Gluten Free Animal Crackers Recipe

Everybody loves Animal Crackers! What if almost everybody could actually eat them? Wouldn’t life be a better place? This yummy gluten free animal crackers recipe makes that happy dream a reality!

These treats are perfect any day of the year, of course, especially for Back to School! Since these are gluten free, nut free and easily vegan, they are eminently share-able. I think I hear your favorite lunch box calling for them now!

If you’re looking for more great gluten free Back to School recipes, plus tips on 504 plans, school lunches, birthday parties, dorm life and more, grab a copy of my Back to School Gluten Free e-Book!

The origin of this iconic cookie (let’s call a spade a spade — these are way more than just “crackers”) harkens back to the turn of the century. And by that I mean, the turn of LAST century!

Animal crackers were introduced by the National Biscuit Company (NABISCO) in 1902, apparently on April 18th.  Later that year the now familiar “Barnum’s Animals” boxes with strings were released in time to be hung on Christmas trees as children’s gifts. On the 100th anniversary of the “birth” of animal crackers, NABISCO added the koala bear to its die-cut lineup.

gluten free animal cracker Box

With this homemade gluten free Animal Crackers recipe, you can pick whatever animal cookie cutters you prefer, or grab a set of detailed cutters made just for this purpose! Personally, I like to stick to the classics, but then again, Koala Bears are pretty cute.

Have fun rolling, cutting and eating a yummy lion or giraffe again! And maybe make a few extra to share – everybody loves an animal cracker!

(BTW, don’t be put off by the “3 hours” listed to make these cookies — that’s just if you want the dough to be less sticky, you’ll refrigerate it. It only takes a few minutes to through these ingredients together to make the dough, then YOU decide if you can wait or not!)

Yield: 60-70 animal crackers

Gluten Free Animal Crackers Recipe

With this homemade gluten free animal cracker recipe, you can have almost as much fun making them as you will eating them!

Everybody loves animal crackers! Now there's even more to love with this homemade gluten-free animal crackers recipe that's also allergy-friendly!

Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 9 minutes



Cream the shortening, sugar and nectar or honey well. Add lemon juice and egg and stir to mix.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then add to the sugar mixture. Beat just until fully integrated. The dough should hold together in a ball and not be dry or crumbly.

Refrigerate dough for 2 hours or overnight, to make it less sticky.

Preheat oven to 325° F convection (preferred) or 350° F static.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Prepare a clean counter or pastry mat by sprinkling more gfJules™ Flour on the surface. Dip cutters into more gfJules™ flour to coat well.

Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thickness – try not to over-work or warm the dough while rolling. Use cutters to form animal shapes, depressing plungers of cutters with detail, if using. If any dough sticks in the plungers, use a toothpick between cookies to remove dough, then dip the cutters in gfJules Flour again.

Bake in preheated oven for 7-9 minutes, removing when the edges begin to lightly brown.

Makes 60-70 animal crackers.


P.S. – thanks to Rebecca M. who shared that she has been using cutters like these to make graham cracker animal crackers with my gfJules™  Gluten Free Graham Cracker Mix – another easy, great snack idea!

Gluten Free Animal Crackers - gfJules


With this homemade gluten free animal cracker recipe, you can have almost as much fun making them as you will eating them!

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  1. Theses are better than the first recipe I tried, but I used Kari instead if the sugars. I don’t tolerate honey. Also left out the lemon juice for the same reason. Any ideas to give them more taste.

  2. I seldom make a comment about anything but this recipe demands it. First, I thought “no way” would that little ball of dough make 60 crackers, but it did. And the most amazing thing… they tasted exactly like the store bought ones in the little boxes! Except just a little bit better, as they were so light and delicate. The lemon juice & nutmeg really nail the flavor and are a must.

    I sprung for the cookie cutters you listed (with the plunger) and boy am I glad I did! I’m not very good at roll out cookies and most cookie cutters get the best of me but these were no fail. Even with the tiny detailing they popped out easily!

    Now my confession… I didn’t make these for any kids.. in fact I’m 60+, I just love animal crackers and being gluten intolerant missed them. These are the bomb with a cup of coffee in the morning, lol!!! Gratefullly, a loyal Jules fan.

    • LOL Tuck, I’m so happy you did take the time to leave a comment! I’m thrilled that you went for it and made the recipe with those cutters despite your skepticism. So glad it paid off deliciously!!!

    • Absolutely, Lisa! Coconut nectar is easily swapped with agave nectar, honey or even maple syrup. They all have similar sweetness and consistency and act as humectants in recipes to help hold moisture in. Enjoy!

  3. Pingback: GF Animal Crackers | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time
  4. Thank you so much! I’ve been looking for a gf recipe for these for a long time. I’m allergic to eggs. Any replacement ideas?

    • Glad it sounds like this will be a recipe you can use, Marlea! About the egg sub, I haven’t had a chance to try one yet in this recipe (my oven was broken so I had to make this recipe over and over exactly as I’d written it to get the times and temps right!), but you could certainly try Ener-G egg replacer here. If the dough seems too wet with it, just add some more of my flour; if it’s too dry, add milk or water. The dough should hold together in a ball and be a little sticky, but not a lot.

    • Hi Liese – I don’t know about other flours in this recipe, since I developed the recipe using my own flour blend and all flours behave so differently. If I had to guess, I would think that a blend with almond flour could work in this recipe, with some added xanthan gum, but you’ll have to try and play with it. Since all gluten-free flours and blends produce such different results, it’s impossible for me to test every combination. Another option for you is to make a corn-free blend with recipes in my book, Free for All Cooking. That blend should behave in all my recipes. :)

  5. This is from my daughter in Germany:

    You might want to tell Jules she’s now lost all her audience in Germany now that I cannot view her site. I was looking at not only referencing her blog on mine, but sharing her recipes on google hangouts.

    Now she has a notice that says users in my country are not allowed to have access to her blog.

    • Hi Linda – I’ve never seen this notice. Can your daughter tell me what she was doing when it came up or take a screenshot? I wonder whether it’s a network issue or whether it’s WordPress. Any details she can provide will be helpful for us to try to figure out where that is coming from. Thanks much!

  6. Wow! I can’t wait to make these for my almost 21 year old wheat allergic son! He will love these! Where can i get some awesme cookie cutters? Btw, thank you Jules!

  7. Oh my goodness, Jules! Those look incredible! Can’t wait to share with folks. :-)


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