How to Make a Perfect Graham Cracker Crust.

Learn how to make a thick, buttery homemade graham cracker crust with only 3 ingredients.

Learn how to make a thick, buttery homemade graham cracker crust with only 3 ingredients. Plus, a recipe for s'mores pie!

Here we go, readers! Another lesson in my baking basics series. Today I’m teaching you exactly how to make a sweet, buttery graham cracker crust. One you can use for baked and no-bake pies, bars, and other desserts. I chose this as the topic for today’s lesson because it’s something we all should know how to make. Master a graham cracker crust and the rest is easy as pie. Um, literally.

Graham cracker crusts are simple. There is no reason to buy a pre-made crust from the store that inevitably lacks flavor and to be honest– tastes a little stale. Is it just me? I really don’t like how they taste at all! Homemade graham cracker crust tastes about 1487834x better. I actually did the math. It’s crunchy, buttery, and graham crackery (i don’t know) at the same time. And it’s made from only 3 ingredients. Just THREE!

The PERFECT Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. Here's exactly how I make it every time!

I always use the same recipe for homemade graham cracker crust. Whether I’m making s’mores pie, blueberry cheesecake, nutella cheesecake bars, or key lime pie (in SBA cookbook). The same 1-2-3 ingredient crust.

Look how thick and buttery it is! Store-bought ain’t got nothin’ on this homemade thick-style graham cracker crust. (These are my lemon blueberry cheesecake bars. ↓)

Creamy Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars. So simple to make! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here is exactly how to make my favorite graham cracker crust.

Start by grinding up your graham crackers. You need 10 graham crackers. 10 full sheet rectangle crackers. (Each full sheet graham cracker has 4 mini rectangles/2 squares with perforated edges.) Why are graham crackers so confusing? You just need 10 full sheets.

10 full sheets = about 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs.

You can use honey flavor graham crackers, cinnamon, chocolate, low fat, whatever. I usually just buy whatever brand is on sale and use a flavor I think would pair best with what I’m making. Chocolate flavor graham crackers would make SUCH a good crust for these strawberry cheesecake bars. Don’t have graham crackers where you live? I’m looking at you, UK readers! Use 1 and 1/2 cups crushed digestive biscuits instead.

The PERFECT Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. Here's exactly how I make it every time!

You can use a food processor or blender to grind up the graham crackers. Or do it the old-school way and crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin. Make sure you, uh, close the zipped top bag. Blonde moment alert. Whoooooooops!

Here is the blender I use for crushing graham crackers. I also use it for crushing Oreos, blending sauces and marinades, making basil pesto, homemade peanut butter, seriously smooth hummus, everything else.

Mix the crushed graham crackers with 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 6 Tablespoons of melted butter. I like to use a good amount of butter (shocking) in my graham cracker crust for flavor. Not only this, butter is the binding agent here. Does your graham cracker crust always fall apart? There probably isn’t enough butter to hold the crumbs together.

What is the purpose of the sugar? As the crust sets (either in the oven for a baked dessert or the refrigerator for a no-bake dessert), the sugar crystals assist the butter in binding the crumbs together. For an extra pop of flavor, try using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar in this graham cracker crust recipe. If you love brown sugar as much as I do, you have to try it that way.

The PERFECT Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. Here's exactly how I make it every time!

Mix it all up.

The mixture will be thick, sandy, and coarse.

The PERFECT Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. Here's exactly how I make it every time!

The trick to a really great graham cracker crust is to pack it down. Really, really pack it down. The crust needs to be tight and compact, which is especially important if you’re using this crust for a no-bake pie.

I like to use a flat bottomed small measuring cup to help pack it down and smooth out the surface. This works like a charm and I highly suggest you do it too.

The PERFECT Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. Here's exactly how I make it every time!

You could certainly just use your fingers, but I find the measuring cup is much easier and creates an ultra tight, smooth crust.

Make sure you pack the edges as well.

The PERFECT Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. Here's exactly how I make it every time!

If you’re making a no-bake pie/dessert: chill this pie crust for at least 2 hours before filling it. Chilling the crust before adding your no-bake filling solidifies the melted butter/sugar mixture, ensuring a compact crust.

If you’re making a baked pie/dessert: pre-bake this crust per your recipe’s directions. I usually pre-bake for 10 minutes at 300°F (149°C) or 7-8 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Then, fill and continue with your recipe’s directions.

Liiiiiiiike s’mores brownie pie.

The PERFECT Homemade Graham Cracker Crust. Here's exactly how I make it everytime!_

And nutella cheesecake bars.

Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars

Graham cracker crust is the base of so many incredible desserts, so it’s important to have a really really solid recipe for this dessert staple under your belt. And it’s so easy to master. Not to mention, unbelievably good.

Repeat: buttery! thick! crunchy! graham crackery! the best!

Come back tomorrow for a new recipe using my beloved crust. One word: funfetti. 

