Subtly sweet and crispy, these gluten free graham crackers are the best for making gooey s’mores or the perfect graham cracker crust.
My favourite way to eat them? Plain, right off the baking sheet - they are THAT good! You’d never even know these are gluten free.
Are graham crackers gluten free?
Ahh, classic graham crackers. A campfire staple, they are an essential ingredient in melty, chocolatey s’mores, but also make a dang good crust for a cheesecake or key lime pie.
But are they gluten free?
Sadly, traditional graham crackers are not gluten free. They are made with wheat flour, so they are not safe for anyone on a strict gluten free diet. (But don’t worry. This gluten free graham crackers recipe has you covered!)
What is graham flour?
Fun fact: graham flour is a coarsely-ground whole wheat flour named after some dude named Sylvester Graham. Wikipedia tells me he was “an American Presbyterian minister and dietary reformer” who was big on eating whole grain bread.
Another fun fact: graham crackers were originally invented in the 1800s as a health food. Since graham flour was from whole grain wheat, it used the bran and germ - which has more nutrition than plain ol’ wheat flour.
Imagine that, a cookie named as a cracker and used as a health food?! What a time to be alive back then!
Ok, back to the topic at hand. Since graham flour is not gluten free, this recipe calls for a gluten free flour blend. The one I use is a combination of white rice flour, tapioca starch, and sorghum flour. You can find the recipe for it right here. I’ve used it in crackers, muffins, and pie crusts - it hasn’t failed me yet!
Feel free to use your own trusted brand, but please keep in mind that not all gluten free flours are equal, so results may not be as you expect. (Keep me posted if other blends work.)
Why you should bake these
Making gluten free graham crackers isn’t as complicated as you might expect. Which is great, because sometimes I have a really hard time finding them in a grocery store.
I live on a rural property with a fire pit in the backyard, so s’mores are always in demand when the weather is nice. I also have a celiac kid, so gluten free graham crackers are essential.
There have been a few times we couldn’t get any gluten free graham crackers at the grocery store, so now I just make these instead. They taste amazing, the recipe is super straightforward and don’t take long to make.
Baking these means lots of smiles and sticky fingers at the campfire. Every single time.
Ready to make your own? Here’s what you'll need:
- Gluten free flour: I use a homemade all-purpose blend. It does not contain xanthan gum. Feel free to use whatever blend you’re most comfortable with; however, results may not be the same.
- Xanthan gum: omit if the blend you have already contains it.
- Light brown sugar
- Baking powder
- Unsalted butter: cold and cubed, which helps give the graham crackers a lighter texture.
- Milk: dairy or dairy free - the choice is yours!
- Molasses: just ½ tablespoon to add a deeper flavour. (Don’t skip it. Trust me.)
- Vanilla extract
How to make this recipe
Making gluten free graham crackers is, dare I say it, simple! (It’s This Simple Kitchen after all!)
Start by mixing together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, brown sugar, salt and baking powder. Add in the cold butter cubes and pinch them with your fingers until they become fully incorporated into the mixture and it starts to resemble fine sand.
In another bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, molasses and vanilla extract. Add this wet mixture into the bowl containing the flour and butter and combine until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour and then roll out on a well-floured surface to a ¼” (6mm) thickness. Cut the dough into graham cracker shapes, dock with a fork and then chill in the freezer on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 10 minutes.
Bake the graham crackers at 350°F for 15 minutes until they are firm to the touch and starting to crisp. Cool on a wire rack. (Then eat one before anyone notices. I won’t tell!)
How to make dairy free gluten free graham crackers
Rocking a gluten free and dairy free diet? Perfect! This recipe is great for you, too. Here’s what you’ll need to substitute:
- Substitute the unsalted butter for a dairy-free alternative. I’ve had great success with the Earth Balance brand, especially when I made these Gluten Free Dairy Free Sugar Cookies. Make sure the dairy free butter is chilled and cubed prior to using and doesn’t melt too much while handling. If it does, just pop the dough into the fridge (or freezer) for a few minutes to chill.
- Use your favourite dairy free milk instead of cow’s milk. We love drinking almond milk around here, but use any type you prefer: cashew, soy, rice or oat. (Just make sure the oat milk is labelled as gluten free! Here’s why.)
