Why Were Graham Crackers Invented?

The question “Why Were Graham Crackers Invented?” has swept social media, and the answer might surprise you! Let’s dive into the bizarre origin story of this famous American snack.

A pile of homemade graham crackers.
Homemade Graham Crackers by Cookies and Cups

The Bizarre History Behind Graham Crackers

Honey-sweetened Graham crackers are a famous American snack. Sure, you might know them as a crucial ingredient in campfire s’mores. Or maybe you’ve pulverized them into a crust for a cheesecake once upon a time.

Lately, however, social media has been aflutter with the sweet cracker’s origin story. And it’s a bit bonkers, to say the least.

Let’s just say, sweet treats weren’t what their inventor had in mind when Graham crackers entered the chat in the early 1800s.

What Are Graham Crackers? 

Graham crackers are crispy and cookie-like, made from graham flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and sweetened with honey. They were invented by presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham in the early 19th century.

Who was Sylvester Graham?

Graham was a leading figure in the temperance movement in the US, and not-so-mildly obsessed with what he deemed to be healthy living. A key part of his teachings was that a bland, plant-based diet free from stimulants was how god intended people to live. Sounds pretty reasonable, right?

Why were Graham Crackers invented?

The above thinking led Graham to create Graham crackers. True to their creator’s beliefs, these crispy, plain snacks were originally made at home from coarsely ground whole wheat. But that’s not the part that has the internet’s attention.

Graham’s main goal when inventing and promoting his diet of plain wheat crackers was to prevent people from experiencing certain… ahem… sexual desires. Yes, you read correctly. Graham believed that such urges could lead to blindness and even death! Naturally, Graham crackers were the solution. 

*Cue collective internet hysteria*

Needless to say, while their use has changed since the 19th century, Graham crackers have stood the test of time. They’re now a popular snack for different reasons, as well as a common ingredient in many desserts, from s’mores to cheesecake crusts.

With this in mind, we’ve rounded up 18 Graham cracker desserts and treats that anchor the humble Graham cracker firmly in the new age. 

Two gluten free graham cracker crusts in glass pie plates and one in a springform pan.
Graham Cracker Crust by Cupcakes & Kale Chips

18 Recipes Made With Graham Crackers

There’s nothing plain or bland about the graham cracker recipes below.

Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust

Let’s start with the never-fail basics: a classic graham cracker crust! This easy homemade crust has the added bonus of being 100% gluten-free.

Easy Apple Crumble with Graham Crackers and Marshmallows

Honey-sweetened graham crackers complement the irresistible fall flavors of apples and spice, topped with fluffy toasted marshmallows in this original spin on an apple crumble recipe.

two graham cracker cookie cups stacked with frosting on the top

Graham Cracker Cookie Cups

Breathe new life into that box of graham crackers and turn them into these perfectly scrumptious cookie cups. Fill them with chocolate marshmallow frosting for a delicious s’mores-inspired treat. 

Gluten-Free Honey Graham Crackers

Make your own gluten-free homemade graham crackers with this easy and healthy recipe! Making graham crackers from scratch is way less effort than you might think.

The Ultimate S’Mores Cake

A showstopper of a layer cake inspired by s’mores, this ultimate s’mores cake is perfect for a special occasion. Smothered in graham cracker frosting and toasted like the classic s’mores sandwich!

S’mores Cupcakes with Graham Cracker Frosting

Speaking of s’mores, why not turn everyone’s favorite campfire dessert into a batch of fluffy homemade cupcakes? These decadent s’mores cupcakes are topped with a creamy graham cracker-infused frosting. Yum.

No Bake Cookie Dough Cheesecake with sprinkles

No-Bake Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Yes, you read “cookie dough cheesecake” and yes, these no-bake dessert bars are exactly as delicious as they sound! Complete with a sweet and buttery graham cracker crust.

S’mores Banana Bread

What happens when you cross a moist and tender banana bread recipe with a campfire s’more? Magic, that’s what. This delicious banana bread is layered with golden graham crackers and chocolate for a fun twist on two classic homemade desserts.

Graham Cracker Triple Berry Yogurt Parfait

Take your love of graham crackers – and your morning yogurt – to go with this ultra-easy breakfast idea. These berry yogurt parfaits can be prepped the night before, and topped with a crispy graham cracker crunch.

A slice of lemon pudding pie held over a pie plate.

No-Bake Lemon Pudding Pie

This silky no-bake lemon pudding pie recipe has loads of citrus flavor set inside a thick graham cracker crust, for the ultimate balance between crunchy, creamy, tangy, and sweet.

Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

The perfect mini cheesecake recipe for the peanut butter lovers in your life! These peanut butter cheesecakes are creamy and delicate, set over a homemade graham crust.

Key Lime Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream

This is an easy recipe for light and tangy key lime pie tucked inside a crunchy graham cracker crust. Topped with fluffy coconut whipped cream for an indulgent citrus-flavored dessert.

Graham Cracker Toffee bars on a plate.

Graham Cracker Toffee Bars

If you’re looking for an utterly snackable graham cracker dessert, look no further than graham cracker toffee! Made from crispy graham crackers topped with homemade toffee and plenty of chocolate chips.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

A classic pumpkin pie recipe where there’s no baking involved? Sign us up! Graham crackers and pumpkin pie are a match made in fall dessert heaven.

Easy S’mores Pie

Enjoy the satisfying graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow combination all year round with this decadent s’mores pie recipe!

Layered dessert bars stacked on top of each other on a background of parchment and white countertop. Several bars are arranged around the stack.

Easy Nanaimo Bars

You’ll love this easy homemade Nanaimo bars recipe for its triple threat of sweet, chocolatey, and creamy layers. It all starts with a chocolate graham cracker crust! 

Basil and Cherry Pie Crumble Bars

Herbaceous basil and tart cherries come together in these delicious crumble pie bars, set over a rich and nutty hazelnut graham cracker crust.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Lemon Blueberry Compote

You’ll love how every bite of these tangy goat cheese cheesecakes melts away in your mouth! A crunchy graham cracker layer is topped with a creamy filling and a zesty blueberry lemon compote.

Sources: Independent.co.uk, Scotsman.com

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