Graham Cracker Crust

Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Print Recipe

Learn how to make a thick, buttery homemade graham cracker crust with only 3 ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 6 Tablespoons (87g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. If you're starting out with full-sheet graham crackers, you can use a food processor or blender to grind them up. Or crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin.
  2. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together with a rubber spatula in a medium bowl until combined. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Press the mixture into the bottom of the dish or pan and slightly up the sides. This crust will fit into a 9 - 10 inch pan. Make sure it is tight and compact. Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup like I do in these photos. It helps! The crust will be thick.
  3. For a baked dessert, pre-bake this crust per your recipe's directions. I usually pre-bake for 10 minutes at 300°F (149°C) or 7-8 minutes at 350°F (177°C). For a no-bake dessert, chill the crust for 2 hours before using in your recipe.
  4. Make ahead tip: It's freezer friendly! Freeze the prepared crust in your pan for up to 3 months. Thaw before using in your recipe. For shorter storage, keep the prepared crust in the refrigerator for a few days before using in your recipe.

Additional Notes:

Variations: use cinnamon, honey, or chocolate flavor graham crackers depending on your dessert recipe. I usually use honey flavor because it is the most mild. If I'm baking a chocolate treat, I like to switch things up and use the chocolate graham crackers. Try using brown sugar instead of granulated sugar for a hint of molasses flavor.

Non-US readers: Use 1 and 1/2 cups crushed digestive biscuits instead.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Try this crust out in my Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake! Yessss.

Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake

 

Q: What is your favorite recipe using a graham cracker crust? I’m always looking for new ideas!

   

111 Responses to “How to Make a Perfect Graham Cracker Crust.”

  1. #
    41
    Alexandriaposted July 31, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you! I’ve been scouring the internet trying to find a good recipe for Graham Cracker Crust. I’m making a Chocolate Pretzel pie and a Banana Split pie. I was getting desperate for a recipe like this! Thanks so much!

    Reply

  2. #
    42
    Denise Armstrongposted August 2, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    I needed to know for graham cracker crust if you have to pack the brown sugar like you do with most recipes? 
    thank you

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 2nd, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      If using brown sugar, pack it.

      Reply

  3. #
    43
    Hannahposted November 14, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Hello! I recently just made pumpkin pie bars with just a normal pumpkin pie filling and your graham cracker crust. When I cut into the bars however, the graham cracker crust had turned into a brown chewy bottom that almost had no taste, and there’s a much lighter layer of pumpkin pie filling beneath the normal one. Did I use too much butter? Or do you think the pumpkin pie filling had too much liquid? Would love to know, thanks!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 15th, 2015 at 8:51 am

      It sounds like the filling had too much liquid. It usually does. I’m unsure though since it is not one of my recipes.

      Reply

  4. #
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    Melissaposted November 18, 2015 at 11:35 am

    If I want to freeze, should I bake before I stick them in the freezer or when I’m ready to fill them? 

    Reply

  5. #
    45
    Mandiposted November 19, 2015 at 4:36 am

    For the last couple of times that I made a cherry cheese cake after refrigerating the cheesecake over night, the next day when I am ready to serve it for dessert I notice the graham crust is very hard to cut. Why is this? I am planning to tackle it again for the holiday and would like very much to correct this hardness?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 19th, 2015 at 8:46 am

      Mandi, try letting the cheesecake sit for 20-30 minutes before slicing. The crust could just be too cold.

      Reply

  6. #
    46
    Elle Reuterposted November 24, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Hi Sally, I would like to use this pie crust for a no bake pumpkin mousse pie, but I am a little confused about the baking aspect.  I don’t pre-bake it at all? Does the melted butter crystallize the sugar enough so it doesn’t fall apart?  I always remember my mom pre baking her crust just a little bit so it didn’t fall apart, but maybe my memory is off.  Anyway, I would love to hear your Scientific reason to why because you don’t pre bake for a non bake filling, since I always enjoy your science. 

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 24th, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Does your recipe for pumpkin mousse pie require a pre-baked crust? If it does, then pre-bake according to that recipe’s instructions. A custard type pie like that usually requires a pre-baked crust even for 5 minutes or so.

      Reply

  7. #
    47
    Amandaposted November 25, 2015 at 9:31 am

    I’ve made this for years  exactly this way, but for some reason I am having an issue this year with my crust be overly moist and it slipping into the bottom of the pan when baking. Could this be a result of the butter being too warm?

    Also–my family adds molasses to our graham cracker crust mix. Just a tad for added flavor. We use this crust for butterscotch pudding pies and the flavor combination is splendid. I recommend it 🙂

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 25th, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Butter could be too warm. I love the addition of molasses! I need to try doing that sometime.

