Gluten-free graham crackers are fun to make at home. You only need a few ingredients and about an hour to make this recipe. The result is graham crackers that are crunchy, not too sweet, and perfect for whenever you’re craving a graham.
I think graham crackers are one of life’s perfect foods. And, to be honest, I haven’t found a store-bought version that I like. The few that I’ve tried have been either too thick and dense or too rich and crumbly. I need my graham crackers light and crunchy–and not too sweet.
This recipe hits all those notes. The graham crackers, which are sweetened with honey and brown sugar, taste great enjoyed as a snack or used for s’mores. You can also grind them into crumbs to use for a pie or cheesecake crust.
Gluten-Free Flour. Use your favorite gluten-free flour blend to make these crackers. Unlike many gluten-free recipes, this one doesn’t require xanthan or guar gum. If your blend contains xanthan gum, you might need to use a splash of additional liquid to help the dough come together.
Substitute: If you don’t want to use a gluten-free flour blend, use 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour and 1/2 cup cornstarch instead.
Dark Brown Sugar. The sweetness of these graham crackers comes from a combination of dark brown sugar and honey. Since dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light brown sugar, it adds a nice color and flavor to the crackers.
Substitute: Use an equal amount of light brown sugar. (If you use light brown sugar, the crackers will bake up lighter than those pictured.) Don’t replace the brown sugar with all honey or the dough will be too soft to roll.
Honey. Three tablespoons of honey give the graham crackers a nice sweetness and flavor without making the dough too soft.
Substitute: Maple syrup. Since maple syrup tends to be thinner than honey, you might need to add a little extra gluten-free flour if the dough it too soft.
Butter. Cold butter is an important ingredient in this recipe. It releases steam as it bakes. This steam leaves behind tiny pockets of space, giving the crackers a nice cracker-like texture.
Substitute: Dairy-free butter works great in this recipe. Oil does not.
Baking Powder. Makes the dough rise and gives it a nice texture.
Salt. Enhances the flavors. Use table “fine” salt. Not Kosher or flaky salt.
How to Make Gluten-Free Graham Crackers.
The recipe requires a bit of special care. Here are the important steps you need to know to make a perfect batch of graham crackers every time.
Make the Dough.
The cracker-like texture of a graham cracker comes from both the baking powder and the way the cold butter is cut into the dough. If you’ve ever made a gluten-free pie crust or biscuits, you’ll recognize the method.
The key is to incorporate cold butter into the flour mixture quickly. The little cold bits of butter melt and turn to steam during baking. The steam leaves pockets of space behind, giving the crackers a light texture.
For this recipe, I think a food processor is the best tool for the job. In just seconds, you can mix the gluten-free flour together with the other ingredients and then quickly incorporate the butter.
If you don’t have a food processor, here are a few ways to work the butter into the flour mixture.
- a pastry cutter. Roll the cutter into the flour mixture and cubed butter.
- two butter knives. Use these in almost a scissoring motion to work the butter into the flour.
- rub the cold butter into the flour with your hands. I like to “snap” the butter into the flour. If you’ve got warm hands, a pastry cutter or two knives are the better options.
Roll Out the Dough.
The easiest way to roll out this dough is to use two pieces of parchment paper. This way you can get the dough nice and thin without it sticking to the counter.
Sprinkle a piece of parchment paper with gluten-free flour. Place the dough in the center of the paper and sprinkle more gluten-free flour on top of the dough. Cover the dough with a second piece of parchment.
Gently roll out until the dough is about 12 x 18 inches large. Gently peel the top piece of parchment off the dough.
If you don’t have parchment paper, dust your counter with gluten-free flour and keep moving the dough as your roll. This will keep it from sticking to the counter.
Cut into Crackers.
You can cut these into any shape you like. I like to make them into squares, about 2 ½-inches each. To do this, I use a pizza wheel. You could use a sharp knife or cookie cutter to cut the dough.
Make ’em Holey.
