This Ingredient Swap Makes Magic Cookie Bars Gluten-Free

If you're someone who has a gluten allergy or intolerance, you're all too familiar with the struggle of finding sweet treats that you can eat (and ones that actually taste good). Donuts, pies, cakes — they're all made with flour, aka they're all gluten bombs. Even magic cookie bars, the popular dessert that comes piled high with shredded coconut, melty chocolate chips, and salty chopped pecans, are a gluten-intolerant diner's nightmare. After all, one of the key ingredients is graham cracker crumbs and those certainly are not gluten-free.

However, if you love magic cookie bars (and who doesn't?!) but can't eat them with their flour-filled base, fear not: There's an easy way to make your favorite chocolate coconut bars completely gluten-free. All you need is a basic ingredient you probably already have in your pantry. Here's how to swap out graham cracker crumbs for a tasty gluten-free alternative the next time you're looking to bake some.

Use oats instead of graham cracker crumbs

You might not think there's a comparable alternative to graham cracker crumbs, but according to the blogger at Gluten Free Easily, you can use raw rolled gluten-free oats instead. She says they provide a similar taste and texture — although the oats make the bars slightly chewier. To substitute them, simply use a 1:1 ratio (so if your recipe calls for one cup of graham cracker crumbs, swap for one cup of rolled oats).

Be aware that when you first press the oats into the bottom of your pan, it might not look much like a crust or like it will hold up well, but Gluten Free Easily says that's totally normal. As for whether or not you can use quick or steel cut oats, that's to be tested at your own risk. The blogger said she isn't sure if they would work as well.