Follow the recipe as directed using the above substitutions and, just like that, you’ve got yourself some great-tasting gluten free dairy free graham crackers!
How to use these graham crackers
I’ve been known to eat these cookies (are they really crackers?) straight off the cooling rack, but there actually are lots of OTHER uses for these delicious little things. Here’s what you can do with them:
- Make a s’more. The classic option. Use two graham crackers and sandwich inside a piece of your favourite chocolate and a toasted marshmallow. Bam! Delicious and lots of melted marshmallow in places you never knew you could reach… (Wondering if marshmallows are dairy free? Read this.)
- Make a graham cracker crust. Essential for epic gluten free cheesecakes or gluten free key lime pies. Crumble the crackers in a bowl with some melted butter and granulated sugar, then spread into a pie plate.
- Make a graham cracker parfait. Crumble a few of these subtly sweet cookies in a small bowl with some yogurt and fruit.
- Make some irresistible ice cream sandwiches. Instead of using chocolate and marshmallow, spread your favourite ice cream in between two of these graham crackers and enjoy an amazingly sweet summer dessert. Cut the crackers a bit larger before baking so you can fit in the maximum amount of ice cream! (You’re welcome.)
Graham cracker brands
If, after my declaration of love for homemade gluten free graham crackers, you still aren’t convinced you should make these, here are a few brands of gluten free graham crackers and where you can buy them:
- Schar: this is my all-time favourite gluten free brand. They taste even better than the gluten versions - even my non-gluten free husband and son think so! Schar also has a chocolate dipped version. We buy them at our local grocery store in the natural foods section.
- Pamela’s Gluten Free Graham Crackers: we’ve purchased these at a local health food store, but they are often hard to come by. This brand has both honey and cinnamon flavours. Check your local health food store to see what they offer.
- Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Graham Crackers: Another popular brand, we’ve purchased these at both the local supermarket and at the health food store. They also offer graham cracker crumbs which are perfect for a graham cracker crust.
Now go enjoy a sweet treat! You deserve it!
Gluten Free Graham Crackers
- 2 ½ cups (320g) gluten free flour blend (see note below)
- ½ teaspoon (2g) xanthan gum (if using a commercially available gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum, omit this from the recipe)
- ¾ cup (120g) light brown sugar, packed
- ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
- 1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
- ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, cold & cut into cubes
- ¼ cup (60g) milk
- 3 tablespoons (50g) honey
- ½ tablespoon (10g) molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine gluten free flour, xanthan gum, brown sugar, salt and baking powder.
- Add the unsalted butter into the bowl and use your hands to coat the cubes with the flour mixture. Using your hands, begin to incorporate the butter into the mixture by pinching each of the cubes into the flour. A pastry cutter will work for this step, as well. The dough should resemble fine sand once fully incorporated.
- In another bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, molasses and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet mixture into the bowl containing the butter and flour mixture. Mix fully until the dough is soft and sticky.
- Wrap the dough in plastic, or place into an airtight container, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. This will firm up the dough and make it easier to roll.
- Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (You can rotate the same baking sheet between batches, or line several baking sheets instead - up to you!)
- On a well-floured surface, roll the dough to ¼” (6mm) thick. The dough will still be quite soft, but if it’s too soft - chill in the fridge for as long as needed. A good amount of flour during rolling will help.
- Cut the graham crackers into 2” x 2 ½” squares (5cm by 6cm), or any desired size. Transfer the crackers to the parchment lined baking sheet and lightly dock (pierce) with a fork. Chill the graham crackers in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Bake the chilled crackers for 15 minutes, until just firm to the touch and starting to crisp.
- Transfer the graham crackers to a wire rack and cool completely. (Or, eat them straight away like I may or may not do when I make these…)
- Gluten free flour: I used a blend of 50% white rice flour, 30% tapioca starch, and 20% sorghum flour. You can blend your own by following this recipe: Gluten Free Flour Blend (All Purpose). Another blend can be used; however, results may not be the same.
- To make them dairy free: substitute the milk for a dairy free alternative and use a dairy free butter (just make sure it's cold and cubed).