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These delicious Cheese Straws are from a treasured family recipe that is simple to make! Loaded with cheese and perfect for serving at parties, cheese straws are a classic Southern delicacy!

In addition to these decadent cheese straws, other scrumptious cheese recipes like Pimento Cheese and a Bacon Ranch Cheese Ball are favorites to enjoy at your next gathering!

Top view of Cheese Straws in white cup

My delicious cheese straw recipe is a treasure that has been enjoyed for generations in my family and shared with me by my mother long ago. They are seriously the best cheese straws I’ve ever tasted and are always a hit at parties, showers, and holiday gatherings! Full of rich cheese and a few simple ingredients, they are formed with a cookie press, baked in the oven, and ready in about 30 minutes!

Cheese Straws Recipe

Fluted Cheese Straws stood on end in a white milk glass vessel

I loved to watch my mama make these golden crispy treats. I’d perch on a barstool so I was tall enough to watch the magic happen as she mixed these and then began to press from her cookie press onto baking sheets. Sometimes, they’d become a bit squiggly as she’d make them, the cheesy dough deciding the shape it would take rather than staying in a straight line.

Usually, Mama would make her cheese straws before a big family shower, reunion, or a special holiday meal – like Easter or Christmas. They are truly special and delicious – and the aroma of these beauties baking in the oven is purely divine. I can’t wait for you to try them. Here’s how I make them.

How to Make Cheese Straws

To make these, you’ll need:


  • sharp cheddar cheese – I recommend grating the cheese yourself for the best results. Store-bought shredded cheese usually has a coating to prevent the cheese from clumping together in the package, which makes the cheese not blend together as well as cheese that is freshly shredded from a block of cheese.
  • butter – softened to room temperature
  • flour – this recipe uses all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper
  • Spices – This recipe uses cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and garlic powder. These spices are delicious in these cheese straws.
Shredded cheddar cheese in glass mixer bowl

Step-by-Step Instructions

Preheat and Prep

Preheat the oven and line the baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick silicon baking sheets. Set aside.

Shred Your Cheese

You can easily shred your cheese in a food processor or with a box grater, but I definitely recommend shredding your own cheese instead of using store-bought shredded cheese, as mentioned earlier.


Add the instructed amount of shredded cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer and cream with the butter until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency, about 5-10 minutes.

Then in another large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Then add the flour mixture into the cheese mixture by large spoons full, making sure to fully incorporate the ingredients after each addition.

Finally, once all the flour mixture and cheese mixture are smoothly combined, stir in the final amount of grated cheddar cheese.

Pipe the dough

Put the dough into a cookie press or large piping bag fitted with a large star piping tip. Slowly pipe strands of cheese straw dough onto baking sheets. Then, cut into 6-inch lengths.

Bake and Serve

Bake cheese straws as directed until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

These cheese straws taste the absolute best the day they are made. But they will remain fresh for up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container.

Note – these are very delicate. It’s important to remember that these cheese straws may break easily. That’s part of the charm of this favorite delicacy.

Close up view of Cheese Straws

Storage Instructions

Make sure the cheese straws have completely cooled before storing. As they are extremely delicate and may break easily, they should be carefully layered on parchment paper in an airtight container. They should remain fresh for up to 3 days when stored in this manner.

Cheese Straws – Southern Party Treat

Rich, decadent Cheese Straws and the South go hand-in-hand. And when they are as scrumptious as these are, they most definitely get requested often for parties, holidays, and celebrations! But they are easy enough to make any time just because.

This crisp cheesy delicacy is so perfect for holidays. They are impressive on any holiday table and are always a crowd favorite. Cheese straws are great on an Easter table alongside Deviled Eggs and taste delicious with Chicken Salad and other favorite dishes for a Mother’s Day luncheon.

I love to serve cheese straws along with other crowd-favorite foods when having parties, bridal and baby showers, and tailgates. They are perfect with dessert bars, cakes, cookies, salads, and more for showers and parties. And they’ve gotten devoured at every tailgate for which I’ve made them too. Cheese straws are a southern classic!

