Yes, there are several gluten-free options that can be used to make a tasty graham cracker crust substitute. Some common replacements include crushed gluten-free cookies or crackers, nuts, rice flour, oats, and nut flours. The key is to use an item or combination of items that provide the same crispy, nutty flavor and sandy texture of traditional graham cracker crust.
Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Substitutes
Gluten-Free Cookies or Crackers
One of the easiest substitutions is to use store-bought gluten-free graham crackers, cookies or crackers. You can simply crush them up to form the crust. Some good options include:
– Gluten-free graham crackers – These will provide the closest taste and texture to regular graham cracker crust. Leading brands like Kinnikinnick and Mi-Del make gluten-free graham crackers.
– Gluten-free ginger snaps or gingersnaps – These provide similar spice and molasses notes as graham crackers.
– Gluten-free chocolate wafer cookies – The crispy cookies crumble up nicely and add a hint of chocolate flavor.
– Gluten-free vanilla or chocolate sandwich creme cookies – The creamy filling helps bind the cookies together to form the crust.
– Rice crackers or crispbreads – The dry, crisp texture makes them easy to grind into fine crumbs.
Whatever cookie or cracker you choose, you’ll want to grind or process it into fine crumbs. You may need more packages than the recipe calls for of regular graham crackers to account for differences in texture and density.
Finely ground nuts make an excellent substitute for graham cracker crumbs. They provide nutty flavor and texture. Good options include almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, or mixed nuts. The nuts can be processed into a flour or meal using a food processor. You can use nut flour alone or combine with other gluten-free flours.
Using all nut flour will result in a crust with more dense and rich flavor compared to graham crackers. For a lighter texture, limit the nuts to 1/4 to 1/2 of the crust mixture. The remaining flour can be a starchier flour like rice or tapioca flour.
Some examples of nut-based graham cracker crust substitutes include:
– All almond flour crust
– 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup rice flour, 2 Tbsp sugar
– 1/4 cup pecan flour, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 2 Tbsp brown sugar
Rice flour works beautifully to replace graham cracker crumbs. It has a neutral flavor and sandy texture when ground finely. Brown rice flour in particular provides a nice hint of nuttiness reminiscent of graham flavor.
White rice flour results in a mildly sweet crust. For a more graham-like flavor, use brown rice flour or mix the white rice flour with cocoa powder or spices.
Some examples of rice flour graham crust substitutes:
– 1 1⁄4 cups brown rice flour, 3 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1 cup white rice flour, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 3 Tbsp sugar
– 3⁄4 cup brown rice flour, 1⁄4 cup almond meal, 2 Tbsp honey
The exact amounts can be adjusted based on the consistency needed for the crust. More flour results in a thicker crust while more sugar and oil makes it more pliable.
Plain rolled oats or quick oats can stand in for graham cracker crumbs when ground into a flour. The hearty oat flavor provides a nice backdrop for sweet and savory fillings.
Oats contain a protein called avenin that can cause reactions similar to gluten for some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Be sure to choose certified gluten-free oats if you require a gluten-free diet.
To make an oat graham crust:
– Process gluten-free oats in a food processor or blender until a fine flour forms
– Add sugar, salt and cinnamon to taste
– Optionally, combine up to 1/4 of the oat flour with almond flour or rice flour
– Add butter or oil to reach desired consistency
The oat-based crust bakes up with slightly more texture than traditional graham cracker crust. For best results, pulse the oats into as fine a flour as possible.
In addition to nuts on their own, nut flours like almond flour, coconut flour and hazelnut flour can be used. Nut flours work best combined together or with another gluten-free flour.
– 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup coconut flour, 2 Tbsp brown sugar
– 1/3 cup almond flour, 1/3 cup rice flour, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, 2 Tbsp honey
– 1/2 cup hazelnut flour, 1/4 cup millet flour, pinch of salt
When using nut flours, it’s important to compensate for their higher fat and moisture content compared to regular flour. You may need to reduce the liquid in the filling recipe slightly to prevent a soggy crust.
Tips for Replacing Graham Cracker Crust
Get the right texture
Focus on recreating the sandy, crisp texture of graham cracker crumbs. Finely grind cookies, nuts or flours to form a crumbly mixture that holds together when pressed.
Boost flavor by adding cinnamon, cocoa powder, honey, brown sugar or maple syrup. This helps emulate the sweet, slightly spiced graham taste.
