Homemade Sourdough Animal Crackers

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These homemade Sourdough Animal Crackers are a fun treat the whole family will enjoy making and eating. Made with just seven simple ingredients, these soft-baked crackers come together quickly and can be cut out in a variety of fun shapes and sizes.

sourdough animal crackers including koalas, elephants, lions, monkeys, tigers, and giraffes

Let your kids’ imaginations soar as they munch on their favorite animals, making snack time so fun! And with seven simple ingredients this homemade version has no refined sugars or high fructose corn syrup, and it even uses up some of your sourdough discard sitting in the fridge. It’s a great grab-and-go snack for the kids to eat on the road or at home with minimal clean up. Plus, it is a fun activity to do with kids. It’s a win-win!

With so many cookie cutter options available online these sourdough animal crackers are not only fun to make for your kids’ snacks, but for events as well. These would be so cute as a party favor or just to have on the snack table at a kid’s birthday party! From Mickey Mouse, space, wild animals, zoo animals, dinosaurs you could definitely find cutters to match many party’s theme. These would also be great for a baby shower party favor. Not only that, but it’s fun finding cutters based on your kids interests and favorite animals. My kids were so excited to eat the animal crackers shaped as their favorite animals.

Customizing the sourdough animal crackers recipe

sourdough animal cracker sprinkled dough with zoo animals cut out in the dough

Not only are the shapes and sizes customizable but you can also change up the flavor. For a chocolate version simply add ¼ cup of cocoa powder to the recipe. You can also make frosted animal crackers or add sprinkles to the dough. My kids were stoked to add sprinkles to these. But just as a word of caution don’t mix the sprinkles into the dough like we did. The dye on the sprinkles rubbed off in the dough which turned the sprinkles white. Although my kids still happily ate them they weren’t as cute. So if you want to add sprinkles I recommend sprinkling the top of the rolled out dough and then pressing the sprinkles in with the rolling pin. They hold their color much better this way.

Picking the Right Cookie Cutters

There are two main types of mini cookie cutters on Amazon. Ones with an attached plunger, like these, and ones that come in 2 pieces, the cutout and plunger. I used both depending on which shape I want, however, there are some pros and cons to each.

Sourdough Animal cracker dough cut out in zoo animals

The one with the plunger attached is easier to indent the dough with and apply even pressure. However the variety of shapes are more limited, at least on Amazon, and the quality is not great. They are not made super well and seem like they could easily break but they do get the job done.

The cutters with two separate pieces have a much larger selection on Amazon and they seem to be better quality. However since the pieces are not attached I constantly have to match up which cutter goes with which inner piece. It is harder to apply even pressure with this one and you have to press down hard to get the imprint to show up well.

a split screen of sourdough animal crackers with one picture of a child's hand holding a zebra cracker and the bottom showing the images of the sourdough animal crackers and cutters

Sourdough Animal Cracker Ingredients

All you need for these homemade animal crackers are just seven simple ingredients, making it a great alternative to store bought crackers. Plus, I think they are more delicious.

  • Butter- I prefer to use salted butter in this recipe. If you use unsalted butter you can add a pinch of salt to the recipe.
  • Maple Syrup- this is a great sweetener and helps counteract the tang of the sourdough discard.
  • Egg
  • Flour- I use a mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour. The whole wheat can be swapped out for only all purpose flour just note that your animal crackers may lose their shape and definition.
  • Sourdough discard– ideally your sourdough discard should be a little older that way it is flat when you use it. Recently discarded starter that is still bubbly will work but your crackers will rise much more and will likely lose their shape and definition.
  • Cinnamon- this hint of cinnamon in these animal crackers makes them extra yummy.

