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Tuesday’s require something fun, enter these Homemade Animal Crackers. Lightly sweetened baked animal crackers with sweet honey, vanilla, and hints of cinnamon throughout. Each mini animal cracker is dipped into a berry-colored glaze for a fun (natural) finish and a snack that takes us all back to being a kid again. There’s nothing not to love about these crackers. Perfect for both a Tuesday afternoon or a weekend baking project. Or even just when you need a deliciously sweet and incredibly fun cracker to snack on.

overhead close up photo of Homemade Animal Crackers

Aren’t these so sweet? Almost dainty like, right? They’re probably the most fun cracker to both bake up and eat. I love the fact that these take me back to being 10 years old with not a care in the world…other than what was on the agenda for my summer. Sounds so nice, right?

These crackers take you back to that carefree mindset. Not only that but they’re so darn delicious. Sweet, but not overly sugary, soft, but with a little cracker-like crunch. Then finished with the sweetest, all-natural, no die berry-filled glazed.

Summer cracker perfection. I could not love these animals more.

Homemade Animal Cracker on baking sheet before baking

Truth is that I’ve been wanting to try my hand at homemade animal crackers for years. Every time I thought about baking them though, I never had the right cookie cutter. I finally bought this cute cookie cutter set and last weekend Asher and I made homemade animal crackers. It took us an entire Sunday, BUT it was the perfect summer baking project to keep her laughing, snacking, and having fun.

I could not think of a better way to spend a stormy summer weekend day than baking animal crackers with my favorite little sister. Asher’s been bored out of her mind since school got out. So she’s been spending time with me at the studio lending a helping hand in the kitchen. As mentioned in Sunday’s favorites post, she’s actually been a huge help, but these crackers were all about having fun. It was the perfect easy baking project that Asher could mostly do all on her own.

So, if you have young kids that are bored this summer, bake these crackers with them. They’re easy, so fun to create, and even better to enjoy once baked and frosted.

Homemade Animal Crackers being dipped in pink strawberry glaze

So, what exactly is an animal cracker made up of?

Honestly, it’s just a simple glazed sugar cookie. Nothing fancy, but yet we all love them so much. I wanted to make these crackers more of a snack and less of an all-out dessert. So I used only a touch of brown sugar and a squeeze of honey. I won’t go as far as saying these are health food. But when compared to the store-bought variety, these crackers are much healthier…and so much better tasting too.

Meaning, these crackers have flavor and texture!! YESS.

Homemade Animal Crackers packed in glass jar for storing

The dough is a simple sugar cookie dough, but it’s flavored throughout with honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. Not classic in an animal cracker, but you guys, trust me, these flavors are GOOD. They take boring tasting animals crackers to DELICIOUS and ADDICTING. So add the flavors.

Now, once you have the dough made, roll it out and cut into your favorite animal shapes. Again, I used this cookie cutter set, but you can use whatever your heart (or you kids) desire. Just be sure to keep the shapes all similar in size so that they bake up evenly together. Our favorite animals were the elephants and dolphins, but we really wish we would’ve had a lion.

overhead photo of Homemade Animal Crackers

For the glaze, I knew I wanted to color it, but I also knew I wanted to steer clear of food coloring. It’s always something that has freaked me out a bit, because like, what on earth is it really, you know?

Instead of food coloring, I ended up using in-season berries to color the glaze, and it turned out SO CUTE. In love with the dainty pink, purple, and grey/blue colors we got using the juice from strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

overhead close up photo of Homemade Animal Crackers

Not only did the berries color the glaze, but they added a very subtle berry flavor. Both Asher and I found the berry glaze to be the perfect balance to the cinnamony crackers.

If sprinkles are your thing, top with your favorites. They do add a cute factor, but personally, we much prefer our crackers au naturel.

Homemade Animal Crackers being held in 2 hands

Highly recommend baking these crackers if you need to destress. Or if you need to entertain your kids. Or if you just need to feel 10 years old again and enjoy some animal crackers and re-runs of Friends.

Either which way, just make these soon. They do take a few minutes to make, but they’re so easy, beyond delicious and the most fun way to spend an afternoon…

Serious question: did you eat animal crackers growing up? My mom would occasionally buy the unfrosted crackers, but honestly, I don’t remember eating them much. How about you guys?

super close up photo of Homemade Animal Crackers

If you make these homemade animal crackers, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Homemade Animal Crackers

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chill 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings: 12 (60-80 total crackers)
Calories Per Serving: 205 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Berry Glaze

Instructions

  • 1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, honey, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, beat until combined and the dough forms a ball.
    2. Generously flour your work surface. Divide the dough in half and flatten each half into a disk. Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Make sure you're using enough flour or your dough will stick. Cut out the crackers using a mini animal cookie cutter. Carefully transfer the crackers to a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet and place the sheet in the freezer, freeze until firm, about 10 minutes. Roll out the leftover scraps, and repeat with the remaining disk of dough.
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the crackers on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes (8 for softer, 10 for crunchier) or until just lightly golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
    4. To make the glaze. In a medium bowl, beat together the powdered sugar and berry juice until smooth and drizzly. If needed, thin the glaze by adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until drizzly.
    5. Dip the tops of crackers into the glaze, letting the excess drip off. Transfer to a wire rack and decorate as desired with sprinkles or edible flowers. Crackers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.

Notes

*To make fresh berry juice, simply muddle/smash 1/4 cup of your favorite berry until it is completely broken down and juicy. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the pulp. 1/4 cup fresh berries will yield 2-3 tablespoons juice. 
**Alternately, you can color the glaze with food coloring and add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract for flavor. 
***Recommended Cookie Cutters: Kai Vegetable Cutters (I use these), Wilton Noah's Ark Metal Cookie Cutters, or StarPack Animal Cookie Cutters.

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Comments

  1. Hi, I love the ingredients you used and can’t wait to try these. I want to put these in individual bags to give to the kids in my son’s class. Will the icing harden enough for them to be packaged this way?

  2. 1 star
    Needs experimenting!!! The dough didn’t really get to a firm place for me (even after adding more flour and sticking in the fridge), and would recommend leaving in the oven for a few min longer or the cookie will just bake apart. Next time will try a different recipe to give me less of a headache

    1. Hey Derek,
      So sorry the recipe did not workout for you, please let me know if I can help in anyway:) Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  3. Hi! I absolutely love the idea to use fresh berries in the frosting! Is it absolutely necessary to freeze the dough before baking? Thanks!!!

    1. Hey Kimberly,
      Yes, freezing the dough is key! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  4. I am going to make these today! Silly question! Do you muddle all the berries together or should I do it separately? If I want purple should I muddle strawberries and blueberries together and then for pink just Strawberries? Then dive the powdered sugar and add a tablespoon to each?

    1. Hi Carol,
      You can mix them however you would like. If you prefer them all to be one color you can do that or if you want a variety of colors just mix the juices separately. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh this was delicious. I asked for animal crackers from the grocery store and I was turned down, so I decided to make some! This was the first recipe I found, and oh my gosh, my whole family loved them! I didn’t make the glaze because we didn’t have fresh fruit, but the cookies were just like delicious little shortbread. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  6. Hi Tieghan,
    I was just going to start making these cute cookies for some friends birthday’s when I saw you are using kosher salt. I only have coarse kosher salt. Should I use plain table salt instead???

    Thank you!!!
    Pat

    1. HI! You can use course kosher salt, that will be great! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

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