Now that summer is in full swing, I know that these campfire favorites will be on our weekend dessert menu. And what goes better with summers and campfires than ooey gooey squishy marshmallows, melty chocolate, and crunchy graham crackers?
Well, great friends and ghost stories go well with campfires, but so do s’mores. 😉
Most of our favorite foods can be replicated in a gluten-free version. S’mores are no exception! You just need to find the right combination.
Thankfully, I have done some research and taste testing to bring you a guide to the best gluten-free fixings for this all-American summertime treat.
Gluten-Free Graham Crackers
Let’s start with the most important part. The bookends to this dessert sandwich…and the part that is hardest to replicate in a gluten-free version. The graham crackers! These sweet, crunchy crackers are made with graham flour. Graham flour is just a course ground flour which gives it that sort of gritty texture.
Sure, you can try to make them at home but that sounds like A LOT of work and I definitely don’t have time for that. Sorry, but if you’re looking for a recipe, this post doesn’t have one. 😉
There are plenty of gluten-free ready-made options out there so let’s chat about what I have found to be some of the best and my least favorites. All of the options listed below and that I taste-tested are certified gluten-free.
- Schar HoneyGrams – I think this one might be my favorite. The size, texture and taste is the closest to the real thing. They also make a chocolate coated version, but I couldn’t find those in time for my taste test. I think those would be perfect!!
- Goodie Girl Fudge Striped Cookies – These come with a fudgy coating on them which makes one less ingredient you need to buy. The ratio of chocolate to cookie to marshmallow is great.
- Pamela’s Honey Grahams – These ones were also a front runner. If you leave them whole they are a tad too big for a s’more and if you split them in half they are a tad too small. The flavor of these is wonderful.
- Pamela’s Chocolate Grahams – These ranked up there with the favorites! I also use these as the crust for my No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake Bars.
- Simple Mills Crunchy Cinnamon Cookies – These are a grain-free, paleo- friendly cookie made with a base of nut flours. They are way too small for s’mores, but have a great flavor and texture on their own.
- Kinnikinnick S’moreables – I really do like the flavor of these, but they are way too crunchy and dense so when you try to take a bite it just breaks in half. These are also too small for a proper s’more.
- Enjoy Life Vanilla Honey Graham Cookies – They are a great shape (but the size was very inconsistent in the box I purchased). A little too sweet and maybe a tad chewy for s’mores. If you can’t find any graham crackers anywhere, these would work.
Another issue we run into is marshmallows. I think a lot of people might think that sticky = gluten which makes marshmallows a scary subject. Marshmallows are typically made from gluten-free ingredients, but they can be hard to find specifically marked gluten-free.
Kraft Jet Puffed is probably the most widely available. The problem is that Kraft is really mysterious in their labeling. Kraft’s policy is that they will disclose allergens on their packaging yet they don’t go above and beyond to actually label things “gluten-free”. Probably because they are protecting themselves in case someone does get sick. Then they can’t blame the labeling. I understand why they do that, but it makes it really hard for us to know for certain.
I scoured some of our local stores to see which brands of marshmallows they carry. Most of them had Kraft. Some had generic store-brands and some had all-natural versions.
I used my Nima Sensor to test a couple of the marshmallows that were not labeled gluten-free (the Kraft and Smashmallow – both came back as safe). NONE of the marshmallows I list below are certified gluten-free. If you know of any marshmallows that are certified gluten-free, please share!
- Our Family – Labeled gluten-free. I purchased these at my neighborhood grocery store here in Minneapolis. Standard commercial marshmallow ingredients, size, and texture. Great meltability. Perfect size. Winner.
- Hy-Vee store-brand – Labeled gluten-free. Same exact ingredients as the Our Family version. These are perfect for s’mores.
- Dandies – Labeled gluten-free. Made with natural ingredients which makes you feel a little better about eating marshmallows. They have a firmer, drier texture and seemed to melt fine over the fire, but I would not recommend them for making Krispie Rice bars because they don’t melt as smoothly as regular marshmallows.
- Baker’s Corner – Labeled gluten-free. I found these at Aldi and I got the extra large version. These are way too big! When you bite down on the graham cracker, at least half of it squishes out the sides. All the marshmallow was just kind of wasted. And it made it super messy – like these aren’t messy enough!
