Are Graham Crackers Vegan? How to Choose Plant-Based Graham Crackers

Most graham crackers contain honey, but vegans are still not without options.

Healthy Honey Graham Crackers
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When minister Sylvester Graham recommended a whole-wheat diet to his 19th-century congregants, he hoped it would suppress their “baser passions.”  Graham believed people could eat their way into a more moral and healthy life, forming one of the first health food movements in the country.

Although vegans today don’t ascribe to many of Graham’s values, his culinary contributions remain. Graham crackers have enjoyed a nearly 100-year tenure as one of America’s favorite snacks. And while it’s true the vast majority contain honey, there are several widely available vegan options, making graham crackers your new go-to snack. 

Why Most Graham Crackers Are Not Vegan

Graham crackers of the 1800s were made with whole-wheat flour that boasted a rustic texture and gave the crackers their signature nutty, delicate sweetness. Old recipes call for lard, butter, or other animal fats, and many recipes included yeast. Traditionally, graham crackers contained salt and a tiny bit of molasses, but it wasn’t until 1925 when Nabisco introduced their Honey Maid line that sweet graham crackers became a national snack sensation.

In a twist of irony, most graham crackers today are made with highly processed white flour. It’s rare if not impossible to find a store-brand graham cracker that contains yeast. Hydrogenated vegetable oils replaced animal fats, and honey has remained a staple ingredient.

Not only did adding honey make these crackers more palatable than their predecessors, it changed the graham cracker game for vegans. Today, most grocery store brands contain no dairy or eggs, but the vast majority include honey (one of veganism's most fiercely debated foods). Additionally, you might find confectioner’s glaze, a non-vegan food additive derived from beetles, listed in the ingredients. For these reasons, most graham crackers are not vegan-friendly.

Did You Know?

Graham crackers play a role in the history of veganism in America. Back in the 1830s, Rev. Graham and his acolytes believed that abstaining from meat promoted spiritual and physical health. Others who advocated for this lifestyle acted out of the belief that vegetarianism could help promote social reform. In both cases, their advocacy for a high-fiber, no meat diet began the health food movement, paving the ground for 21-century veganism. 

Foods That Can Contain Graham Crackers

Graham Cracker Crust
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The delightful, unique taste of graham crackers extends beyond the snack aisle. You can find these crispy treats in several other kinds of foods.

Cereals

Golden Grahams (which is vegan) and Honey Grahams (which, as the name explains, is not) are just two of many graham cracker-based breakfast foods. Check the label to verify whether or not that cereal includes honey.

Pie Crusts

Popular with cheesecakes and key lime pies (both of which usually contain eggs and dairy), pie crusts can also contain graham crackers. It's relatively easy to find pre-made vegan graham cracker crusts at the grocery store. Several of the biggest name brands don't include honey in their recipes. You can also find health food brands of pre-made graham cracker pie crusts that are vegan-friendly.

Mango Floats

This Phillipino icebox cake contains graham crackers, cream, and ripe mangoes. Someone make us a vegan version, STAT!

S’mores

Believe it or not, you can make this campfire treat animal-product-free with a vegan graham cracker, vegan marshmallow, and vegan chocolate. We can taste it now...

Types of Vegan Graham Crackers

Thankfully, vegans can find cruelty-free graham crackers in just about any grocery store in the country. Some vegan-friendly varieties replace honey with the more traditional molasses. Others opt for brown sugar, and some choose corn syrup instead. These honey-free varieties make it easy for vegans to enjoy Rev. Graham’s (much sweeter) legacy.

  • Annie’s Organic Bunny Grahams (chocolate chip, birthday cake, and chocolate)
  • Health Valley Amaranth Graham Crackers
  • Kinnikinnick S'moreables Graham Style Crackers (gluten-free)
  • Kellogg's Grahams Crackers  (original, cinnamon, and low far cinnamon)
  • Kroger Original Graham Crackers
  • Nabisco Original Grahams
  • Teddy Grahams (cinnamon and chocolate)
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is there pork in graham crackers?

    Before hydrogenated vegetable oils became fashionable, animal fats like lard were staples in most forms of cooking. These days you won’t likely see graham crackers that contain lard or other pork products. Most crackers today contain hydrogenated vegetable oils including palm, cottonseed, canola, and soybean.

  • Does Trader Joe's have vegan graham crackers?

    Sadly, none of Trader Joe’s varieties of graham crackers are vegan as they all contain honey. The dark chocolate-covered honey grahams also contain milk products. 

  • Are Kroger graham crackers vegan?

    The only vegan variety of Kroger graham crackers is the original. The others contain honey and are therefore unsuitable for vegans.