Crunchy Whole Grain Cereal

Crunchy Whole Grain Cereal

Cereal with milk in a bowl Okay, fine. They’re not completely whole grain. They’re fortified!

This is kind of a big step for me. I’m not the healthy-living blogger.

Cereal in a jar

Let’s get down to brass tacks. You’ll need teff. A little goes a long way. And rice bran. Also good for bran muffins, by the way.

I honestly can’t tell you what you could use in their place if you don’t have them. I’m no expert in this arena (the component-gluten-free-flour-arena). All I can really tell you is that this combination works to make a crunchy, satisfying cereal with a really nice, wheat-like taste.

Cereal in a blue spoon

And it’s cute as the dickens.

Can you tell that I’m dying to make gluten-free Lucky Charms? After that, Fruit Loops. It has to be done!

Can I do it? I have no idea (that’s your cue to build me up with all sorts of false confidence).

But I’m going to try. Apparently I have nothing better to do.

Ingredients in a bowl

See the teff? It’s the brown seedy stuff. The rice bran is on top of it. They’re mingling.

A close up of bread on surface

The moisture balance is really what this recipe is all about. So you may need to add more all-purpose flour as you go along. Just knead it in. There’s no butter and no oil. No eggs, either.

A close up of flattened dough

And the dough was well-floured enough that I was able to roll it out without covering it in parchment paper. If you find it’s sticky, flour it.

Cookie cutters

I used that sweet little star cutter you see in this mosaic. See how neatly they all fit in there, like a puzzle? I never take out more than 2 cutters at a time.

I’m fairly certain that I wouldn’t be able to put the whole puzzle back together with ease. So one or two at a time works just fine for me.

Star shaped dough

Be sure to flour that cutter.

Rows of star shaped dough

Let’s face it. They’re adorable. Why is anything miniature … adorable? Because of babies?

cereal on metal surface

Who knows.

Bake them 5 minutes, flip them, and bake 5 minutes more.

A close up of cereal in a jar

Then turn down the oven low low low, and crisp them as much as you like. I like them pretty crispy. Serve them in milk! Have them over yogurt!

This is super exciting. It’s a whole new category of somewhat senseless recipes that I see before me. Fun!

Here’s how I did it…

Crunchy Whole Grain Cereal
Recipe Type: Cereal
Author: Nicole @ Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.com
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 4
Gluten-free Crunchy Whole Grain Cereal
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter), plus more by the tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
  • Scant 1/3 cup (35g) gluten-free stabilized rice bran
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) teff
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch (1/8 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (109g) light brown sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Set aside a nonstick rimmed baking sheet or a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, rice bran, teff, salt, baking soda, baking powder and brown sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the buttermilk, and mix until the dough comes together. If the dough is sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon. Knead until smooth.
  3. Place the dough between lightly floured sheets of unbleached parchment paper, and roll it out 1/4 inch thick (see photo). Peel back the top piece of parchment paper, and cut out shapes in the dough a small, well-floured star-shaped cookie cutter (see photo). Place the stars right next to one another on the prepared baking sheet (they will not spread at all). Gather and reroll the scraps and repeat until no scraps remain (or you lose your patience – it gets tedious).
  4. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn over each of the stars. Return to the oven and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until beginning to brown on the underside. Turn the oven temperature down to 250 degrees and bake until nearly crunchy – checking every 10 minutes until done. It should take about another 20 minutes, depending upon how crunchy you prefer your cereal.

Don’t be afraid to add more all-purpose flour by the tablespoon if the dough is sticky. There aren’t too many ingredients to unbalance (no egg, no oil, no butter). The moisture level is really the only one, so tinker with it until it’s right.
Don’t skip the baking soda just because it’s present in such a small amount. It’s essential.

Have a spoonful. I’ve got plenty.

A close up of cereal on a spoon



Like this recipe?

Comments are closed.

  • Jenny W
    January 18, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    I miss, of all the things, cinnamon toast crunch (I’m with you Pamela!) and frosted mini wheats the most.

    So, they aren’t exactly mini-mini doughnut makers, but I’ll bet you could make little circles with them to make fruit loops.

