Make Ahead

Great Graham Crackers

June 27, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 3 dozen 2-inch grahams
Author Notes

These iconic cookies are addictively crunchy and flavorful and blessedly not-too-sweet -- far better and more wholesome than store-bought. Graham flour is coarsely ground whole wheat flour; for those of you who just can’t help asking about substitutions, the answer is yes but no! Yes, you could substitute regular whole wheat flour for the graham flour, but your graham crackers will not be as tender or wonderful. Bottom line: not for nothing these are called “graham” crackers. My addition of a little oat flour makes the cookies even more tender and tasty.

Bob’s Red Mill Oat Flour and Graham Flour can be found in the baking aisles of better supermarkets or by mail order. Store leftover flour in the freezer or fridge. You can make your own oat flour in a coffee grinder (blenders and food processors don’t grind fine enough): put 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (55 grams) rolled oats in a clean coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder. For graham cracker flavor variations, including chocolate, see my book Chewy Gooey Crisp Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies

Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups (225 grams) graham flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon (55 grams) oat flour
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar, plus 3 to 4 teaspoons for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons (65 grams) honey
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Equipment:
  • 2 sheets of parchment cut to fit the baking sheet
  • 2 large sheet pans (about 12 x 16 inches)
  • Food processor
  1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the graham and oat flours, ¼ cup sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Pulse to mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal. In a small cup, stir the milk, honey, and vanilla together until the honey is dissolved. Drizzle the honey mixture into the bowl. Process just until the mixture gathers into a single mass.
  2. Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a 6 or 7-inch flat square patty. Wrap and refrigerate it until they are very firm but supple enough to roll out, 20-30 minutes. Or keep them refrigerated up to two days; let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.
  3. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll one patty between the sheets of parchment paper until it is 1/8 inch thick (about 8 by 12 inches) and as even as possible from the center to the edges. (Try to avoid a thick center with thinner edges). Flip the paper and dough over once or twice to check for deep wrinkles; if necessary, peel the parchment and smooth it over the dough before continuing. Peel the top sheet of parchment off. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Sprinkle the dough evenly with 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar. Repeat with the second patty.
  4. Slide one sheet of dough, with the bottom layer of parchment, onto each cookie sheet. With a sharp knife, even up the edges of the dough and score it into squares, diamonds, or rectangles. Leave edge scraps in place (good for nibbling and to protect the rest of the grahams from burnt edges).
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the grahams are golden brown with deep brown edges. Rotate the pans from upper to lower and front to back a little over halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pans on racks to cool. Break the grahams along the score lines. Cool the grahams completely before storing. Grahams keep in and airtight container for at least 3 weeks.
  6. Troubleshooting: Grahams crisp up after they are completely cool unless they are under baked. If your grahams are not thoroughly crunchy when cool (especially any in the center that might be a little thicker), return them (on a parchment lined baking sheet) to a preheated 325-degree oven for about 15 minutes. Let cool and check for crunch.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kearin Armstrong
    Kearin Armstrong
  • Two Trays Kitchen
    Two Trays Kitchen
  • Pia S
    Pia S
  • Andrew Smith
    Andrew Smith
  • Heather
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

28 Reviews

Donna C. December 22, 2019
I made these with just oat flour because I had too much of it on hand. I skipped the sugar and just used the honey. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon. I've tried making graham crackers before and they always burned, so I turned the heat to 325. I baked them 12 minutes, turned the pan back to front, baked another 12 minutes, removed them from the baking sheet and to a cooling rack and put them in a 200 degree oven on the cooling rack for 10 minutes. After they cooled, they were crispy and delicious. Thanks!
Sarag May 17, 2018
We made these in our nursery school today and they turned out perfect and wonderful! I can’t eat wheat, but the quiet at the table spoke of the devotion of the group. No chatter, no wiggles, no fidgets—just silent munching and one comment: Canwe have milk with them next time?
Sarag May 17, 2018
And we broke out the scale which made it even more fun.
Sarag May 18, 2018
We have now made these three times. We cut honey by half, and baked them at 325 for 3x6 minutes, swapping high to lower rack and rotating pan. We always forget to sprinkle the sugar on and no one minds. They smell so good while they are baking!
Emma January 22, 2018
I've now decided homemade graham crackers are where it's at. I swapped WW flour for the graham flour, but otherwise followed the recipe. I too found they took less time than noted; like other bakers here, mine were done in about 12 min. I did roll them fairly thin because I was concerned about getting them too thick and dry, so I will play around with the exact thickness. Also, they were plenty sweet, and I may cut the sugar next time.
Emma January 22, 2018
The flavor was excellent, though, and more batches of these are on the horizon!
JJ November 13, 2017
Made recipe as directed, and they turned out good! Better than the Alton Brown recipe that I recently tried. I rolled them out to a few different thicknesses because 1/8 inch seemed too thick. Rolling them out thinner made them too fragile and they tasted a lil dusty, but rolling them out to 1/8 inch as specified makes a dang thick, dry cookie. They have a very, very good flavor, a nice crisp bite, and even the subtle flakey layers that grocery store grahams have. If you eat a lot of whole grain baked goods you will probably adore these.

