Are Fortune Cookies Gluten Free? (Find Out Now!)

Are Fortune Cookies Gluten Free

When you order Chinese takeout or visit a Chinese restaurant, you already have to navigate a minefield and avoid eating anything that includes gluten or wheat flour. Unfortunately, folks with gluten sensitivities can’t stop their caution when the time comes to crack open a fortune cookie and see what the fates have in store. They have to ask: are fortune cookies gluten-free?

Fortune Cookies are not gluten-free. This includes most fortune cookies you can find at Chinese restaurants or online recipes. However, it is possible to find gluten-free fortune cookies or make your own. The best gluten-free and healthier alternatives to fortune cookies are Go Raw Sprouted Cookie Crisps Ginger Snaps, Emmy’s Organics Vanilla Bean Coconut Cookies, and Partake Chocolate Chip Cookies.

With that in mind, let’s examine the core ingredients of fortune cookies in more detail and break down some other, healthier fortune cookie alternatives that are safe to eat if you are gluten intolerant to any degree.

Are All Fortune Cookies Wheat-Based?

Most fortune cookies follow a pretty simple formula that includes flour, vanilla, sugar, and/or sesame oil. That’s it! Unfortunately, that does mean most fortune cookies also include wheat as one of their primary ingredients. Wheat flour might be vegan, but it’s definitely not gluten-free!

While you can make fortune cookies using alternative types of flour, like tapioca flour or rice flour, wheat-based flour is by far the most common choice for manufacturers. It’s also the flour recommended for most fortune cookie recipes you can find online.

So, in a nutshell, fortune cookies are not all wheat-based, but most of them are. This makes most fortune cookies not gluten-free by default. However, this does mean you can find fortune cookies intended for folks with celiac disease or create your own fortune cookies with an alternative flour base ideal for your dietary needs.

Can you make your own gluten-free fortune cookies?

Absolutely! Fortune cookies don’t require wheat flour to work. You can use any other flour alternative, like tapioca flour, rice flour, or oat flour and still make delicious fortune cookies without the typical gluten.

Even better, making your own fortune cookies gives you the opportunity to add other flavors are tastes to the dessert. Fortune cookies can be made using a baking sheet and a regular oven, so consider whipping up your own batch of gluten-free fortune cookies for your next get-together with your friends or if you decide to make homemade Chinese food.

Should you decide to make your own fortune cookies, avoid doing so with all-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is certainly versatile, and it’s also vegan-friendly. But all-purpose flour is made from wheat, so it’s not suitable if you’re following a gluten-free diet.

Fortune Cookies Nutritional Information

As noted above, most fortune cookies do have gluten because they use wheat flour or some other gluten-derived ingredient. However, let’s take a look at some of the most common fortune cookie brands so you can see what other potentially problematic ingredients they might include.

La Choy Fortune Cookies

La Choy is one of the world’s largest suppliers of fortune cookies to restaurants. If you had fortune cookies with your Chinese takeout in America, odds are that those cookies came from La Choy. However, you can also buy La Choy fortune cookies at some grocery stores. However, due to the presence of wheat flour as seen below, they won’t be a good choice if you are sensitive to gluten.

Its ingredients are:

  • Bleached wheat flour
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Margarine
  • Artificial colors and flavors
  • Natural flavors
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Yellow 5 and 6
  • Soy lecithin
  • Soybean oil
  • Hydrogenated soybean oil

Nutrition facts (per 28 g):

  • 110 cal
  • 10 mg sodium
  • 25 g carbohydrates or 8% DV
  • 9 g sugar
  • 2 g protein

Panda Express Fortune Cookies

As opposed to many other restaurant chains, Panda Express makes its own fortune cookies, which may explain why they taste slightly different from the fortune cookies you can get at lots of smaller Chinese restaurants. Regardless, these cookies include the same problematic flour ingredient that usually causes folks with celiac disease to stay away from fortune cookies.

Its ingredients are:

  • Enriched wheat flour
  • Sugar
  • Soybean oil
  • Hydrogenated soybean oil
  • Cornstarch
  • Artificial flavors
  • Salt

Nutrition facts (per 1 cookie or 0.18 oz):

  • 20 cal
  • 5 g carbohydrates
  • 2 g sugar

Luv Yu Honey Fortune Cookies

Luv Yu’s Honey Fortune Cookies are popular at Chinese restaurants and for home snacking alike, and they include a honey twist that makes their flavor a little different from average. But they still aren’t a great choice for folks following a gluten-free diet since they still include wheat flour as one of their base ingredients.

