This classic Homemade Graham Cracker Crumb Crust recipe is an easy and delicious crust option! It has only three ingredients that are pressed into the pan, and I’m showing you the easiest way to do it. You can bake it before filling, or freeze it for a truly no-bake pie crust option.
Homemade Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
Sometimes you just need a super easy pie crust option and this Homemade Graham Cracker Crust recipe should be it! It’s got three ingredients and can be either baked or frozen! It’s perfect for many sweet pie options like:
- no bake cheesecake style pies
- cream pies
- ice cream pies
- chiffon pies
- chocolate pies
Previously I shunned graham cracker crusts. I really disliked them because I thought they were messy and fussy to press into the pan. When I made pies for my former pie business I NEVER offered a pie with a graham cracker crust. That is until one day I discovered a trick that changed the way I pressed the crumbs in and it made all the difference in the world. Keep reading to find out what that change was!
What Ingredients Do You Need?
- Graham crackers (regular or gluten free)
- Granulated sugar (or brown sugar)
How to make graham cracker pie crust?
It couldn’t be more easy!
- You grind up the graham crackers until they are fine crumbs. Do this with a food processor or you can smash the cookies in a plastic bag with a towel over it (to prevent the cookies from breaking through the plastic) with a rolling pin. You can use regular or equal portions of a gluten-free graham cracker.
- Melt the butter on the stove in a medium pot. Shut off the heat.
- Add sugar and graham cracker crumbs to the melted butter right in that pot (no need to dirty a bowl for this) and mix it well! DONE!
What is the best way to press the graham cracker crumbs into the pie plate?
Forget everything you know about pressing in a homemade crumb crust into your pie plate because we’ve all been doing it wrong! While logic might tell you to place the crumb mixture in the middle of your pie plate and start pressing it in there, this process makes it messy and hard to get an even crumb base all the way up the sides. The easier and faster way to do it is to start forming the edges of the pie crust first, and then press the crumb mixture down into the bottom of the plate.
Here are the steps:
- Gather the crumb mixture loosely up the sides of the plate until all the edges are covered with crumbs.
- Then form the top edges of the crust and neaten them up by pressing them together with two fingers. It may feel like you won’t have enough crumbs to fit the bottom of the pie at this point, but don’t worry you will!
- Next start packing down the sides of the crumb crust with your thumb in an even layer. As you do this start moving the excess crumb mixture toward the center of the pie plate.
- Continue packing the crumbs from the outer edges towards the middle until you have a single layer.
- Then with your fingers, a spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup pack down the crumbs until everything is tight and even.
Do you have to bake a graham cracker crust?
You have two options for preparing this crust. You can par-bake it or freeze it. There are pros and cons to each. But first let’s understand that the butter and the sugar play important roles and making sure the crumb crust stays together for each of these methods. Then you’ll know which method is best for your pie.
Par-baking the crust:
When you bake a crumb crust you are melting the added sugar which then helps bond the crust together. Baking it results in a crispy crust with a nice caramelized flavor. I prefer this method and will always bake it if I can. If you are planning to bake a pie that will be served from the refrigerator or will be left out of the refrigerator for more than 20 minutes I recommend you par-bake the crust to ensure it holds together.
Freezing the crust:
Freezing the crust works because the melted butter becomes solidified and bonds the crust together. The sugar might melt slightly from the warmth of the butter, but without the par-bake the sugar doesn’t melt enough to act as the bonding agent here. While freezing the crust is certainly easier than having to preheat an oven and par-bake the crust, it is not as sturdy as the baked version. I only recommend freezing the crust if you will be serving your pie when very cold as well. Otherwise you’ll just find your crumb crust to be very crumbly! Additionally, if you plan to freeze the crust make sure to grease the bottom of the pie plate with a nonstick cooking spray. It ensures the sliced pie comes out easily.Print
This Graham Cracker Crust Recipe is an easy and delicious crust option! It has only three ingredients and is simply pressed into the pan and it’s ready to go. You can bake it before filling, or freeze it for a truly no-bake pie crust option.
- 1–1/2 cups (6 ounces) graham cracker crumbs (about 11 cookies)
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar (see note)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly grease the bottom of a 9″ pie plate. (see note)
- Mix together the ingredients.
- Pour the crumbs into the pie plate and start pressing the ingredients up the sides of the pie plate to form the edges first. Once the edges are formed work the crumbs down to evenly distribute into the bottom of the pie plate and pack it down into an even layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes, until lightly golden and fragrant. Or you can freeze for 30 minutes for a no-bake pie option.
- A baked graham cracker crust can be refrigerated and covered for about 3 days, or frozen up to 3 months.
- You can switch up the granulated sugar for light brown sugar for a subtle flavor of caramel!
- You don’t need to grease the pie plate if you plan to par-bake the pie. But if you are freezing it, it ensures the pie slice easily comes out.
- As always, check out the body of the post for more information about this recipe.
Keywords: Graham cracker crust recipe