14 Best Graham Cracker Substitutes That You Need To Try!

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From S’mores to pie crusts, and cheesecake bases, there are many dessert recipes where Graham crackers are a staple. But, have you been in a situation where you ran out of them and wondered what can be used instead? Then, look at this blog on the best Graham crackers substitutes ever! 

Best graham cracker substitutes

The best substitutes for graham crackers are sugar cookies, digestive cookies, pretzels, sponge cake, animal crackers, crushed oats, coconut macaroons, ginger snaps, saltine crackers, cereal, and shortbread cookies. 

Graham crackers are one of the most versatile cookies out there. We cannot think about some desserts without graham crackers (yes, I’m referring to S’mores!). Moreover, graham crackers also provide that perfect base for cheesecake. 

Graham crackers are also a great way to make a pie crust, especially if you need more time to make one from scratch. What makes these crackers stand out over the other crackers is that they have the perfect texture for them to be this versatile. 

However, that is different from where it ends! Graham crackers are also very well-balanced in terms of flavor. Along with that perfect texture from the Graham flour, these crackers also tend to have a hint of sweetness, usually from honey. 

Quite a few brands also add just a bit of cinnamon to them, elevating their flavor further. So, finding the perfect substitute for these crackers will be a task. But, as you can see, there are plenty to choose from! Let’s see how each of these substitutes would work in various recipes! 

14 Best Graham Cracker Substitutes

Here are some of the best substitutes that you can use in place of graham crackers. Some have wacky flavors, whereas others are simple and versatile! 

1. Sugar Cookies

This is an easy option that matches the flavor of Graham crackers quite well. Sugar cookies are made with a combination of the simplest ingredients and generally have vanilla as the dominant flavor. 

Some sugar cookies have flavor enhanced with citrus, which can add flavor to specific recipes. This might not be the best option for S’mores, as sugar cookies don’t have the same thin texture as graham crackers. 

However, there is no better substitute for pie crusts and cheesecake bases. What makes it even better is that sugar cookies are one of the most effortlessly and widely available cookies, so that you can grab one anytime! 

2. Crushed Pretzels

Ensure you use the hard pretzels, as soft ones won’t work. Hard pretzels are crunchy and packed with a lot of flavors. They do have a bolder flavor than graham crackers in most cases. 

But that can be used as an advantage in various recipes. The reason why crushed pretzels can work in a bunch of recipes is that they have a very similar texture to that of graham crackers. 

They give that perfect crunch with every bite. Moreover, you can hardly tell the difference when hard pretzels are used instead of graham crackers in recipes. Crushed pretzels are great for pie, tart, and cheesecake crusts. 

3. Gingersnaps

Looking for a way to elevate the flavor of your wonderful dessert? Then Gingersnaps is the way to go! These cookies are plain delicious and have that unique sweet and malty flavor, followed by that mild kick of spice. 

Gingersnaps are similar to graham crackers in terms of their texture. However, when it comes to flavor, they are different. But that can be used as a positive aspect in many recipes. 

Gingersnaps can be used as pie crusts, cheesecake bases, and more if you want your desserts to taste like the holiday season. If the flavor is too overpowering, try mixing half of these cookies with a milder-flavored cookie to balance it out. 

4. Ice Cream Cones

These may seem a bit out there, but ice cream cones have much more in common with graham crackers than other cookies! They are pretty thin and crispy, meaning their texture resembles graham crackers. 

Moreover, ice cream cones are also mostly vanilla flavored, so there won’t be a massive change in terms of flavor either. So, this is a great substitute option for pie crusts, cheesecake bases, or even adding some texture to desserts. 

Generally, you can use them as you would with graham crackers, combining them with butter. If you want to experiment with flavors, you can mix them with melted chocolate!

5. Saltine Crackers

Yet again, this might seem like an odd substitute option. Saltine crackers have the same texture as graham crackers, as they are light and crispy. However, saltine crackers, unlike graham crackers, carry a savory flavor. 

But again, this can add a lovely contrast to the flavor of your dessert, something that you probably would not have imagined would work! I recommend using saltine crackers with recipes with lovely ingredients so that the flavor gets well-balanced. 

6. Coconut Macaroons

These little baked goodies have a soft, chewy, crumbly texture. They also carry a strong flavor of coconut, doing justice to their name. So, they are not quite the same as graham crackers. 

But again, their unique flavor and texture can be an advantage in various recipes. If you are particularly fond of the taste of coconuts, trust me, it can’t get any better than this substitute! 

Coconut macarons make an excellent pie base, tart crust, and cheesecake base. You can also add coconut macarons to mousse, and panna cotta recipes, as they will add a lot of flavors and texture to them. 

7. Sponge Cake

These cakes tend to be buttery, with a soft and fluffy texture. So yes, your guess is correct; they are nothing like graham crackers. But you can still use sponge cake as a substitute when you don’t have many other options. 

Sponge cake can work as graham crackers, pie crusts, and cheesecake bases. However, I recommend not using this substitute if you are fond of graham crackers, mainly because of their crispy texture.

8. Shortbread Cookies

This substitute option is great for the usual pie crusts and cheesecake basis and works well in S’mores! Shortbread cookies tend to have a highly fatty texture, which makes them crumbly and buttery. 