Tools for making sourdough animal crackers

  • Rolling pin– Any rolling pin will work but this one is my absolute favorite. It is handcrafted, buttery soft, and big enough to roll out any type of dough. Use the link for 10% off.
  • Cookie cutters– I put together a whole Amazon board with lots of cookie cutter options to make it easy for you to find cutters based on the shapes you want.
  • Mixer- It will be easiest to cream the butter with a hand mixer or kitchen aid.
  • Cookie sheet- You will want big cookie sheets to place all the cookies on.
  • Silicone baking mats– You can use parchment paper to line the baking sheet or I prefer to use these reusable silicone baking mats.

Step by step instructions for making homemade sourdough animal crackers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Begin by creaming the softened butter with maple syrup.

creamed butter and maple syrup

Add in the sourdough discard and an egg. Mix until combined.

sourdough discard and egg added to the butter and maple syrup

Mix in the flour and cinnamon. I like to mix this part with a danish dough whisk.

adding flour and cinnamon to the dough

Once mostly mixed, dump the dough on a clean surface and knead for just a minute or two until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes together in a ball.

sourdough animal cracker dough mixed up
sourdough animal crackers dough in a ball

Split the dough in half. Place half of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cover the remaining dough and place it in the fridge.

Roll out the dough as thin as you can. The thinner the dough is the better the animal crackers will turn out. Thin crackers will hold their shape the best, hold definition from the cutters, and will be slightly more crisp.

rolling out dough with a rolling pin and zoo animal cutters

Once the crackers are rolled out begin cutting the dough out in shapes with your preferred cutters.

sourdough animal cracker dough before it is baked

Remove the excess dough and place the cutouts on a lined baking sheet. I prefer to use a silicone baking mat but you can also use parchment paper. The crackers can be very close together as they should not spread much at all.

Bake the animal crackers for 10-12 minutes.

baked sourdough animal crackers like a lion, giraffe, tiger, and monkey

Pull the remainder of the dough out of the fridge and repeat the process. You can repeat this as many times as you would like to with the scraps. If the dough starts to get too warm simply place it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before proceeding.

Storing sourdough animal crackers

Some or all of the animal cracker dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Simple wrap the dough in cling wrap and when you are ready to use it just roll it out.

Once the cookies are cooked and cooled they can be stored for about a week in an airtight container on the counter.

I can’t wait for you to try out these yummy sourdough discard animal crackers!

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sourdough animal cracker dough rolled out with zebras, hippos, elephants, and giraffe cutouts
sourdough animal cracker cut outs in the dough

Sourdough Animal Crackers

Yield: 75-100 crackers
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Make snack time fun with these homemade Sourdough Discard Animal Crackers. Made with just six wholesome ingredients, these soft-baked crackers are a quick and easy snack the whole family will love.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Begin by creaming the softened butter with maple syrup.
    3. Add in the sourdough discard and an egg. Mix until combined.
    4. Mix in the flour and cinnamon. I like to mix this part with a danish dough whisk.
    5. Once mostly mixed, dump the dough on a clean surface and knead for just a minute or two until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes together in a ball.
    6. Split the dough in half. Place half of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cover the remaining dough and place it in the fridge.
    7. Roll out the dough as thin as you can. The thinner the dough is the better the animal crackers will turn out. Thin crackers will hold their shape the best, hold definition from the cutters, and will be slightly more crisp.
    8. Once the crackers are rolled out begin cutting the dough out in shapes with your preferred cutters.
    9. Remove the excess dough and place the cutouts on a lined baking sheet. I prefer to use a silicone baking mat but you can also use parchment paper. The crackers can be very close together as they should not spread much at all.
    10. Bake the animal crackers for 10-12 minutes.
    11. Pull the remainder of the dough out of the fridge and repeat the process. You can repeat this as many times as you would like to with the scraps. If the dough starts to get too warm simply place it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes before proceeding.

Notes

For a chocolate version simply add ¼ cup of cocoa powder to the recipe.

If adding sprinkles to the dough add them right before rolling out the dough so that the sprinkles do not bleed as much.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 263Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 4g

The nutritional information provided is an estimate from third-party calculations.

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2 Comments

    1. I just put them in an airtight container and they last at least a week. Mine have even gone past that and been fine.

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