    Guess its off to the store for teff and rice bran. I think that I may need to lace these guys with cinnamon sugar like Pamela suggested – half the fun of CTC was the way the cinnamon sugar swirls washed off and made your milk all pretty and


    • January 18, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Hi, Jenny,
      I have those concentric circle cookie cutter (my favorite!), but they don’t have the hole in the very center! I’ll have to search for a super micro mini doughnut cutter or something. :)
      I loved cinnamon toast crunch, too. That’s right up there with fruit loops. A tall order, but I’m determined!
      xoxo Nicole

      • Jenny W
        January 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        I believe! I do! Where’s Tink when you need her. Slacker fairy.

      • Jenny W
        January 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

        Oh, I know what I was thinking about the circles – it would be hard, but couldn’t you cut a big-ish one and then cut the smallest out of the middle? like a mini mini doughnut maker but free hand.

        • January 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM

          I could, but it has to be tiny. Those would be, like, cereal doughnuts or something! I was thinking that, if I can’t find a micro-mini doughnut cutter (which, not for nothing, I believe is out there somewhere), I could use the smallest of the circles, and force a hole in the center with a chop stick. :)
          xoxo Nicole

        • Jenny W
          January 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM

          Or use a pasta maker for penne and just cut lots of tiny circles. That would work and only be a little excessive. <3

        • January 18, 2012 at 1:21 PM

          Just a little. ;)
          Anyway, I think I have a solution. A mini “zero” cutter. I can probably shape it into more of a circle than an oval. You can also buy strips of aluminum in a kit to make your own cutter. I think that might have to wait until after my manuscript is due!
          Thanks for playing with me, Jenny. :)
          xoxo Nicole

        • GoGoGF
          January 18, 2012 at 1:25 PM

          How about using a plastic straw for the center hole?

        • January 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

          Good suggestion, Peggy! Love it.
          xoxo Nicole

  • Stefanie Hale
    January 18, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Thank you so much for this!!! Love all your recipes! My 5 year old son was crying the other day because he wanted Froot Loops so bad and obviously he can’t eat them. You are amazing….I will be watching for Lucky Charms and the Froot Loops recipes! ;)

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Hi, Stefanie,
      Oh no! That’s so sad. I’m even more motivated now to make GF Fruit Loops! :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Amy B
    January 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    If you make GF Lucky Charms, I will buy it by the boxful! That is the exact cereal I have longed to be able to eat again! It’s the cereal of my childhood! Thank you for all the work you do. We use your cookbook all the time and your vanilla cupcakes were a huge hit at my daugther’s 6th birthday party.

  • January 18, 2012 at 1:00 AM

    These look amazing! I actually wanted to comment on your deep dish pizza… (which I am promptly making tomorrow!) but I think the comments might be closed for that post. Anyways I’m so glad I found your blog! (through tastespotting) My bf has celiac so I’ve been eating, cooking and baking gluten free for the past few months. Can’t wait to go through your recipes : )

    Forever Fashionably Late

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Hi, Victoria,
      Welcome! So glad you found me on tastespotting. You spotted me!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Anneke
    January 17, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    Nicole, I love, love, love when you post something that looks fun and delicious, but will never grace my kitchen! I feel like I am so far behind in trying all your great recipes that I need a breather once in awhile, you know? It is so much fun to read other people’s excited comments and I am always learning something — who knew about Stabilized Rice Bran, right? So, you keep posting fun new stuff, and I will eat my cereal from a box. A box of Chex, to be specific! :)

    By the way, my daughters tackled the Double Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar from December with great success last night — probably because I did not help them. ;) They made a double batch and the oldest came home from her ski meet with not a cookie left. Who says GF can’t be just as delicious as that stuff we used to eat?

    See you tomorrow!

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Hi, Anneke,
      I totally get the whole too-much-of-a-good-thing idea. Enjoy your cereal from a box. And enjoy your girls’ cookies! I still don’t believe you can’t make cookies. Nope. I refuse.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Becky
    January 17, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    These look awesome, although I don’t think I am doing this anytime soon! Maybe if we get snowed in. BTW, teff flour is my best friend, a little bit adds great texture, depth and moistness to baked goods. Try a cup of it in place of some of the “regular” gf flour in any quick bread recipe and you will be happy.

