During my childhood, my family belonged to a small local pool club tucked into a different neighborhood partway across town. With just one L-shaped pool and no diving boards, water slides, or other fun equipment, a limited number of families joined, which meant my brother and I always had plenty of space to play and splash around.
We always brought a set of diving rings, plastic toys that sank to the pool’s bottom when dropped, and we spent hours tossing them around the pool for each other to retrieve. We also taught ourselves how to perform the perfect underwater handstand, underwater front and back flips, and silly jumps into the water from the pool’s edge.
At least once every hour, the lifeguards blew their whistles to signal the start of Adult Swim. All of the kids under 15 years old knew to hoist themselves out of the pool and let the adults swim laps for the next 15 minutes, uninterrupted in their lanes and without dodging another kid every few yards.
Mom never missed an Adult Swim, but before she hopped into the pool, she set out snacks for us on our oversized beach towels in the grass. We usually found sleeves of Ritz crackers, jars of peanut butter, or sliced apples… But every so often, we discovered a box of chocolate graham crackers as a special treat—my favorite!
After five straight days of chilly rain this past week, and with a broken heater for two of them, I started longing for summer and warm sunshine… So I baked these Healthy Mini Chocolate Graham Crackers to bring a taste of childhood summers to my kitchen. They’re really easy to make—just 6 ingredients!—and they taste even better than the ones from those swimming days!
Graham crackers are an American product shaped like long rectangles, and they come in multiple flavors like honey, cinnamon, and chocolate. They’re crunchy with a sweetness level somewhere between animal crackers and cookies, and they’re usually considered a snack food. (At least by the mainstream US population… Seeing as grocery stores stock them on their snack aisles!)
Graham crackers earned their name because they include graham flour as an ingredient. Graham flour is named after Sylvester Graham, who developed a special method of grinding wheat to turn it into flour. Because graham flour still includes the wheat kernel’s outer bran layer and germ in addition to the endosperm (whereas white all-purpose flour only contains the endosperm), it has lots of health benefits, like extra fiber and nutrients!
Since most grocery stores don’t stock graham flour, we’re going to use white whole wheat flour in this copycat recipe. It also contains the outer bran, germ, and endosperm, so it has a very similar flavor.
White whole wheat flour is made from a special type of softer white wheat, whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. This type of wheat gives white whole wheat flour a lighter taste and texture, similar to that of all-purpose flour, and it allows the sweet, chocolaty flavor of our homemade graham crackers to shine!
Note: Whole wheat pastry flour would be a great substitute! My taste testers found that homemade chocolate graham crackers made with regular whole wheat flour had a more pronounced “wheat-y” flavor that masked some of their sweetness.
Next, you mix in cocoa powder and a hint of salt. Just use regular ol’ unsweetened cocoa powder! You’ll add a full ¼ cup, which means the graham crackers will already taste very chocolaty without Dutched or special dark. Make sure you measure it correctly, using a kitchen scale (that’s the one I own and absolutely love!) or this method. Too much cocoa powder will make your graham crackers dry and bitter, rather than rich and chocolaty!
For the last three ingredients, you’ll stir in coconut oil, water, and pure maple syrup. Make sure you use the real kind! Skip the pancake syrup or sugar-free syrup. Those contain corn syrup or artificial ingredients, and they behave a little differently in baking recipes. The only ingredient on the label should be “maple syrup,” and it generally comes in thin glass bottles or squat plastic jugs (like this!).
Time to roll out the dough! I highly recommend a silicone rolling pin and silicone baking mat to do this. The dough almost never sticks to either of those, which makes it super easy to roll it out into an extra thin rectangle! Then slice the dough into squares, prick each with a fork, and separate them on the silicone baking mat so they can bake evenly and turn crunchy.
Snack time! 😉 And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your chocolate graham crackers!
Healthy Mini Chocolate Graham Crackers
- ¾ cup (90g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
- ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder (measured like this)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp (45mL) pure maple syrup, room temperature
- 2 ½ tbsp (37mL) water, room temperature
- 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. Pour in the maple syrup, water, and coconut oil (in that order). Stir until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. (It will take some extra effort at the end!)
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured silicone baking mat, and roll it to be 1/16” thick with a silicone rolling pin. Slice the dough into 1” squares using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Prick the center of each square with a fork. Carefully separate the squares and arrange them so they aren’t touching each other (to ensure even baking).
- Slide the silicone baking mat onto a baking sheet. Bake the crackers at 350°F for 18-23 minutes or until crunchy. Cool completely to room temperature on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
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♡ Healthy Homemade Chocolate Teddy Grahams
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♡ Mocha Brownie Protein Bars
♡ Fudgy Brownie Batter Protein Bars
♡ Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Energy Bites
♡ Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bars
Debra Jacobs says...
So if I wanted to make these plain could I leave out the cocoa and add that 1/4 cup to the flour making it one cup flour?
Morning do you ever do gluten free ? As I can’t do flour many of your recipes call for .
I really appreciate your interest in my recipes, Nancy! I have more than 850 recipes on my blog that are gluten-free or have gluten-free options — including this one! For those recipes, I’ve included the gluten-free options in the Notes section (that section is located directly underneath the instructions in the recipe box). I know it can be easy to miss, but I promise those gluten-free options are there!
Here’s a quick shortcut to view those → gluten free recipes. In the future, another quick and easy way to view all of those gluten-free recipes is to click on the “Recipes” tab in the top pink menu bar of my blog. My recipes are sorted into categories on that page, including one for “Gluten-Free.” 🙂
I’d love to hear what you think of these graham crackers — or any of my other recipes you decide to try!