If you have never had Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers you are missing out! This cheese crackers recipe is nothing like you have ever bought at the store. It is a really fun cocktail appetizer and goes great with drinks and a cheese plate!

cheese wafer

Guys, I think I was meant to be born in Louisiana. Or maybe Georgia. Mississippi? Should the first word of this post been ya’ll?? Maybe not. I think I’m spelling it wrong.

It’s turning into a very Southern Thanksgiving around here. My best friend Sarah, who is also not Southern, texted me a couple days ago and said she was making my Cornbread Stuffing with Bacon and Sage and Literally the Best Mac and Cheese I’ve Ever Had for Thanksgiving, and that I’m making them more Southern than they’ve ever been. (Mac and cheese is not on the Thanksgiving menu where I’m from)

cheese wafers recipe

(Wait a second, she’s from West Virginia. Is that Southern?? Sarah, are you really Southern and I didn’t know? Come on, where is your accent??)

Also while we are on the topic of Sarah’s home state, let’s take a moment to remember that time in college when Sarah and I were introducing ourselves to a new friend, and Sarah said she was from West Virginia, and New Friend said, oh, you mean western Virginia? Like, you’re from the western side of the state? Sarah’s like, “no… West Virginia IS a state.” Oh dear. We still laugh about that one.

cheese crackers recipe

So on to today’s very Southern recipe, and if you want to make it as an appetizer for Thanksgiving, I don’t care where you are from, EVERYONE WILL LOVE YOU. Cheese Wafers are absolutely addictive.

I’ll be honest, I’m not much one for making my own crackers. I see all kinds of recipes these days for homemade goldfish, homemade graham crackers, etc. It’s just not my thing. Graham crackers are already delicious, and my kids don’t care whether their goldfish came from a box or from my kitchen.

cheese crackers recipe

But I’m here to tell you that these Cheese Wafers are in an ENTIRELY different category. Like, okay, technically these are glorified cheese crackers, but I’m telling you, they do NOT compare to anything you can get at the store. They are ultra cheesy (hello sharp cheddar!) and have a little bit of cayenne pepper for a bit of spice. (They are not really that spicy, they just have tons of great flavor. You can adjust the cayenne to your taste.)

cheese appetizers

Fun fact, these cheese wafers look almost identical to one of my favorite Christmas cookies of all time, Butter Pecan Cookies. The first time I tried one I was very confused that it was not sweet.

You could definitely try chopping up the pecans, adding them to the dough, and baking them flat so that they look more like crackers. Either way will work. But I love the look and taste of having a whole pecan on top of the cheese wafer.

How to make cheese wafers

cheese crackers recipe

You really have to pack the cheese in if you are measuring it and not weighing it.

cheese wafers recipe

I tried cheese wafers for the first time when I was in Richmond, Virginia (which, by the way, is not on the western side of the state). We were visiting my brother Nathan when he was a resident there. We tried out this fun lunch spot called Sally Bell’s Kitchen. We ordered their box lunch and took them on a hike with us. It came with a sandwich, potato salad, deviled eggs, cheese wafer, and a cupcake. Now THAT is what I call a box lunch. It was all so good and I even recreated the Upside Down Almond Crunch Cupcakes that we had. But I couldn’t stop thinking about that tiny cheese wafer. I knew I needed to try it at home!

cheese appetizers

The recipe is super quick to put together. The dough needs some time to chill in the fridge, and you can make it days in advance. You can even bake the cheese wafers the day before you plan to serve them. They would be really fun to have at any holiday parties you have coming up. They are perfect for nibbling on with drinks.

cheese wafer

You can also make these cookies as slice-and-bakes. It would be fun to package up a roll of chilled dough and gift it to someone with a bag of pecans and instructions to go with it. A nice holiday gift that is not so sugary.

Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram

One year ago: Cranberry Cherry Pie with Almond Glaze
Three years ago: Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts << one of the top visited recipes on the blog
Seven years ago: Zuppa Toscana

More cheesy appetizers you will love!


Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers

4.87 from 61 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 33 minutes
Servings: 60
If you have never had Southern Pecan Cheese Wafers you are missing out! This cheese crackers recipe is nothing like you have ever bought at the store. It is a really fun cocktail appetizer and goes great with drinks and a cheese plate!


  • 1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded*
  • 60-70 pecan halves


  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce until smooth and creamy.
  • Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika, if you're using it. Beat well, scraping the sides.
  • Add the cheddar cheese and beat well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Cover the dough and chill well, at least 2 or 3 hours or up to 3 days.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the baking sheet 1 inch apart. Press the top of each ball with a fork (if the fork sticks, coat with flour). 
  • Place a pecan half on top of each wafer. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are quite brown.
  • Let cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store covered on the counter. Best served within 2 days. 
  • Re-heating: I made these a day in advance as Thanksgiving appetizers. They lose a bit of their crunch by day 2, so I spread them out on baking sheets and baked at 350 for about 5 minutes until they got crispy again. Worked great!


