For The Love of Graham Crackers

I have a confession to make: I love graham crackers. I adore the soft crunch of a fresh cracker and savor every soggy bite after dipping it in a glass of milk. I savor its honey sweetness. I like the humility of a cookie that calls itself a cracker. I appreciate how its perforations make it easier to share. Most of all, I love the history of the graham cracker.

You see, Dr. Graham was one weird dude. Like many an Autostraddle reader, he was a vegetarian, but that’s right about where the similarities end. Dr. Graham believed that eating meat, milk and spices created lust. Graham worried that the lust caused by eating tasty foods would cause people to masturbate, an activity he was sure led to disease and blindness. In an effort to develop a purer mind and body for himself and his followers, the good doctor created the Graham diet, which prescribed bland foods as a cure for an overactive sexual appetite.

Unfortunately, the Graham diet failed to produce results. Dr. Graham himself died at 57, having invented one of the most delicious cookies of all time. He’s also at least partially responsible for the creation of breakfast superstars like Apple Jacks, Pop Tarts and Eggo Waffles. The Kellogg company was started by one of Graham’s most famous followers: Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the inventor of corn flakes.

In honor of the graham cracker and its sexy history, I’m counting down the top 6 desserts you can make with graham crackers. As a point of fact, you should know that almost all graham crackers today are made with bleached flour, an ingredient abhorred by Dr. Graham for it’s unhealthy and lust-producing qualities. So feel free to have sex (with an activity partner or by yourself) after eating a graham cracker if you feel so moved.

Top 6 Graham Cracker Desserts

6. Boston Cream Pie

Okay, so I’ve never actually eaten Boston Cream Pie. I have, however, watched Arthur and if Boston cream pie is good enough for Buster, it’s good enough for me. I’ve also read this recipe and there is not a single item in it that does not sound perfect.

via: The Kitchn

5. Strawberry and Banana Parfait
Plain Greek Yogurt + Strawberries + a Banana + Graham Crackers + Brown Sugar (if you’re feeling dangerous)

I make this all the time when I want something sweet but don’t necessarily want to eat, say, a slice of Boston cream pie. It’s mostly healthy and completely delicious and can be changed depending on what fruit you have in your kitchen. Also worth trying: substituting strawberries for peanut butter.

4. Key Lime Pie

Key lime pie is something that does not visit my belly often enough. In the dessert olympics, key lime pie would win every time. It already has a high starting value for being rare, has all the required elements (sugar, butter, sugar, and sugar), and gets 10s across the board for skill with its impressive lineup of additional ingredients.

via: The Kitchn

3. Peanut Butter Balls

These were my favorite things to make before I was allowed to use an oven. You mix 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar together with 2 tablespoons of powdered milk (I know this sounds scary and gross but just trust me here) and then stir in 4 tablespoons of peanut butter. Roll the dough into little balls, cover them in graham cracker crumbs and then eat all 6 right away.

2. S’mores
Graham crackers + Marshmallows + Chocolate + Fire

If there was a platonic ideal for “taste of camping,” I think it would be a s’more. Do you like your marshmallows lightly toasted or burnt to a crisp?

1. Cheesecake

Sometimes it seems like cream cheese was invented for the sole purpose of baking cheesecakes. I mean really, what is cream cheese? I’ve always thought of it as fancy butter. As butter is essential to any dessert, an entire cake made out of fancy butter is obviously nothing less than out of this world.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake via: Smitten Kitchen

Share your graham cracker feelings in the comments!

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. I love Graham crackers and I eat meat..Though I doubt it is responsible for my lust..No..I hold all womankind responsible for that! I am neither diseased nor blind..And frankly..By his standards I should be dead 10 times over..I will continue to enjoy Graham crackers to satisfy my food appetite..And I will continue to enjoy women to satisfy my sexual appetite.

  2. Not being from the US… these Graham Cracker things are a complete mystery to me… BUT I totally make peanut butter balls and instead mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, melted butter and cocoa puffs together and dip them in chocolate… and then eat them all.THEM ALL.

    • The closest thing you have to them would be sweet digestive biscuits but with a honey cinnamon flavor..Sadly there really is no true equivalent for you kiwi’s!

      • OMG DIGESTIVE BISCUITS. I think I’m going to ship some here. We have them back in Oz but alas, none in the isolated state of the US that I live in…

      • send some to Australia? I think they’ll get past quarantine…if the officers don’t eat them first

  3. I love graham crackers and I miss them, I would make my american friends send them to me in the post, but somehow I feel like that might not turn out well.

