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Soft Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Soft Gluten Free Graham Crackers

This easy recipe for soft gluten free graham crackers has the lightly sweet, wheaty taste of the traditional cracker, but the soft texture of sugar cookies.

Stack of soft graham crackers with chocolate pieces on top

Are there gluten free graham crackers?

Traditionally, graham crackers are made with “Graham flour,” a coarsely-ground wheat flour. The reference is capitalized because it’s named for Sylvester Graham, a preacher who thought a bland brown loaf of bread that we now eat as crackers were the secret to solving society’s problems.

I’m not sure if Mr. Graham made his bread at all sweet, but Nabisco or Honey Maid graham crackers are sweetened. And like usual, with our gluten free recipe we are only trying to mimic the taste of the gluten-containing stuff. And we do…

Round tin with graham cracker cookies with marshmallow fluff and chocolate

Packaged gluten free graham crackers

You can buy packaged gluten free graham crackers. Kinnikinnick and Pamela’s brands both make crunchy gluten free graham crackers, but honestly I think they both taste terrible. Schar brand’s variety is much better, but super expensive.

If you are looking for that crispy graham cracker taste like Nabisco, you need our recipe for Nabisco-style gluten free graham crackers. They really do taste exactly like the “real thing,” and they’re just like you remember.

I don’t know of any brand of packaged gluten free graham crackers that is soft and tender. This recipe for soft gluten free graham crackers is made with a different balance of ingredients than our “Nabisco” crackers.

This style is perfect for layering with marshmallow creme and milk chocolate for s’mores that don’t need to be heated at all. For a graham cracker crust, though, I recommend using the crunchy kind.

Soft graham crackers raw on tray

Why we use 4 different sugars

Conventional graham crackers aren’t very sweet, which is maybe why they’re still called crackers even though they’re really cookies. But they do have something of a complex taste, and we use 4 separate sugars to achieve the right balance of texture and flavor.

The granulated and brown sugars in this recipe are mostly responsible for making these cookies soft. Both the honey and the molasses have distinct flavors that layer together to create the distinct taste and smell of graham crackers.

Brown sugar is really just granulated sugar with molasses added, but adding actual molasses as well helps deepen that flavor without adding even more sugar. If you don’t have basic unsulphured molasses (which is not quite as dark and bitter as blackstrap molasses), you can use more honey in its place and the recipe will still turn out. But the taste and color won’t be authentic.

Soft graham cracker rounds with pieces of chocolate and marshmallow fluff

Ingredients and substitutions

Dairy

If you’re dairy-free, you can try using vegan butter in place of the dairy butter in this recipe. My favorite brands are Miyoko’s Kitchen brand and Melt brand.

If you can’t find either of those brands of vegan butter, you can try using Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. It has almost no moisture, though, so I recommend adding a teaspoonful or more of nondairy milk to the cookie dough to rebalance it.

Eggs

The whole egg in this recipe can likely be replaced with a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground white chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). The yolk is more complicated to replace, since it adds tenderness to the cookies. I’m afraid you’ll just have to experiment!

 
Soft graham crackers in a stack and in a tin with chocolate

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 40 2-inch round cookies

Ingredients

2 2/3 cups (375 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter), plus more for sprinkling

1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup (67 g) granulated sugar

2/3 cup (145 g) packed light brown sugar

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons (63 g) honey

2 tablespoons (42 g) unsulphured molasses

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 egg (50 g, out of shell) plus 1 egg yolk (25 g) at room temperature, beaten

Marshmallow creme (or Marshmallow Fluff) and Hershey’s chocolate bars, for serving (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set them aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk again, breaking up any lumps. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the butter, honey, molasses, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk, and mix to combine. With clean hands, knead the dough together. It should be thick but relatively soft.

  • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll it out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick, sprinkling lightly with flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds of dough and place on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart from one another. Gather and reroll scraps, sprinkling lightly with flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking.

  • Place the cookies in the center of the preheated oven and bake until very lightly golden brown and set in the center, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the crackers to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with a generous spoonful of marshmallow creme and a few pieces of chocolate.

  • Adapted from our recipe for gluten free “Moon Pies”.

Love,
Nicole

  • hillary
    August 20, 2020 at 4:27 PM

    these are soooooo good Nicole, and will be a regular in my baking rotation.
    one packaged brand you didn’t mention that i think is delicious: Nairn’s! they have lightly sweetened oat grahams, ginger grahams, and chocolate chip grahams, all made in Scotland.