    • January 17, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      Hi, Becky,
      I am kind of digging teff, to be honest. A cup sounds like a lot, though. That stuff is heavy! I might actually be willing to do some more teff experimentation, though. Will wonders never cease. :)
      xoxo Nicole

      • Becky
        January 20, 2012 at 7:07 PM

        I use one cup teff and two and a half cups “regular” gf flour in a pumpkin bread recipe calling for three and a half cups of flour. It is a dense bread, so it works. The teff version is, I think, even better than how I remember the old gluten-filled recipe. I use the teff flour mostly in muffins and quick breads, although a little in cookies is good, too.

  • Ginny
    January 17, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    What is teff and where do I obtain it?

    • January 17, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Hi, Ginny,
      Just click on the link in the text of the post for teff. Where it says, “you’ll need teff” below the second picture. Just click on “teff.” It will take you to the product on Amazon. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • gaile
    January 17, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    I miss Cracklin Oat Bran! I used to love that stuff, even though it did look like puppy food. It tasted like super crunchy oatmeal cookies.

    • January 17, 2012 at 4:45 PM

      Hi, Gaile,
      Me too! I used to love that stuff. So hearty. I can still taste it. In fact, I may have some stuck in my teeth from 15 years ago. ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • January 17, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    How long did you stand there cutting out those tiny stars! You are a brave brave woman on a mission. However, now that you have a photo of the tin of cut-outs you can absolutely take them all out of the can.

    Hey, those are healthy! Teff is might good for you as is rice bran. Teff or Teff flour is a great addition in tiny amounts – it is such a fine (as in grind) flour. And buttermilk is genius. I bet it adds a nice tang to the cereal.

    I see Lucky Charms in your future with those cut-outs! And Fruit-Loops? A mini-mini donut cutter.

    You made my day, Nicole. I love this.

    • January 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      So I did okay, Lisa, in my first adding-new-component-flours foray? Yippee!!
      I need a mini mini mini doughnut cutter. I will find one. I will! Mini.
      Will you help me make Fruit Loops, Lisa? Will you? I neeeeeeeeeed you. You’re my component flours sherpa.
      xoxo Nicole

  • January 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    That looks yummy! And now you have a photo of how the cutters fit, so if you want to dump them all out, you’ll know how they fit back in. :)

    • January 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      That’s an excellent point, Chatty! Maybe I will be brave enough…
      xoxo Nicole

  • Janine
    January 17, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Where does one find itty-bitty dough cutters? …And how long do you think these babies could be stored?

    • January 17, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Hi, Janine,
      Here they are! And they should keep for a while if you crisp them enough and put them in a sealed mason jar on the counter. Enjoy!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle O
    January 17, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Stabilized Rice Bran is the bran of the rice grain. Stabilized means that it is won’t go rancid as fast as a non-stablized rice brand. The bran is the healthy part of the rice, i.e. similar as white vs. wheat flour.

    Nicole these look great. I have teff, and cereal has been on my mind. I may have to go get some rice bran and try this out. I may however just replace with flax seed, as I have that. :)

    • January 17, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      Hi, Michelle,
      I’m so glad you taught us what stabilized rice bran is. It sounds much, much better than the alternative. Go Bob’s.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Michelle Dunton Olejar on Facebook
    January 17, 2012 at 9:42 AM

    Very appropriate timing Miss Nicole :) I was just responding to someone else regarding a possible Cheerio replacement recipe. I believe this may fit the bill! It’s nice to know people that know things.

  • Colleen Whitington on Facebook
    January 17, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Oh man. I want some and my truck is in the shop. No way to go to the store for teff. Rice bran I have! Are the cutters the little cake decorators cutters?

  • Pamela G
    January 17, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    oh, and before I forget….what’s stabilized rice bran? (as opposed to unstable rice bran)

    • January 17, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      Honestly, Pam, I’m not 100% sure. I just know that Bob’s seems to think it’s important – and they do tend to know their gluten-free grains. Honestly, though, they make the only GF rice bran I know of.
      xoxo Nicole

  • Pamela G
    January 17, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    OH THOSE GOLDEN GRAHAMS….. or their nummy cousin, Cinnamon Toast Crunch….. Cheerios…..Grape Nuts…..
    (not asking for tooooooo much, am I?) Scott misses all of the above. May try these with a smattering of cinnamon sugar before baking.

    • January 17, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      Oh man I love Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Pam! I actually set out to make something like Grape Nuts when I made these, but zigged when I had planned to zag…
      You can add cinnamon to the dough (there’s actually a good amount of sugar already in there), or you can just dust them when they come out of the oven. :)
      xoxo Nicole

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