White footed milk glass cup with cheese straws

I enjoy making these now and had fun making them with my son when he was little, just as my mama did with me. It’s great to make memories while cooking and baking. Those memories are some of my very favorites.

More Southern Party Favorites

Sausage Balls

Southern Teacakes

Shrimp and Grits Bites

Sweet Tea and Lemonade

Mini Quiche

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever

Here’s my recipe for cheese straws. I hope you love it as much as we do.

5 from 4 votes

Cheese Straws Recipe

Appetizers 32 mins

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Servings 36
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
These delicious Cheese Straws are an heirloom family recipe and Southern classics! Made with a cookie press, ready in 30 minutes and perfect for entertaining!


  • 1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch garlic powder


  • Preheat oven to 375º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick silicon baking sheets. Set aside.
  • Grate cheddar cheese and place all but 1 cup into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add butter and cream butter and cheese together until it reaches a smooth, creamy consistency, about 5-10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and garlic powder. Gradually add flour mixture into cheese and butter mixture by large spoons full, taking care to fully incorporate after each addition.
  • Once all flour has been incorporated and dough is smooth, stir in final cup of grated cheddar cheese.
  • Place portions of dough into cookie press or large piping bag fitted with large star piping tip. Slowly pipe long strands of cheese straw dough onto prepared baking sheets about 1 – 1 1/2-inches apart. Then, cut into 6-inch lengths.
  • Bake cheese straws for 10-12 minutes, until edges just begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container, layering between parchment paper to keep fresh.
  • Best eaten the day they are made, but will keep up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • Note that cheese straws are extremely delicate and will break easily. This is part of their charm and character.


Storage Instructions
Make sure the cheese straws have completely cooled before storing. As they are extremely delicate and may break easily, they should be carefully layered on parchment paper in an airtight container. They should remain fresh for up to 3 days when stored in this manner.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

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Southern Favorites Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


    1. Well, bless your heart. You have missed a treat for too long in your life!  This is a good recipe. Give it a try

  1. I’m sad that I’ve never had a cheese straw. Can I ask a really lame question? Are these like Cheetos? Or am I way off?

    1. 5 stars
      I would say you are way off. They are nothing like Cheetos. It’s kind of hard to think of something to compare them to. Maybe like a Slightly crunchy cookie for texture with a bold cheese flavor hinted with spice/heat. They are amazing!!!! My step-mom makes them at Christmas and its my favorite treat!

    1. Thanks so much, Diane! I sure would love to share a few with you, too! They are yummy!

  2. 5 stars
    do they hold up ok for dipping and if so, is there a particular dip you could suggest that goes well with them…thank u

    1. They are very tender and I’m not sure that I would plan to use them for dipping. They are delicious right by themselves though! xo

  3. I don’t know what went wrong.  My dough was lovely, but far too thick to pipe.  I know because I tried.  I rolled it out and cut it like shortbread, and it was ok, but I imagine that I did something terribly wrong, and that they should have been so much better.  

    Any ideas?

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      I’m so sorry your dough was too thick. I’ve always used White Lily flour, which results in very light and fluffy baked goods. It could be that the flour you used was a more dense, but can’t be sure. Hope this helps Jennifer. Thanks!

    2. Hi Jennifer, I just read your comment. When prepared correctly, cheese straws will nearly melt in your mouth because of the light texture they have. I would suggest three things that my grandmother taught me: 1.) When measuring your flour, always use the largest measuring cups you can, so for this recipe you’ll need a 1 cup and a 1/2 cup measuring cup. The smaller the measuring cups the more flour you will wind up measuring. 2.) Don’t pack the flour into the measuring cups. Lightly spoon large heaping spoonfuls of sifted flour into your measuring cups, then use a knife to slide the excess off the top. 3.) BEFORE measuring the flour, sift it. If you don’t have a flour sifter, you can use a fine meshed strainer and a spoon to sift small amounts. Then measure the sifted flour into your largest measuring cups. It’s not necessary to sift it again after measuring. The idea is to aerate the flour to make it light. Since you really can’t aerate the seasonings, I just add the remaining dry ingredients directly to the sifted and measured flour and then use a whisk to incorporate them into the flour. I sure hope this helps. These are a wonderful Southern snack we’ve enjoyed for years!