  • Fred
    July 22, 2020 at 2:56 PM

    These look amazing. Can you please create a paleo version? And more paleo recipes in general? Love your recipes and I’ve had too many mishaps to trust paleo recipes from any other source.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 22, 2020 at 3:10 PM

      Hi, Fred, thank you for the vote of confidence. It means a lot to me. I actually have a bunch of Paleo recipes! I mean, not a Paleo version of every recipe, but even a fair number of Paleo cookies. Have you browsed around the Paleo recipes category?

  • Julie L
    July 15, 2020 at 5:50 PM

    Thank you Nicole! I will have to try the strawberry filling as you described. The ones in the store were just coated pink, so I assume it was a plain filling like the banana flavored ones. I was thinking to try coconut butter, coconut oil and powdered freeze dried strawberries for a coating, but may go with chocolate just because chocolate.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 16, 2020 at 7:48 AM

      Oooooh I get it, Julie. That sounds like it would taste … like disappointment. 🤣

  • Julie L
    July 14, 2020 at 9:10 PM

    I was about to ask if you thought these would work well for moon pies, then all my anxiety melted away when I saw the link at the bottom. *sigh* I thank the good Lord above for you, Nicole!
    But I have to ask- would the original recipe work better for that application? My dear daughter has never had one, but was curious why I sadly handled and drooled over a strawberry (when did that happen?) moon pie in the store over the winter.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 15, 2020 at 8:27 AM

      Hi, Julie! Strawberry Moon Pies???? When did that happen? Is the filling what is strawberry-flavored? You could pretty easily do that by adding some freeze-dried strawberries ground into a powder. And oh does that sound amazing! To answer your question, you can use the whole moon pie recipe, exactly as written. It’s not much of a difference at all, but that one is all in one place for you. 🙂

  • Tammy J
    July 8, 2020 at 12:06 AM

    Hi Nicole,
    I find the amount of sugar is more than I like to use in a recipe, I always reduce the sugar quantity in baking as I think it is wise to monitor refined sugars in my diet. How can you suggest I do that without disrupting the taste balance. Thank you

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 8, 2020 at 7:42 AM

      Hi, Tammy, I discuss the sugars in the text of the post. You cannot change them without changing the taste and/or texture. I think you’re better off with a Paleo recipe, if you’re avoiding refined sugars.

  • Helen Capozzelli
    July 5, 2020 at 6:07 PM

    Just made these and they are delicious 😋! I made them into sandwich cookies with some “leftover “ buttercream frosting from making cupcakes ( your yellow cupcake recipe) with my granddaughters Friday. All are YUMMY 😊

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 5, 2020 at 9:04 PM

      Sounds lovely, Helen! So glad you enjoyed everything. Those are some lucky grandkids. :)

  • Rick Woodward
    July 5, 2020 at 12:26 PM

    Hello NICOLE and good morning to you. I read in your email a few minutes ago about people communicating with you in an angry manner. I was shocked but not surprised. I learned on my own at the age of 9 years old not to take out my anger or frustrations on others. Please just ignore them, and continue being who you are. I found out the day before Christmas this year that i had celiac disease. I am a 67 year old man and this was rather devastating. Then I found YOU. I am not religious but you became my Angel. You calmed my fears and made me believe i will survive this major change in my life. You will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you for being you. Sincerely and with great appreciation, Rick Woodward

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 5, 2020 at 12:39 PM

      Thank you so much for the incredibly kind note, Rick! Don’t worry, I don’t take it personally. Wearing masks and not collaborating with hate aren’t my ideas, they’re just evidence of basic humanity. I do appreciate your kindness, and kind responses have far outweighed the angry tirades. But even those aren’t about me anyway. I’m so glad you found me, and that my recipes have helped to calm your fears. Please keep reading, and you can also always hit reply to the email list and I’ll respond right to you. 🙂

  • Maria
    July 5, 2020 at 11:43 AM

    I meant to say you are my go-to. Darn spell-check!

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 5, 2020 at 12:31 PM

      Haha, Maria, I could fix your spelling error, but I think it’s funny that it reads like I ate your food. 🙂

  • Maria
    July 5, 2020 at 11:41 AM

    These sound wonderful! I love your Nabisco some Graham crackers, not only for taste, but also for crusts. Thank you for all that you do for us! You ate my go-to, as well as my first recommendation, for anyone new (or old) to gluten free.

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 5, 2020 at 12:32 PM

      Thank you so much for your kindness and loyalty, Maria! Definitely continue using the crunchy crackers for crusts. These are eating ones!

  • Renee
    July 4, 2020 at 5:34 PM

    so, what is the difference between Corn Starch, vs. Xanthim Gum?

    • Nicole Hunn
      July 4, 2020 at 5:37 PM

      They’re nothing alike at all, Renee. Cornstarch is a starch, and xanthan gum is a binder.

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