On top of that, shortbread cookies are also sweet in flavor, which makes them a close match to graham crackers. Luckily, while using them as a substitute option, you would not have to worry about taste or texture changes. 

9. Crushed Oats

Are you seeking a healthier, gluten-free substitute option for the classic graham cracker? Then oats are the way to go! Many of you may not have considered oats a substitute for graham crackers. 

Mainly because they don’t have much in common with the latter. However, one thing in common is that they are both crunchy in texture. For this reason, you can use oats as a substitute for graham crackers. 

Rolled oats, mixed with butter and a bit of sugar, make an excellent base for tarts, pies, and cheesecakes. You can also go for flavored oats or crushed oatmeal cookies to experiment further. 

10. Animal Crackers

If you have ever eaten one of these famous crackers, you may know they are similar to graham crackers. Animal crackers usually start with the same flavor and textured dough as graham crackers. 

What makes them different from regular graham crackers is that they are shaped like other types of animals! However, once crushed, who is to tell the difference, right? 

In some cases, animal crackers can also have a slightly sweeter flavor than graham crackers. But this can work as an advantage in some recipes. Try using these with chocolate-flavored desserts for the best taste! 

11. Crushed Cereal

One of the most easily accessible substitutes for graham crackers, which I am sure must already be stocked in your pantry, is cereal! Cereal is crunchy and comes in various flavors, making it a great substitute. 

The crushed cereal will give your desserts much more crunch than graham crackers! This can work as a cheesecake base, but I recommend pie crusts only if you feel adventurous. If that is the case, go for any favorite cereal you choose! 

12. Oreo Cookies

We all love our dose of chocolate, and the epitome of a perfect chocolate cookie has to be Oreos! Yet again, there are quite a few differences between classic Oreo cookies and graham crackers in flavor and color. 

But chocolate, for some of us, makes everything better! If you love the flavor of chocolate just like me, don’t avoid using Oreo cookies as the base for cheesecakes, pies, and tarts. 

However, before you crush them to make that base, I recommend first scraping off the cream from the center. The cream will make the Oreos a bit soggy and also unnecessarily sweet. 

13. Digestive Cookies

These are another great option that is very similar to graham crackers. Digestive cookies are widely available and have different flavor options as well. The regular ones have a simple flavor and are less sweet than graham crackers. 

You can, however, choose digestive cookies of your favorite flavor as well if you are in the mood to experiment. These will work well in place of graham crackers as crusts for pies and cheesecakes and in S’mores recipes. 

14. Crushed Nuts

If you are considering a ketogenic diet, most of the substitutes mentioned above will not work, as they are rich in carbohydrates. However, there is a solution in this case: crushed nuts!

Crushed nuts will not give you the same flavor as graham crackers, but they will serve the purpose of being a crunchy base. You can use any of your choices, but in my experience, almonds work the best. Moreover, do not crush them too vigorously, as that will release the oil from within them and make it into a paste. 

Short Recap For Best Graham Cracker Substitutes

Here is a short recap of the best substitutes that can be used in place of graham crackers. These substitutes are divided into a few categories based on factors that make them the best. 

Best Graham Cracker Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture:

  1. Digestive Biscuits
  2. Sugar Cookies
  3. Animal Crackers

Best Graham Cracker Substitutes In Terms Of Availability: 

  1. Oreo Cookies,
  2. Cereal
  3. Saltine Crackers

Best Graham Cracker Substitutes If You Want To Experiment: 

  1. Coconut Macaroons
  2. Crushed Oats
  3. Gingersnaps

Graham Cracker Substitutes That You Should Consider Using Last:

  1. Sponge Cake
  2. Crushed Nuts

How To Use Graham Cracker Substitutes

Best graham cracker substitutes

14 Best Graham Cracker Substitutes That You Need To Try

The best substitutes for graham crackers are sugar cookies, digestive cookies, pretzels, sponge cake, animal crackers, crushed oats, coconut macaroons, ginger snaps, saltine crackers, cereal, and shortbread cookies.
5 from 1 vote


  • Sugar Cookies
  • Crushed Pretzels
  • Gingersnaps
  • Ice Cream Cones
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Coconut Macaroons
  • Sponge Cake
  • Shortbread Cookies
  • Crushed Oats
  • Animal Crackers
  • Crushed Cereal
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Digestive Cookies
  • Crushed Nuts


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and make the dish according to the recipe.
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Graham crackers have to be one of the most multi-purpose crackers out there! These are used to add texture to so many dessert recipes, and the fact that they have a subtle flavor also helps.

In case you have run out of them, plenty of substitute options are still available for the same! Most of the substitute options mentioned here work wonders in place of graham crackers.

They all have a particular advantage over the other substitutes. Based on the type of recipe you are looking at, you can decide which one of these substitutes works the best for you, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are shortbread cookies the same as graham crackers? 

No, although they have a similar texture, the two types of cookies are not the same. 

Aren’t saltines too savory to be used as a graham cracker substitute? 

Yes, saltines can be extra savory. But, this can work well in cases of some recipes. 

Can you use any flavor of sponge cake as a substitute? 

Yes, you can choose the flavor of the sponge cake based on your personal preferences. 

Can pistachios be used as a substitute for graham crackers? 

Yes, you can also use pistachios, but make sure not to pulverize them too much, as that will turn them into a paste. 

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