    3. Great tips, Miriam! Aren’t cheese straws delicious?! I have loved these for years as well!
      Thanks! xo

  4. It said add the butter and the cream butter but doesn’t say anything about cream butter in the list. Did you cream half the total butter required before adding both to the recipe? How did that work?

    1. Hi Amy
      It’s just one type of butter. I am using the baking term, or an action where using the word “cream”. You’ll mix butter and cheese together in the mixer until both are creamy. That word in baking is just to mix until creamy and fluffy. I hope that helps and that you enjoy the cheese straws. They are truly delicious! Thanks! xo

  5. Hi. Maybe my brain isn’t working, but….the recipe lists 1/2 pound of cheese, which is 8oz. or one cup. So, the 1 cup of cheese to be added later is an additional 1 cup? Thanks.

    1. Hi Robina,
      When you measure the cheese into dry measuring cups, 1/2 pound of cheese equals 2 cups grated. Enjoy! xo

  6. I tried this and I also had dough that was stiff as Play-do. I foolishly tried my pastry bag and got no where. I ended up rolling them out into long “worms”. I friends loved them. But I’m sure they were no where near the taste of What they should be. I bought a cookie press hoping that it would make life easier so I didn’t have to roll worms and have pretty designs from the press – no luck. Play-do once again and nearly broke my press. I’m going to try sifting then measuring and hoping that works. Can you compare the dough consistency to anything so we have a better idea of our success?  Thanks 

    1. Hi David,
      I am happy your friends enjoyed these! I’m sorry the dough was turning out too stiff for you. From your comment, I think the issue may be the flour you are using – I think it may be a more dense flour than what I use. I only use White Lily Flour which is light and fluffy and makes light baked goods. The only other type of dough I can compare this to would be a stiff cookie dough, but it should not be the consistency you describe. I hope this helps! Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    These are delicious, thank you. I’ve made other recipes and they always seemed to “Flour-y” or off in some way. These are savory goodness.

    I have used a cookie press, but Its easier to use a churro press with a star tip. The cylinder is wider than a cookie press and I pipe out long rows on the cookie sheet, bending at the turns. I cut into 2” strips when they are still hot.

    This is my go to cheese straw recipe. Thanks again!

  8. AMAZING. My daughter and I made these with an electric hand mixer. did not sift the flour but stirred dry ingredients with a whisk and used a cookie press flat ribbon cookie to make “crackers” had to beat my 16 year old son off with a wooden Will use 1/2 tsp cayenne as not enough heat for us. My powder may have been a little flat. Thought may try chipotle powder????

    1. I love that you can add as much “heat” as you want to these cheese straws. Hope your son can get plenty of these or maybe he can help you make some for him later.

  9. I am a reasonably good baker and bake quite often. This was my first time making cheese straws and they were delicious, my problem however was the consistency. It was so stiff, couldn’t be piped. I had to resort to it out and pressing with a fork.They cam out looking like cookies.Any suggestions for me? Less flour? Add water or milk? I live on a small Island so my option for flour are limited.

    1. Cindie, I think the issue may be the flour you are using – I think it may be a more dense flour than what I use. I only use White Lily Flour which is lighter and softer flour than most all-purpose flours and makes light baked goods. You may want to try my How to Make Cake Flour Recipe to add cornstarch to your all-purpose flour so that is a lighter flour for these cheese straws. I hope this helps.

  10. These are the BEST cheese straws I have ever made and now a weekly bake!! Thanks a million for sharing and well done!

  11. 5 stars
    I meant to tell you that the mixture was too stiff to pipe so I rolled it out and cut into strips! Baked so light and crisp with a good tang! I’ve made them so often forgot to mention what I fo until I saw the other comments. Still the best by a long way!

    1. Lee, as I have mentioned to others, I think the problem is with the flour you are using. You should be able to pipe the mixture. I use White Lily flour which is a soft wheat flour and is lighter and softer than most all-purpose flours. If you can’t find a softer flour than you are using, you may want to try adding cornstarch to your flour the way I do in How To Make Cake Flour.