Have you ever noticed the small holes on top of graham crackers? These little holes are important. They allow steam to escape as the crackers bake, keeping them light and crisp. After you place the graham cracker on the pan, dot the top with a fork.
And to give them that classic graham cracker look, I also score a line down the center. If you do this, don’t cut all the way through the dough. All you need to do is cut gently into the top of the dough. When the crackers are baked and cooled, they’ll snap easily along this line.
Bake Until Brown.
A pan of 2 ½-inch squares takes about 18 minutes to bake. Look for the crackers to be a deep brown. This color means they have a lovely flavor.
Let them cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes. They’re really delicate when they come out of the oven. Then transfer them to a cooling rack. Like magic, they crisp as they cool.
How to Store Gluten-Free Graham Crackers.
Keep the leftover graham crackers in a container with a lid. It’s important to keep them dry. If it’s humid, they might soften. If your crackers get soft, place them onto a baking sheet and crisp in a 350℉ oven for about 10 minutes.
There’s something fun about making a batch of graham crackers. This gluten-free version tastes just as good–and maybe better–than the ones from a box. The recipe makes graham crackers that are perfect for snacking, using to make s’mores, or grinding into crumbs for a pie or cheesecake crust.
Homemade Gluten-Free Graham Crackers
Gluten-free graham crackers are fun to make at home. You only need a few ingredients and about an hour to make this recipe. The result is crunchy, not-too-sweet crackers that are perfect for whenever you're craving a graham.
- 2 cups gluten-free baking flour (10 ounces; 283 grams)
- ⅓ cup dark brown sugar (2 ⅔ ounces; 75 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter or dairy-free shortening, cold (3 ounces; 85 grams)
- 5-6 tablespoons milk, traditional or dairy-free (2 ½ -3 ounces; 70-85 grams)
- 3 tablespoons honey (1 ounces/ 30 grams)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13 by-18 baking sheet with parchment paper.
Food Processor Directions: In the bowl of a food processor, combine gluten-free flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse to combine.
Add the butter. Pulse until small pieces of butter dot the flour mixture. The butter should be about the size of small peas.
Add 5 tablespoons of milk and honey. Run food processor until dough forms, about 20 seconds. If the dough looks dry, add the remaining milk.
Proceed to step 4.
By Hand Directions: Whisk the gluten-free flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
Cut cold butter into flour mixture with a pastry cutter, two knives or by rubbing the butter between your fingers. Work the butter into the flour until no large pieces of butter remain. The butter should be the size of peas or small pebbles.
Add 5 tablespoons of milk and honey. Use a wooden spoon and stir until a dough forms. If the dough is dry, add the additional tablespoon of milk.
Lightly dust a 12-by-16-inch piece of parchment paper with gluten-free flour. Place dough in the center of the parchment. Dust the top of the dough with gluten-free flour. Cover the dough with another piece of 12-by-16-inch parchment paper
Dust your counter and rolling pin generously with gluten-free flour. Lightly flour the top of the dough.
Roll dough into a 12 by-16-inch rectangle. It will be about ⅛-inch thick.
If you're rolling the dough directly on the counter, move it frequently to prevent it from sticking.
Carefully remove the top piece of parchment paper. Cut dough into shapes. For squares, cut the dough into 2 ½-inch squares or use your favorite cookie cutters.
Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick each graham cracker lightly with a fork.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until brown.
Allow the crackers to cool on the pan for 5 minutes. They are very soft and delicate when they come out of the oven. Transfer the crackers to a cooling rack. They crisp as they cool.
Store gluten-free graham crackers in a container with a lid. If it's humid, the crackers might soften. To crisp them, place them in a 350℉ on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes. The crackers keep for about a week.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend
This recipe was tested with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. Using a different flour blend might affect the texture of the crackers.
Note: The recipe was updated in 2023. The original recipe used the following homemade gluten-free flour blend.
1 ½ cups brown rice flour (7 ½ ounces; 212 grams)
½ cup cornstarch (2 ounces; 57 grams)
To make these gluten-free graham crackers dairy-free, use a solid, cold dairy-free butter.