Use binding agents
Butter, oil or nut butters help bind the crust together. You can also use sticky ingredients like honey or maple syrup. Yogurt and cream cheese work for dairy-free recipes.
For convenience, you can make the crust 1-2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to fill.
If the mixture seems too dry, add a touch more butter or oil. For runny batters, incorporate a bit more flour or crushed cookies.
Pre-baking helps set the crust so it holds together when adding wet fillings. Bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes until lightly browned.
Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust Recipes
Classic Cheesecake with Almond Crust
|Blanched almond flour||1 1/2 cups|
|Brown sugar||3 Tbsp|
|Butter, melted||3 Tbsp|
1. Mix together almond flour, brown sugar and salt.
2. Add melted butter and stir until uniform crumbs form.
3. Press into bottom and up sides of 9-inch springform pan.
4. Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes.
5. Let crust cool before filling.
6. Fill with your choice of cheesecake filling recipe.
The almond crust provides nutty flavor and crisp texture perfect for velvety cheesecake.
Blender Brownie Crisp Bars
|Gluten-free old-fashioned oats||2 cups|
|Brown rice flour||1/4 cup|
|Cocoa powder||1/4 cup|
|Brown sugar||1/2 cup|
|Butter, melted||6 Tbsp|
1. Place oats in blender or food processor and process until fine flour forms.
2. Add rice flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar and salt. Pulse to combine.
3. Pour in melted butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly.
4. Press into an 8×8-inch baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
5. Let crust cool before using.
6. Spread desired brownie batter over crust and bake according to recipe instructions.
7. Slice into bars when cool.
The oat and brown rice flour crust makes the perfect crispy, chocolatey base for gooey gluten-free brownies.
Pecan Hazelnut Pie Crust
|Pecan pieces||1 cup|
|Hazelnut flour||1/2 cup|
|Brown sugar||2 Tbsp|
|Butter, melted||3 Tbsp|
1. Process pecan pieces in food processor until finely ground.
2. Add hazelnut flour, brown sugar and salt. Process until combined.
3. Add melted butter and pulse until mixture forms clumps.
4. Press into pie dish. Flatten crumbs along the sides and bottom.
5. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
6. Allow to cool before filling with your choice of pie filling.
The pecan hazelnut crust adds a deliciously nutty flavor and texture to pies and tarts.
Are there any pre-made gluten-free graham cracker crusts?
Yes, there are a few brands that make ready-to-use gluten-free graham cracker crusts:
Kinnikinnick Foods Graham Cracker Crust – This pre-baked crust is made with Kinnikinnick gluten-free graham cracker crumbs. It’s sold frozen or refrigerated in pie pan sizes.
Wholly Wholesome Organic Graham Pie Crust – Wholly Wholesome makes a vegan, certified gluten-free crust from a blend of whole grain flours and sugar. It’s sold refrigerated and requires no baking before filling.
Immaculate Baking Gluten Free Graham Crust – Immaculate Baking specializes in allergy-friendly baked goods, including a graham cracker crust made with brown rice flour and molasses. It comes in a 9-inch round pan.
Schar Gluten Free Chocolate Pie Crust – This shelf-stable crust is made by Schar from a mix of corn starch, cocoa powder and carob flour. It has a cookie-like texture and comes in a foil pan.
These convenient crusts eliminate the step of mixing your own crumbs. However, they limit the flavor combinations and ingredient control you get from a homemade crust.
What about gluten-free graham cracker crumbs?
There are a couple brands that produce packaged gluten-free graham cracker crumbs that you can use to make crusts:
Kinnikinnick Graham Cracker Crumbs – Kinnikinnick makes gluten-free graham cracker crumbs that are a suitable 1:1 substitute for regular graham cracker crust recipes. They mimic the sandy texture and honeyed graham taste.
Aleia’s Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crumbs – Aleia’s crumb mix contains brown rice flour and molasses for graham flavor. The fine crumbs blend easily into crusts and baked goods.
With packaged crumbs, you get the convenience of pre-made crumbs but the versatility to incorporate your own flavor preferences. Add nuts, spices, cocoa or additional gluten-free flours to customize the crust.
Graham cracker crust remains a versatile staple in gluten-free baking. With some creativity using alternative gluten-free flours, nuts, cookies and crackers, you can re-create the distinctive crispy, sandy texture and sweet graham taste of traditional graham cracker crusts. Try out blends with almond flour, rice flour, oats or your favorite gluten-free cookie to find a go-to gluten-free graham crust recipe your whole family will love.