* This comes out to about 3 cups, very well packed.
You can also make these cookies as slice-and-bakes. Once the dough has come together split in half and shape each half into a log about 12-14 inches long. Wrap in plastic and chill for 2-3 hours. When you are ready to bake, use a sharp knife to cut into 1/2 inch slices. Place on a baking sheet and top each wafer with a pecan half, gently pressing down (It won't go in to the cold dough very far, but once it's baked it will stick.) Bake as directed. It would be fun to package up a roll of chilled dough and gift it to someone with a bag of pecans and instructions to go with it. A nice holiday gift that is not so sugary. 
I also tried making these with chopped pecans in the dough. Add about 3-4 cups chopped pecans to the dough and stir until incorporated. Shape into logs, chill, and bake as directed. If you are short on pecans, this is a good way to make sure every wafer gets some pecan. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 742kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 76g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 22g | Monounsaturated Fat: 42g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 416mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 199IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Calories: 742
Keyword: cheese, pecan, Southern, wafers
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Categorized as , , ,

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

You May Also Like...


      1. I made the recipe with gluten-free flour, and it did not work. The wafers spread out and then crumbled.

  1. Hiya. The cheese wafers look great! Wondering if I can use them as thumbprint cookies for Red Pepper Jams? Thanks

  2. Am I correct in assuming you mean all-purpose flour? Please let me know. The recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it!

    1. I’m sorry it didn’t work out Carolyn! It sounds like you added too much flour, or did not pack your cheese well.

  3. Hi, 
    I am going to rty this recipe they sound great. For the option of putting in the chopped toasted pecans  did you mean 3/4 of a cup or 3-4 cups chopped??? That seemed like a lot for this recipe…. I thought that it would throw off the proportions?? 
    Thanks, Kristin 

    1. Hey Kristin! Great question! I really do mean 3 to 4 cups. Of course you can just add according to taste. The recipe calls for 60-70 pecan halves if you are not chopping them, so think about how many cups that would be. However much you add, it will taste great! :)

      1. Thanks. I made then in rolls and the pecan halves on top. They were a big hit at the B-day party here in C’ville. Next time I’ll try the chopped pecan version.
        All the best, Kristin

  4. I loved these the day I made them.  Divine!
    They were not good day 2.  I was so proud of them, took them to my dad’s house and they just weren’t the same.  Should I have put them in the refrigerator for 24 hours before I traveled with them?  Even reheated for 5 minutes, they weren’t right.

    1. Hey Shelly! That’s so sad! I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I’m not sure what to tell you, I reheated them as described for Thanksgiving and was perfectly happy with the flavor. I guess next time just bake the day of!

  5. Do you freeze after baking or after rolling into balls? I thought these would be a great last minute appetizer to keep on hand in the freezer. 

    1. Hey Lisa! I think it would work either way, although if you are freezing after baking you might risk them losing a bit of their crisp. I would definitely warm the thawed wafers at 350 for 5 minutes if you do that. And if you are freezing the dough, you can freeze them as balls or as a log.

    2. 5 stars
      The dough for these freezes very well. I make the dough logs ahead of time. When it’s time to bake them, I thaw the dough in the fridge the night before, then slice and bake. Boom.

    1. Hey Sherry! I haven’t tried it. Im sure it would work. The only thing I would worry about is that the dough might not stick together as much. Maybe add a little less flour, only a tablespoon or so.

  6. 5 stars
    These make a nice holiday gift.  If you mix the chopped pecans in the mixture, be sure to roast your pecans.  They freeze well so handy to make ahead of holiday rush.

    1. Good tip to roast the pecans first if you’re mixing them in Martha! Thanks for chiming in! I’m so glad you liked the recipe.

  7. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe ‘cuz I love homemade cheese crackers. My grandkids love cheese but not so much big on the nuts yet. So, I will be making half w/o the pecans. Y’all come on down now and we will throw down on some of these and beer!

    1. Good idea, I should have tried leaving the pecans off some of them so my kids would eat them! Oh well…more for me! ;)

  8. 5 stars
    I remember eating these- I could have eaten so many more! These will make a great Christmas giveaway- I’m going to try it :)

    1. Okay you can try it mom, but don’t think you can get out of fudge-making with these. You will just have to make both. ;)

  9. OH My My!! You wrote it so well that I had almost water in my mouth while reading this. The recipe also seems very interesting. It is a must try. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.