Its ingredients are:

  • Enriched wheat flour
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamine modern nitrate
  • Reduced iron
  • Folic acid
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Soybean oil
  • Water
  • Honey
  • All-natural vanilla flavor
  • Annatto color

Nutrition facts (per 28.5 g):

  • 100 cal
  • 3 mg sodium
  • 23 g carbohydrates or 8% DV
  • 9 g sugar
  • 1 g protein

Healthy Gluten-Free Alternatives to Fortune Cookies

Although normal fortune cookies may be off the table if you are sensitive to gluten to any degree, you’re not completely out of luck if you want some snacking cookies to go with your dinner or as a light dessert. In fact, there are plenty of healthier and gluten-free alternatives to traditional fortune cookies that may be better for your body overall. Let’s break down some of these alternatives in detail.

Go Raw Sprouted Cookie Crisps Ginger Snaps

Go Raw - Sprouted Cookies Ginger Snap - 3 oz (pack of 2) Go Raw offers a variety of delicious healthy cookie choices for folks with gluten sensitivities or other dietary restrictions. These unique cookie treats are made with ingredients like coconut and dates, so you don’t need to worry about any gluten-derived flour messing up your digestive system. On top of being gluten-free, they are also nut-free, soy-free, vegan, and non-GMO.

Its ingredients are:

  • Dates
  • Coconut
  • Sprouted sesame seeds
  • Ginger powder

Nutrition facts (per 18 pieces or 28 g):

  • 140 cal
  • 10 g fat or 13% DV
  • 10 mg sodium
  • 14 g carbohydrates or 5% DV
  • 3 g fiber or 11% DV
  • 10 g sugar
  • 3 g protein
  • 14 mg calcium or 2% DV
  • 1 mg iron or 6% DV
  • 175 mg potassium or 4% DV

Emmy’s Organics Vanilla Bean Coconut Cookies

Emmy's Organics Coconut Cookies, Vanilla Bean, 6 oz (Pack of 2) | Gluten-Free Organic Cookies, Vegan, Paleo-Friendly Emmy’s Organics are well-known for their coconut cookie offerings, and this vanilla bean flavor could be a great replacement for classic fortune cookies since most fortune cookies include a hint of vanilla (which is one reason why they are such a staple dessert after Chinese food). Even better, these coconut cookies are made with fresh and organic ingredients every time, making them healthier than other cookie snacks on average.

Its ingredients are:

  • Organic coconut
  • Organic agave syrup
  • Organic almond flour
  • Organic coconut oil
  • Organic vanilla extract
  • Organic vanilla bean powder
  • Himalayan salt

Nutrition facts (per 1 cookie or 19 g):

  • 110 cal
  • 8 g fat or 10% DV
  • 15 mg sodium or 1% DV
  • 8 g carbohydrates or 3% DV
  • 2 g fiber or 7% DV
  • 5 g sugar or 8% DV
  • 1 g protein
  • 2 mg calcium
  • 6 mg potassium

Partake Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

PARTAKE FOODS Chocolate Chip Sprouted Grain Mini Cookies, 5.5 OZ You might also consider trying these gluten-free chocolate chip cookies from Partake. They’re a great version of this classic dessert to enjoy after any meal. But unlike regular chocolate chip cookies, they come made with vegan and organic ingredients and are totally gluten-free. They are also allergen-free, yet retain the crunchy bite you expect from a delicious cookie snack.

Its ingredients are:

  • Gluten-free flour blend, including organic light buckwheat flour, gluten-free oat flour, tapioca flour, and cassava flour
  • Organic fair trade cane sugar
  • Non-GMO sunflower oil
  • Gluten-free oats
  • Tapioca starch
  • Water
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Tapioca fiber syrup
  • Sea salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Baking soda
  • Caramelized cane sugar
  • Rosemary extract

Nutrition facts (per 31 g):

  • 150 cal
  • 8 g fat or 10% DV
  • 180 mg sodium or 8% DV
  • 19 g carbohydrates or 7% DV
  • 2 g fiber or 7% DV
  • 9 g sugar or 14% DV
  • 1 g protein
  • 11 mg calcium
  • 1 mg iron or 6% DV
  • 15 mg potassium

Final Thoughts

All in all, fortune cookies may not be gluten-free by default, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find gluten-free fortune cookies at all. In fact, there are lots of great gluten-free cookie choices to pick from! Do yourself and your digestive system a favor and avoid fortune cookies unless you know for sure that they are made without wheat flour and are intended for consumption by folks with gluten sensitivities.

Related Questions

Are fortune cookies considered to be a healthy snack?

No, not generally. But they aren’t exactly considered unhealthy either. Most fortune cookies only have a handful of calories and they don’t include so much sugar that they qualify as a super sugary dessert. Still, fortune cookies don’t have very much, if any, nutritional value.

When are you supposed to look at your fortune when eating a fortune cookie?

According to tradition, you shouldn’t look at the fortune from a fortune cookie until you are done eating the dessert completely. If you read the fortune before you are done eating your cookie, tradition says that the fortune, whatever it may be, won’t come true.

Are fortune cookies really Chinese?

Fortune cookies are actually an invention of Chinese-American immigrants. Fortune cookies can’t be found in mainland China, as they are an appetizer or dessert for Chinese-American food specifically.

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Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

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