Oreos are one of the most popular cookies in the world, known for their iconic chocolate wafers and sweet creme filling. However, like many processed foods, conventional Oreos contain gluten, which means they are not suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. In recent years, gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular, even among people without medical necessity. This has led to greater demand for gluten-free versions of favorite foods like Oreos. So are gluten-free Oreos being made? Let’s take a look at what’s currently on the market and options for those looking for an Oreo alternative.
Do standard Oreos contain gluten?
Yes, regular Oreos contain gluten. According to Oreo’s frequently asked questions page, their classic Oreo cookies contain wheat flour. Wheat contains the proteins glutenin and gliadin, which together form gluten. Gluten helps give baked goods their structure and texture. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot tolerate gluten and need to avoid it in their diets. Even small amounts of gluten from cross-contamination can cause issues for those with gluten disorders.
So if you need or want to eat gluten-free, unfortunately standard Oreos are off limits. But don’t despair, read on to learn about some gluten-free Oreo options that may satisfy your cookie craving!
Are there gluten-free Oreos made by Nabisco?
Currently, Nabisco, the maker of Oreos, does not offer a gluten-free version of their classic cookie. However, in 2015 they produced a limited edition Oreo cookie that was free of wheat, rye, and barley – three grains that contain gluten. This version used rice flour instead. Unfortunately, this gluten-free Oreo was only available for a short time and is no longer being produced.
Nabisco likely did a limited run of this gluten-free cookie to test market demand. The fact that they produced a gluten-free version at all means it’s possible they could do so again in the future if interest is strong enough. But for now, those avoiding gluten unfortunately can’t enjoy the real deal Oreos.
What gluten-free ‘Oreo’ options are there?
Just because Nabisco doesn’t currently offer gluten-free Oreos doesn’t mean there aren’t similar options out there. A number of brands have created their own gluten-free versions of Oreo-style cookies. Here are some of the more popular alternatives:
Glutino Gluten-Free Vanilla Creme Cookies
Glutino is one of the leading makers of gluten-free snacks and baked goods. Their vanilla creme cookies are designed to mimic the look and taste of Oreos. They consist of two vanilla-flavored gluten-free cookies with vanilla creme filling in between. The cookies are made with rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour.
Kinnikinnick S’moreables Gluten-Free Sandwich Cookies
This gluten-free brand offers a unique Oreo-like cookie made with a chocolate waffle base and filled with marshmallow creme. The cookies contain chocolate chips and are made with ingredients like rice flour, potato starch, and sugar. Those with dairy allergies will also appreciate that they are dairy-free.
Aleia’s Chocolate Vanilla Creme Cookies
Aleia’s gluten-free cookies mimic the look of Oreos with two dark chocolate cookies surrounding sweet vanilla creme. Ingredients include cassava flour, cane sugar, cocoa powder, and sunflower lecithin. Aleia’s is dedicated to creating allergy-friendly foods. Their cookies are also dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO, and kosher.
Mi-Del Ginger Snaps Sandwich Cremes
For those who enjoy the sweet-spicy flavor of ginger snaps, Mi-Del makes a gluten-free creme-filled ginger snap cookie. Their cookies sandwich vanilla creme between two chewy ginger molasses cookies. Ingredients include brown rice flour, molasses, raisins, and spices.
Other store brands
Many grocery store chains like Aldi, Walmart, and Hy-Vee also offer their own store brand versions of gluten-free “Oreos.” Quality can vary but they are often very affordable options. Certain health food stores like Sprouts may also carry gluten-free sandwich cookie options.
What about DIY gluten-free ‘Oreos’?
For the most flexibility and control over ingredients, many gluten-free bakers choose to make DIY Oreos at home. This allows customization with preferred flours and flavors.
Here is an example recipe for homemade gluten-free Oreos:
Gluten-Free Oreo Recipe
– 1 1⁄4 cups cassava flour
– 1⁄4 cup cocoa powder
– 1 tsp xanthan gum
– 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
– 1⁄4 tsp salt
– 1⁄2 cup butter, softened
– 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
– 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 tbsp milk
– 1 egg
– 3 tbsp butter, softened
– 2 oz cream cheese, softened
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, milk and egg until creamy.
4. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients until a dough forms.
5. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with fingers or the bottom of a glass.