    Also also KEY LIME PIE. The deliciousness. It brings tears to my eyes. When it’s made perfectly tart with just a bit of tang and sweetness to the custard and the crunch of graham crackers on the bottom…mmm

  4. Okay, it’s like this. Two Honey Maid chocolate graham crackers. Peanut butter on one. Blueberry jam on the other. Put them together. Best combo ever.

    Also, that Boston cream pie sounds great! I’m going to have to try that!

  5. When I was little I was addicted to the cinnamon graham crackers. Whole boxes would be gone by the end of the day. Eating them also involved a laborious process of scrapping layers away with my front teeth. On a different note try making s’mores with pop tarts instead of graham crackers. Best. Idea. Ever.

  6. I love me some s’mores and cheesecake! So yummy…
    But uh maybe Dr. Graham was right about the meat equals lust thing. I always get horny after eating a big juicy steak.

  7. Damn I want a graham cracker now, and I don’t think the international grocery store stocks them.

    Also, re: toasting marshmallows for s’mores. First, you let the fire die down to glowing red coals. While you wait, look in the woods for a long, straight stick. Sharpen the end of that stick to a nice point with your handy Swiss army knife. When the coals are ready, prop your stick on a stone/edge of the fire ring and position your marshmallow so it is near, but not too close, to the flame. Slowly rotate, rotisserie-style, for about four or five minutes, until the marshmallow is deep golden and so gooey inside it’s about to fall off the stick. Sandwich that sucker carefully between glorious Graham crackers and Hershey’s milk chocolate, and finally, eat that s’more like it’s manna from Heaven (because it is).
    At this point, everyone else will have eaten about six s’mores. To catch up, set fire to your remaining marshmallows and eat s’mores until you’re sick. Ah, camping. I wish it were summer/I was at home.

  8. I really want to make that Boston Cream Pie but I have no idea what a graham cracker is. But they look hard and crunchy and sweet, but then they’d be biscuits, because cookies are soft and chewy? You Americans have weird biscuit terminology. And I want that pie goddammit.

    • it’s actually a cracker. in the u.s. we have this fun naming system where we name things so that we feel better about ourselves. you know, because eating a cracker sound healthier than eating a cookie.

  9. Let’s not forget the most important/relevant connection to many Autostraddle readers: Sylvester Graham lived in/is buried in Northampton, MA, where his former house was converted into an awesome brunch place named after him.

  10. Recently I have been eating Graham crackers topped with either (a) peanut butter or (b) cream cheese and a bit of raspberry jam. I tell myself that the second one is like mini-cheesecakes! It’s not nearly as satisfying as cheesecake but it is tasty.

  11. PEANUT BUTTER BALLS!!! I grew up with those, but never put graham cracker crumbs on them. And my mom always tried to put raisins in mine…I still hate raisins

  12. I used to put leftover buttercream frosting on Graham crackers after I made cakes, it was pretty much my favorite snack ever.

    … I also used to put butter on them with sugar sprinkles on top, when I was really little. I don’t think I could eat that now, it sounds disgusting, but I thought it was great back then. x_x

  13. Oh man, this makes me think of that movie, The Road to Wellville, about Dr. Kellogg. Did anybody else see that movie? Now I want to watch it. And eat graham crackers. But I can’t get graham crackers here so I’ll settle for downloading that movie instead.

  14. I made the Boston Creme pie recipe at my company party. It was a huge hit and SO delicious. I had to make another one for my girlfriend and myself to have at home! So good and so easy

  15. We have a version where we pour condensed milk, add a bit of sugar and fruits (optional) over graham crackers spread in a rectangular pan, and form about 3-4 layers of that, then cool the whole thing in the fridge. The prep’s kinda similar to upside-down cake. BUT anyway my point is this post reminds me of my childhood and it makes me want to cry.

  16. My mom used to make some kind of key lime pie BARS in a pan. It was lighter and fluffier than actual key lime pie, and still graham cracker crust.

    Since then, gluten makes me violently ill and my mom hates teh gay, but…I…want some of those bars. I wonder if I could figure them out…

  17. Aw I’d forgotten how much I used to love graham crackers and milk… Even the sweet milk at the bottom of the glass that had all the soggy crumbs in it. xD

  18. I absoulutely love all the food items in this article besides s’mores. I don’t like too many sugary food items, but when I do eat them they contain graham crackers.
    I didn’t really notice that until I read this article.

    Weird, but it’s good stuff.

  19. this comment is late but worth reading, Peanut butter balls are even better if you dont put condensed milk, you just put more powdered sugar until they dont stick to your fingers anymore and then you add rice krispies and roll them in graham crackers, freeze them and dip them in melted chocolate, put them in the fridge and when the chocolate hardens, you eat them. amazing stuff.

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