on the same wavelength recently. I recently made these sourdough crackers at http://homejoys.blogspot.com/2010/03/sourdough-crackers.html and they taste JUST LIKE goldfish crackers/ cheezits even though they do not contain any cheese! Of course they require that you have some sourdough starter. 🙂 The recipe can be made vegan by substituting Earth Balance or something similar for the butter. I also came across this book that has recipes for favorite childhood snacks like goldfish crackers, Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Doritos, etc. All the recipes have vegan and gluten-free options. http://www.amazon.com/Real-Snacks-Favorite-Childhood-Without/dp/1570617880 Maybe you’ve already heard of it; I don’t know. 🙂

    Thanks for all of your inspiring recipes! <3

  47. kelly says

    Just made these for my 2 year old! Delicious, but next time I’ll add less salt. Now he can finally have ‘fish’ with all his buddies… Even though his are lion shaped 🙂

  48. Jessica says

    Hi! Do you think these could be colored in different colors, like purple? If so, would it just be a matter of adding food coloring??

    Thanks so much, these would be perfect for my kids!

  49. Stacy says

    I made these, but used the all-purpose whole wheat flour I had on hand. I like the taste, but I think all the gluten made the texture too tough. Yours look so flaky/grainy in the picture! I guess I’ll be picking up some gluten-free flour and trying again!

    • Chocolate Covered Katie says

      *Technically* it should be. It gets tricky, though: if you actually use a measuring spoon and pour onto a scale from the spoon, some of the liquid stays on the spoon and you end up with only 10-12g (depending on the measuring spoon – not all are accurate) in the food. So for the sake of having everyone measure the same thing, I list the gram measurement as less. In a perfect world, everyone would use a food scale and I’d get rid of the cup measures in my recipes, as I just don’t believe they provide consistent results.

  50. Emma says

    I know this is an older post (sorry!) but when you say the thicker-rolled dough yields “puffier” crackers, do you mean that they puff up and are hollow inside like “real” goldfish?

  51. Stephanie Wilson says

    I just made these today, and I think they are outstanding! I have not been able to eat cheddar crackers in years due to allergies, so I am overjoyed to have this recipe! Thank you Katie! 😀

  52. sd says

    We do not have yeast, but we just realized my family member’s reaction to goldfish is due to the coloring agents in them.
    However, I do not have any yeast to make these.
    Can i use cheese/any substitutions for the yeast? how much? Thanks.

  53. Stacy says

    After making these twice, I wanted to pass on how SO much better they are with spelt flour than all purpose flour. The texture was so much more crisp with a crumbly mouth feel.

  54. Julie says

    I just made these and they were super quick and easy. I didn’t bother to make them into goldfish shapes but rather just rolled them out then used my pizza wheel to basically cut them into squares (it was rough and I didn’t trim the edges). Then I used skewer to poke a dent in the center of each one. They vaguely look like pale cheez-its but they’re so much better. BTW, I didn’t even have to transfer them once I cut them – they don’t spread so I just cut and tossed them straight in the oven on the parchment paper I rolled them onto (a baking sheet).

  55. Abby says

    does anyone know if there’s a substitute for the nutritional yeast? I live pretty far away from anywhere that carries it. I want to get some in the future but… for right now?

  56. Emily says

    I made these tonight.. not quiet goldfish at all but I found a new treat to dip in Mariana sauce!

  57. Annmarie says

    Does anyone know if these would work with almond flour or another kind of grain free flour? I’m sensitive to all grains so I can’t even have the gluten free flour mixes.

  58. Kerri says

    I have my batch in the ov n right now! I used a knife to cut small 1/2 inch squares and poked them with a fork. I hope they taste as good as they smell. Super easy to make. I was intimidated by the idea of making crackers but these are so easy.

  59. Anna says

    I’ve made them 2 times. My husband loves them a lot, so do i. But my husband ask if I can make them more cheese (he doesn’t know that there is no cheese in it). So it’s a challenge for me. I could get cheese flavor, but we are sailors in carribean and its hard to find any bakery shops here. I’d be happy if anyone can help me with ideas.

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