Nonetheless I don't believe I'll be making these again. Or at least not with Hodgson Mill Graham Flour. The graham flour made them too dang gritty - even after hydrating the dough for 24 hrs in fridge. They're too thick for s'mores, and they're too heavy of a snack when spread with a little peanut butter. They might be good for a homemade graham crust, but the grittiness makes me a bit nervous to try. I'll still be eating them, just with a whole glass of milk per cookie.
Next up, Stella Parks's graham cracker recipe!
Sarag May 18, 2018
Oooh, I see it is gluten free! Off to an Asian market to source the more obscure flours.
Alice M. May 18, 2018
Graham flour is wheat flour! Sorry this is not gluten free!
Sarag May 18, 2018
Sorry, I see my comment looks like a non-sequitur. I am aware that graham flour is wheat. I was referring to the Stellr Parks recipe refererenced in the comment, which turns out to be gluten-free. I would love to see a gluten free recipe from the Queen of Flavor Flours, which is one of my most prized cookbooks. Thank you! The Stella Parks recipe necessitates a trip to an Asian met which is a bit of a hike for me.
Sarag May 18, 2018
Ugh, wish we could edit our mistakes in this forum.
Alice M. May 18, 2018
Oh too funny! Sorry I misunderstood! I’m going to blame it on my reading comments on my phone!
Kearin A. January 4, 2017
I know I'm late to the party but these are delicious! We don't have graham crackers in NZ so I was interested to make them. I used plain wholemeal flour as it was what I had and they came out fabulous and crisp and tender. I was going to keep all the scraps from the edges together for a pie crust but I've already eaten them...
patregis May 28, 2016
In my opinion, the absolute best use of graham crackers is for the crust of a Key Lime Pie. Homemade, makes it better and more interesting.
learnoff July 3, 2015
Made these tonight. I weighed the flours. I thought the dough came out wet, but it rolled out ok. I pricked and scored them and baked them about 5 minutes less as my over runs hot. Once cooled they were crispy and delicious, but the broke into odd shaped pieces when I tried to take them apart. Any suggestions? I definitely want to make them again. Thanks!
Two T. September 30, 2014
Love these so much I blogged them. In the book, Alice notes you can add cinnamon so I did that and loved the results.
Pia S. September 18, 2014
I made this recipe and found the dough to be a bit too dry (it didn't come together in my food processor) and also that they burned super quickly, even taking into account my hot oven, lowering the temperature and rotating frequently. Any tips for troubleshooting this? Maybe a little extra milk and foil around the edges?
Two T. September 30, 2014
@pia, i have a couple thoughts: do you weigh your flours? Grams give a much better accuracy than cups. Especially with something coarse like graham flour. Also, I found as I made a second batch of these, not to be too afraid to work the butter in so it is more like cornmeal than say, pie dough where you want peas. Then when you add the liquid it will be absorbed better. A thought. Good luck!
Pia S. October 2, 2014
Thanks, @salvegging. I actually did weigh the flours (I've just gotten a digital kitchen scale and am now trying to find any excuse to weigh something - from coffee in the morning to ingredients for veggie burgers). My oven does run quite hot - so that may be a culprit. Thank you for the tip on working in the butter - I will definitely try that next time!
Jasmina August 10, 2014
what can be used as a substitute for honey? I am allergic
homecookin February 11, 2015
Jasmina, I've seen corn syrup (i.e. Karo) used interchangeably with honey if you're still looking. Haven't tried these yet, just discovered.
Kayla R. March 29, 2017
You could also try agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup! I think Agave would be closer to the flavor of honey, but they're all interesting substitutes!
Andrew S. July 18, 2014
Excellent. Had difficulty rolling these to the suggested dimensions, but they were wonderful, nonetheless.
Heather July 12, 2014
I love how wholesome this recipe is! I've been craving S'mores all summer...this recipe is a must try! Thank you!
Lori July 9, 2014
Graham crackers are named after Sylvyster Graham- a minister. According to Wikipedia: The original graham cracker was made with graham flour, a combination of finely-ground unbleached-wheat flour with the wheat bran and germ coarsely-ground and added back in providing flavor. While graham crackers started out as a mild food, unsweetened or mildly sweetened, they are more commonly known as a sugar or honey sweetened baked good that approaches a cookie.
Linda C. July 6, 2014
For goodness sake, make a Cherry Cheese Cake on the delicious crust made from the crackers of course!
Stone G. July 1, 2014
Gotta make these soon. I love graham crackers. "Back to Nature" brand has been keeping me happy but homemade always best.
AntoniaJames June 27, 2014
Oh my! I'm so grateful that you regularly contribute here. ;o)