6. Bake for 9 minutes then allow to cool completely.
7. Make filling by beating together butter, cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth.
8. Spread filling on half of the cooled cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies.
This recipe makes about 18-20 gluten-free Oreos. Get creative by trying different gluten-free flours like almond or coconut flour in the cookie base. Or experiment with fillings like chocolate hazelnut, lemon curd or crushed mint. Homemade allows endless possibilities for gluten-free Oreo lovers!
Are there concerns about cross-contamination with gluten-free ‘Oreos’?
When buying any gluten-free product, cross-contamination is always a concern for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Even small traces of gluten can trigger symptoms. When companies make both gluten-free and gluten-containing foods on shared equipment, it increases the risk of cross-contamination.
Many reputable gluten-free brands have strict procedures in place to avoid cross-contamination. But there is no way to completely guarantee a product is 100% gluten-free unless it is certified gluten-free. Third-party certification programs like GFCO (Gluten-Free Certification Organization) test products regularly to ensure they meet strict standards for gluten-free safety.
When buying gluten-free Oreos or similar products, look for those that are certified gluten-free to give you peace of mind. You can also check manufacturer websites for their testing practices and protocols. When in doubt, contact the company directly to inquire about their safety procedures. For those with celiac disease, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Other considerations when choosing gluten-free ‘Oreos’
In addition to avoiding cross-contamination, there are a few other factors those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities may want to consider when selecting a gluten-free Oreo alternative:
- Ingredients – Check the label for any wheat, rye, barley or malt. Oats can also be cross-contaminated. Look for gluten-free flours like rice, tapioca, coconut.
- Facility – Produced in a dedicated gluten-free facility is ideal to reduce cross-contamination risk.
- Dairy-free – Many cannot tolerate dairy either. Seek dairy-free options if needed.
- Nut-free – Those with nut allergies should avoid options with almond flour or other nuts.
- Certifications – Seeking third-party certifications like GFCO, Certified Gluten-Free, or Certified Vegan provides added assurance.
- Taste – Don’t forget to enjoy! Seek cookies you will love eating with a flavor and texture similar to nostalgic Oreos.
Reading labels carefully and understanding production procedures can help you find the best and safest gluten-free Oreo-style cookie for your personal needs.
Are gluten-free ‘Oreos’ healthier than regular Oreos?
Gluten-free versions of popular foods are sometimes assumed to be healthier, but that’s not necessarily the case. Removing gluten alone doesn’t make a cookie recipe magically healthy. While gluten-free Oreos eliminate wheat, they still contain plenty of sugar and refined oils. However, there are some potential benefits.
Benefits of gluten-free Oreos:
- No wheat – Eliminating wheat flour removes gluten, which is essential for those with medical needs.
- Alternative flours – Some gluten-free Oreos incorporate flours like almond or coconut which provide additional nutrients.
- Less processed – Homemade gluten-free Oreos often contain less processed ingredients and preservatives.
- Special diets – Many recipes are also dairy-free, nut-free, etc. to accommodate multiple diets.
However, most gluten-free Oreos are still cookies made with refined sugars and oils. They also tend to be higher in fat and calories than regular Oreos due to ingredient substitutions needed for taste and texture when removing gluten. Portion size is important, even with “healthier” gluten-free treats. Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should focus first on finding a tasty gluten-free Oreo alternative they can safely enjoy in moderation.
While Oreo’s maker Nabisco currently does not offer a gluten-free version of their iconic cookie, there are a variety of alternative gluten-free ‘Oreo’ options available for those who need or want to avoid gluten. Gluten-free brands like Glutino, Kinnikinnick, and Aleia’s make credible versions, as do many grocery store generics. Baking your own DIY gluten-free Oreos can provide the best control over ingredients and taste. When choosing a manufactured brand, check for a dedicated gluten-free facility and third-party certifications to help ensure gluten safety for those with celiac disease or sensitivity. While gluten-free Oreos eliminate the wheat content of original Oreos, most alternatives still contain high amounts of sugar and fat similar to the original. Nonetheless, those needing a gluten-free diet can enjoy Oreo-like cookies in moderation as part of an overall healthy approach. The availability of store-bought and homemade gluten-free ‘Oreos’ gives more cookie options to those with specialty dietary needs.