Biscoff cookie butter has become an increasingly popular spread in recent years. Made from Biscoff cookies, which originated in Belgium, this spread has a rich, cookie-like flavor that many find irresistible. However, as Biscoff cookie butter has grown in popularity, so too have questions around whether it contains gluten.
For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming even small amounts of gluten can cause issues. This means it’s critical for those who follow a gluten-free diet to understand which products contain gluten and which do not.
In this article, we’ll provide a definitive answer on whether Biscoff cookie butter contains gluten. We’ll look at the ingredients list, manufacturing processes, and certifications related to Biscoff cookie butter. We’ll also provide some alternative cookie butter options for those looking for similar spreads that are guaranteed gluten-free.
An Overview of Biscoff Cookie Butter
Before diving into the question of gluten, let’s first understand what exactly Biscoff cookie butter is.
Biscoff refers to a brand of crunchy, caramelized biscuits that were first created in 1932 by a Belgian company called Lotus Bakeries. The cookies are made with wheat flour, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. They have a distinct flavor profile thanks to the caramelized exterior of the cookies.
Biscoff cookie butter is inspired by these crispy biscuits. It’s made by taking Biscoff cookies and blending them with vegetable oils to create a smooth, spreadable paste. The cookie butter has the same cinnamon, caramelized flavor as the original Biscoff cookies. It can be used like peanut butter on toast, fruit, or sandwiches.
Part of the appeal of Biscoff cookie butter is that it’s made from just a few simple ingredients. According to the label, typical ingredients include:
– Biscoff cookies (wheat flour, sugar, soybean and palm oil, cocoa, salt, raising agent, cinnamon)
– Vegetable oils (canola oil and/or sunflower oil and/or palm oil)
With a relatively straightforward and short ingredients list, you might assume Biscoff cookie butter is free from common allergens like gluten. However, the key question is whether the original Biscoff cookies contain gluten-containing ingredients like wheat.
Do Biscoff Cookies Contain Gluten?
When reviewing the ingredients list above, you probably noticed that the first ingredient listed for Biscoff cookies is wheat flour. This indicates that the original Biscoff biscuits are not gluten-free.
Wheat flour contains gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. For individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction that damages the small intestine. This can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and fatigue.
The only treatment for celiac disease is adhering to a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding any products that contain wheat, barley, rye or oats that have been cross-contaminated.
While Biscoff cookies clearly contain gluten from wheat flour, what does this mean for Biscoff cookie butter made using these biscuits?
Does Biscoff Cookie Butter Contain Gluten?
Given that the original Biscoff cookies contain wheat flour and are not gluten-free, Biscoff cookie butter will also contain traces of gluten.
During the manufacturing process for Biscoff cookie butter, the cookies are blended into a smooth paste. While blending breaks down the original cookie structure, it does not remove the wheat flour or gluten protein within the cookies.
This means there is no question that Biscoff cookie butter contains gluten and is not safe for those following a strict gluten-free diet. Even tiny amounts of gluten from cross-contact can trigger issues, so Biscoff cookie butter is off-limits.
Lotus, the manufacturer of Biscoff products, clearly states on their website that Biscoff cookie butter contains gluten from wheat flour and is not suitable for those with celiac disease.
Risk of Cross-Contamination
In addition to the gluten within the main ingredients, there is also a risk of cross-contamination during manufacturing at facilities that produce Biscoff cookie butter.
The equipment and production lines used to make Biscoff cookie butter likely also process other products containing gluten. Some residual gluten could be transferred to the cookie butter during production.
While the exact risk varies between specific manufacturing facilities, those with celiac disease or sensitivity should exercise extreme caution. Even tiny traces of gluten can cause issues.
Gluten-Free Cookie Butter Options
While original Biscoff cookie butter contains gluten, there are some alternative cookie butter spreads that are safe for gluten-free diets. Here are a few good options:
Lucy’s Cookie Butter
Lucy’s makes a gluten-free cookie butter using simple ingredients like rice flour, palm fruit oil, raw cane sugar, sea salt, and spices. It has a similar consistency and flavor to Biscoff cookie butter without any gluten-containing ingredients. Lucy’s cookie butter is certified gluten-free.
Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter
Trader Joe’s has their own version of cookie butter that swaps wheat flour for rice flour and tapioca flour. It delivers the taste and texture of Biscoff’s spread without gluten. Trader Joe’s states the product is made in a gluten-free facility.
Free2B Foods Cookie Butter
Free2B Foods offers a gluten-free, vegan cookie butter. It’s made with a blend of brown rice flour, tapioca flour, vegetable oils, and Dutch cocoa powder. Free2B certifies their production facilities are free of gluten and major allergens.
Nuts ‘N More Cookie Butter
For another gluten-free, vegan option, Nuts ‘N More makes cookie butter from a blend of roasted nuts, coconut, and cocoa powder. It has a slightly different taste profile with the emphasis on nuts rather than cookies. The product is certified gluten-free.
There are also recipes available online to make your own homemade gluten-free cookie butter at home. This lets you control all the ingredients and avoid cross-contamination.
Is Speculoos Cookie Butter Gluten-Free?
Speculoos cookie butter is sometimes confused with Biscoff cookie butter. However, Speculoos butter is made with traditional Speculoos spiced biscuits that contain wheat flour.
Speculoos cookies originated in the Netherlands and Belgium and are similar to Biscoff cookies. Most brands of Speculoos butter, including Lotus, contain gluten.
However, there are some brands that make gluten-free versions of Speculoos cookie butter, like Lucy’s. So in some cases, Speculoos spreads may be safe, but it’s important to check labels and ingredients carefully. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer to confirm gluten status.
Tips for Avoiding Gluten from Cookie Butter
Here are some tips for those with celiac disease or NCGS to avoid accidentally consuming gluten from cookie butter:
Check labels carefully
Don’t assume cookie butter is gluten-free. Carefully read the ingredients list and look for any statements related to gluten, wheat, barley or rye.
Contact the manufacturer
If unsure about an ingredient or a product’s processing, directly reach out to the manufacturer. Ask about their gluten testing and policies.
Look for certified labels
Search for cookie butters that are certified gluten-free or made in dedicated gluten-free facilities. This reduces risk of cross-contamination.
Stick to known safe brands
Purchase cookie butter from reputable gluten-free brands like Lucy’s or those recommended by celiac support groups. Avoid generic or bulk brands that may have hidden gluten.
Be cautious about double-dipping with knives used for regular and gluten-free cookie butters to prevent cross-contact. Consider individually portioned cookie butters.
The Bottom Line
So does Biscoff cookie butter contain gluten? The answer is yes. Biscoff cookie butter is made with wheat flour containing gluten and is not suitable for gluten-free diets or those with celiac disease or sensitivity.
However, there are several good gluten-free, cookie butter alternatives available. Brands like Lucy’s, Trader Joe’s, and Free2B Foods offer cookie spreads made without any gluten-containing ingredients.
When purchasing cookie butter, be sure to double check that it is labeled gluten-free and made in a facility free from cross-contamination. This ensures the product is safe for those who need to strictly avoid even traces of gluten.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Biscoff cookie butter vegan?
No, Biscoff cookie butter is not vegan. It contains dairy from the milk used to make the original Biscoff cookies. The cookie butter also contains small amounts of butter.
What’s the difference between Biscoff & Speculoos cookie butter?
Biscoff and Speculoos refer to two similar types of caramelized cookies originating in Belgium. Traditional versions of both cookie butters contain gluten. However, some brands make gluten-free versions using alternate flours.
Is Trader Joe’s cookie butter gluten-free?
Yes, Trader Joe’s cookie butter is certified gluten-free. It uses rice flour instead of wheat flour. Trader Joe’s states their cookie butter is produced in a facility free of gluten and major allergens.
Does Target sell gluten-free cookie butter?
Target carries Lucy’s brand gluten-free cookie butter. This provides a gluten-free alternative to Biscoff’s cookie butter. Always check packaging for gluten-free certification at Target or any other retailers.
Can celiacs eat cookie butter safely?
Celiacs must avoid cookie butters containing gluten, like Biscoff. But there are safe, gluten-free options, usually made with alternate flours like rice, tapioca or nuts. Brands clearly labeled gluten-free and made in dedicated facilities are the best choice.