- Kraft Jet-Puffed S’moremallows (Target, Hy-Vee, most stores) – NOT labeled gluten-free, but don’t contain gluten ingredients or manufacturing warnings. These are like small flat rectangles that fit on a s’more nicely, but you almost need 2 of them to get a good ratio of cookie, chocolate, and marshmallow.
- Smashmallows – I got the Strawberries and Cream and Mint Chocolate Chip flavors to try. These are also not labeled gluten-free on the packaging, but their website says they are. Personally, I didn’t love the strawberry. Too artificial tasting.
I did some additional research online and also found another brand called, Campfire on Amazon, that are clearly labeled gluten-free.
The chocolate definitely plays a major role in this flavor profile. You don’t want it too thick because then it overpowers the graham crackers and it makes it hard to bite into. You also want it to be big enough to cover the surface area of the graham cracker.
What is the best type of chocolate for s’mores? Milk, semi-sweet, dark? Another flavor? I thought it would be fun to taste test some different kinds of chocolate – gluten-free of course.
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar – The old standard for making s’mores. There is something VERY important that you need to know about this candy bar. According to the Hershey’s website, they only consider the 1.55 ounce regular chocolate bar (the standard size) to be gluten-free. I actually purchased the larger size, 4.40 ounces as seen in the photo above, because I just assumed it was also gluten-free. Remember – we’re not supposed to do that. The ingredients, manufacturing, and may contain statements on the packaging do not indicate this larger size contains gluten ingredients, but it’s important to read the labels each time. I decided to skip eating this one this time around.
- Equal Exchange Milk Chocolate Bar– Not Certified, but labeled gluten-free. Super creamy and breaks apart into the perfect portion for a s’more.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – Not Certified, but labeled gluten-free. This was actually one of the standouts. Really good if you’re looking for something different to try on your s’more!
- Enjoy Life Ricemilk Chocolate Bar – Certified gluten-free. Also dairy-free!
- Hu Kitchen Salty Dark Chocolate Bar – Certified gluten-free. This was also a favorite. I think it was probably the saltiness that helped to offset the extreme sweetness of everything else going on!
- Scharffen Berger Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar – Not Certified, but labeled gluten-free. I alway prefer semi-sweet over milk chocolate for my baking and cookies, etc. This bar doesn’t break apart very nicely, but it gets the job done.
- Noah’s Original Chocolate Bar with Lola’s Original Hot Sauce – Certified gluten-free. No one got around to trying this one on their s’more, but I loved it alone. It is spicy though. You have been warned!!
- Taza Toffee, Almond, and Sea Salt Chocolate Bar – Certified gluten-free. It was fine, but not a standout player.
This was a taste test as Father’s Day dessert so I had some family members (all gluten eaters) help decide which combos they liked the best. I layed everything out on a big tray and let people decide which flavor combination they wanted to create. Like a smorgasbord (s’moregasbord – get it?). 😉 After everyone made their s’mores then we all shared little bites and voted on favorites.
This was so fun to do with a large group because everyone was able to get involved and get creative. These were some of our favorite combinations:
- Pamela’s chocolate grahams + mint chocolate chip Smashmallow + Hu Kitchen salty dark chocolate
- Schar grahams + Hyvee marshmallow + Reese’s peanut butter cup
- Goodie Girl fudge striped cookie + strawberries and cream Smashmallow
- Pamela’s honey grahams + Kraft Smoremallows + Scharffen Berger semi-sweet chocolate
My favorite combination for gluten-free s’mores is…Schar Honeygram Crackers with a standard size marshmallow and semi-sweet chocolate!
You can decide how you like your marshmallow cooked. 😉
It was fun to try different flavors together, but everyone agreed that the classic flavors were their favorites. And Schar was the favorite graham crackers as being closest to the real deal.
There you have it, folks! I really hope that this guide helps you to realize you can also enjoy gluten-free s’mores! I would love to know what your favorites are for making gluten-free s’mores?
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Disclaimer: As always, read your labels because ingredients and manufacturing processes can change at any time. All of the information provided is relevant as of the date of posting. I shopped for and purchased these ingredients on my own and this article is NOT sponsored in any way by the companies mentioned above.
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