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New Zealand Cheese Rolls

Crispy and gooey cheese rolls are a firm staple in cafés throughout New Zealand’s South Island. A tasty alternative to cheese scones, this iconic snack or appetizer is popular for a reason. Traditionally made with packaged onion soup and evaporated milk, this from-scratch recipe is just as easy and delicious without the need for additives.

A stack of cheese rolls on a white plate.
Table of contents

Why you’ll love these cheese rolls

  • From-scratch recipe without flavor enhancers or packaged onion soup.
  • Meal-prep-friendly, savory snack. Perfect for little hands.
  • Quick and easy snack recipe that can be meal prepped.


  • Bread – Soft sandwich bread works best for the recipe. My soft whey bread is a great example.
  • Cheese – Edam cheese adds a mild cheesy flavor to these rolls. You can substitute it with gouda or cheddar cheese for a stronger cheesy taste.
  • Butter – Unsalted or salted butter both work well. Simply adjust the salt accordingly when seasoning the sauce.
  • Onion – Yellow onions work best for this recipe.
  • Mustard powder – The powder adds a distinct flavor and color to the cheese sauce.
  • Milk – Full-fat or skim milk both work for this recipe.
  • FlourAll-purpose flour thickens the cheese sauce.


Spice it up: Add some chili flakes, cayenne pepper, or siracha sauce to the cheese rolls for some extra spice.

Add herbs: Fresh chives or parsley add extra color and a fresh flavor to these cheese rolls.

Bacon bites: Add finely cubed bacon when sautéeing the onions to make these rolls extra delicious.Tips


Can you freeze cheese rolls?

Yes, you can. Cheese rolls make a great meal prep snack and they can be frozen in handy batches. Before baking them, simply place them in a freezer-proof container separated by some parchment paper to ensure they’re not sticking to each other. Simply remove them from the freezer and bake them for an extra 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Can cheese rolls be reheated?

Yes, cheese rolls can safely be reheated within 3 days when stored in the fridge in a sealed container. Simply place them in the oven or microwave and heat them through until the cheese sauce is piping hot.

More snack ideas

For more easy snack ideas, check out the following recipes:

If you loved this Cheese Roll Recipe or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating below. Thank you!

A stack of cheese rolls on a white plate.

New Zealand Cheese Rolls

Caro Jensen
Crispy and gooey New Zealand cheese rolls make a delicious morning or afternoon tea. An easy and delicious from-scratch recipe of the iconic, cheesy snack.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Australian/New Zealand
Servings 12 servings
Calories 355 kcal


  • 1 loaf white sandwich bread
  • 3/4 cup Edam cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup butter melted

Cheese Sauce

  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 3/4 cup edam cheese grated
  • salt & pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Cheese Sauce

  • To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add finely chopped onions and sauté them in the butter until they're translucent.
    1 medium onion, 1/4 cup butter
  • Add the flour while stirring, followed by the milk. Make sure to keep stirring to avoid any lumps as the milk will start to thicken. Reduce the temperature to low and add the mustard powder and grated cheese. Once the cheese is melted, season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
    1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup milk, 1/2 tsp mustard powder, 3/4 cup edam cheese, salt & pepper
  • To assemble the cheese rolls, roll each sandwich bread slice flat with a rolling pin to avoid them breaking.
    1 loaf white sandwich bread
  • Spoon some of the cheese sauce onto each slice of bread and spread it out evenly with the back of the spoon. Add some grated cheese and roll up each slice of bread tightly.
    3/4 cup Edam cheese, 1/4 cup butter
  • Place the rolls on a baking sheet, seam side down. Brush the cheese rolls with melted butter and bake them for 15 minutes until they're golden brown. Enjoy!



Roll the bread flat with a rolling pin to ensure the cheese rolls don’t break when rolling them up.
Watch the sauce closely and keep stirring it as it can easily burn.
Don’t skimp on the cheese. They’re cheese rolls after all!


Calories: 355kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 14gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 625mgPotassium: 172mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 514IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 366mgIron: 2mg
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