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Pokey Sticks

Pokey Sticks – Homemade cheese breadsticks that are the perfect addition to your next pizza night! 

If you went to a big college town in the Midwest (Madison, Iowa City), you probably know what Gumby’s Pizza is.  And you have probably had their Pokey Stix a time or two in your day.  And if you have never had Gumby’s, these will be similar to the cheesy breadsticks at your local pizza restaurant.

Since I am no longer in college, I had to figure out a way to make them at home!  I came up with this recipe shortly after I got married and we have been making them ever since.  It is one of those recipes that you make so often, you just have memorized. 

Cheese Breadsticks dipping in pizza sauce


If cheese breadsticks are on a menu at a pizza restaurant, I am going to order them. I am always interested in trying new versions to see what people come up with. Sometimes they are super thin, sometimes thick, sometimes just tons of cheese…you never know until you try them what their style is.  Well these are a thick and airy crust that is light and fluffy.  Topped with a seasoned butter mixture and then plenty of cheese. 

You can dip in either ranch dressing or pizza sauce, that is up to you!  Back in the day you got both when you ordered for Gumby’s, so at our house both are on the table when we make these.  

pokey sticks overhead cut with ranch and pizza sauce

Cheese breadsticks from scratch might sound a little intimidating because their is yeast involved.  But trust me, they are super easy!  Just a little mixing, 2 minutes of kneading and you let it rest.  Because it is similar to a pizza crust you don’t let it rise for very long. You don’t want the texture and thickness of a dinner roll, just a thick pizza crust. 

How to Make Homemade Pokey Sticks

  • The first step is to make the dough.  Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and the yeast.
  • Measure the temperature of your water.  You want to make sure it is not too hot it will kill the yeast and not too cold that it won’t activate the yeast. 110-115 degrees is perfect! 
  • Add water and oil to the flour mixture and mix until it starts to come together in a ball.
  • Generously flour your counter and turn the dough onto the floured surface.  Now you will knead the dough for about 2 minutes.  You want it to come together and be smooth and no longer sticky. 
  • While the dough rises mix together the seasonings for the topping.  This gets combined with the melted butter and brushed over the dough once you roll it out. 
  • Cover with cheese and bake.  It will get golden on the edges and the cheese will be all melted.  
  • Serve with pizza sauce or ranch dressing.
cheese breadsticks side

I love getting to make copycat recipes like this at home.  The Gumby’s in Madison closed, so we can’t even go visit when we go back home anymore.  So getting to pass this recipe on and share it with friends who have never had it is always fun!  

I have made a ton of other copycat recipes on the blog as well! And if you are looking for one, be sure to let me know so I can see if I can recreate it!

Pokey Sticks - Homemade cheese breadsticks that are the perfect addition to your next pizza night!

More Copycat Recipes

Yield: 6

Pokey Sticks

Pokey Sticks - Homemade cheese breadsticks that are the perfect addition to your next pizza night! 

Pokey Sticks - Homemade cheese breadsticks that are the perfect addition to your next pizza night! 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes



  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbls Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup Hot water (115 degrees)
  • 1 Tbls Canola oil


  • 2 Tbls Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 tbls cornmeal
  • Butter or Shortening for greasing the pan


  1. Whisk together flour, yest, salt and sugar. Combine the water and oil, and mix into the flour mixture. Mix until it forms a ball. 
  2. Turn onto floured surface and knead for about 2-3 minutes. Just until it is no longer sticky. Put into a bowl sprayed with non-stick spray and let rise for 20-25 minutes or until it doubles in size.
  3. Meanwhile grease a large baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with cornmeal. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  5. While the dough is rising mix together the Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and onion powder.
  6. Spread the dough out onto the prepared baking sheet. Using your hands gently shape into about a 12 inch circle.
  7. Combine melted margarine and Parmesan cheese mixture. Brush evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.


The recipe calls for margarine because I think this closely mimics the taste of the Gumby's original. But you can definitely use butter instead.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 486Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 30mgSodium 716mgCarbohydrates 58gFiber 3gSugar 1gProtein 14g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Monday 22nd of March 2021

I had TOTALLY forgotten about Gumby’s Pizza- we had one at Penn State. I’ll definitely have to give these a whirl and see if my husband gets any flashbacks. :)


Friday 26th of April 2019

Oh my kids would devour these!

Beth Pierce

Thursday 25th of April 2019

Love how mouthwatering these are! Definitely a crowd pleasing appetizer!

Katerina @ diethood .com

Thursday 25th of April 2019

I can't wait to try these! They look absolutely amazing!! YUM!!

Shannon Graham

Thursday 25th of April 2019

I love recipes like that. The ones that you make so often you make it from memory. These look delish!

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