      Reply

  8. #
    48
    Nwarchol522posted November 30, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Hello Sally, I know this is an older post; however, I had a quick question. I have a recipe for a pineapple cheesecake that has a crust that bakes at the same time as the filling. But, I’m not a fan of the crust and want to swap it for your graham cracker crust. Do I have to pre-bake it, or can it bake right along with the filling like the original recipe? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 30th, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      For cheesecakes, I usually pre-bake this graham cracker crust for 7-8 minutes at 350.

      Reply

  9. #
    49
    MamaZombieZAposted December 2, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Thank you for this! I’m from South Africa and was never sure what to substitute graham crackers with 🙂

    Reply

    • Tamireplied on May 25th, 2016 at 8:11 am

      HI,

      May i ask which biscuits work for you?

      Reply

  10. #
    50
    Kimposted December 3, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    I am having issues with learning this new skill. My crust is impossible to cut through. Am II over baking… Under baking.. What? It holds together well and I thought I packed it well enough but still the same problem. This particular recipe was for a cream pie that wasn’t baked after filling.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on December 4th, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Kim, you may be over baking the crust when you pre-bake. Maybe reduce by a few minutes?

      Reply

      • Kimreplied on December 4th, 2015 at 1:12 pm

        Thank you for the reply. Should it still look moist when I take it out??

  11. #
    51
    Jmudderposted December 12, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Not having a blender, and having forgotten to zip the bag too many times,plus coming close to knocking my head with the rolling pin, I have been using my 40 year old meat grinder. Cast iron with a wooden handle, easily disassembled and dishwasher safe, it makes the entire process easy and quick. Have never used granulated sugar but will try it today. Thanks.

    Reply

  12. #
    52
    Tammyposted December 25, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I tried this with a French silk pie yesterday and the crust stuck to the pie plate and came apart in crumbles, exactly like it was not supposed to do. I’m going to try baking it for a few minutes this next time. 

    I will admit I was in a hurry so instead of chilling it for two hours, I stuck it in the freezer for 30 minutes. 

    Reply

  13. #
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    Cookie Wag-Qposted December 27, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for both an awesome recipe, and answering a question I had about adding different sugars and different flavor crackers. I tend to find a recipe and then make it my own. I know what flavors I’m going for but it’s good to know that if I go off script (especially with bake ng)  I won’t destroy it!!  Lol I’m a big believer in doing things from scratch…………..So I’m a little ashamed to admit that this will be my first scratch graham cracker crust. I hope it will fit a 9×13 for bars. Thanks again!! 

    Reply

  14. #
    54
    Reneposted December 30, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Can this be used for the small muffin pan for individual treats?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on December 31st, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      Yes, absolutely! I do that here

      Reply

  15. #
    55
    Christaposted January 20, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Any suggestions for using gluten free graham crackers and coconut oil?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on January 21st, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      I’ve found gluten free graham crackers at Trader Joes before. And you can use an equal amount of melted coconut oil instead of butter. Not sure if that is what you were asking?

      Reply

  16. #
    56
    Conniposted February 3, 2016 at 3:25 am

    I’m using it for a key lime cream cheese pie. Never made graham cracker crust before, but I’ve never used key lime for this pie so it’ll be all new. 

    Reply

  17. #
    57
    Annaposted February 11, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    I’ve made graham cracker crusts before but all of a sudden in my cheesecake’s it sticks to the pan and is like rock solid to remove. Any idea’s what I’m doing wrong?

    Reply

    • Sarahreplied on February 14th, 2016 at 12:21 pm

       if it is a no bake cheesecake try dipping the  bottom of the pan in some warm to hot water for 30 seconds before removing. if its a baked cheesecake I’m not sure -making it for the first time today. I left the crumbs in fridge overnight and they were rock hard . I microwaved it with a glass of hot water at 30 seconds intervals and it was workable again.

      Reply

  18. #
    58
    Tracyposted February 25, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks, I needed a graham cracker crust.  My sister sent a recipe for Orange Dream Cream Cheese Cake. 

    Reply

  19. #
    59
    Lauren O'Sheaposted March 3, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I was excited when I saw the title of this recipe as I thought it was a true homemade from scratch recipe but it still uses the boxed biscuits

    Reply

    • danireplied on April 1st, 2016 at 4:16 pm

      King Arthur Flour has a recipe for homemade graham crackers.

      Reply

  20. #
    60
    Pattyposted April 16, 2016 at 4:09 am

    Could you please add the Yummly link? I love your recipes but I don’t use as many as I’d like because I can’t add them to Yummly. Unless I can remember the name of it I can’t even check to see if it’s there. 
    Thanks 
    Patty 

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 17th, 2016 at 10:40 am

      I can look into adding a yummly link option when I have some development work done to my blog this summer. I appreciate the suggestion!

      Reply

  21. #
    61
    Jays Anneposted April 24, 2016 at 11:13 am

    This recipe is so good. Thank you! 
    Question: can I substitute gluten free graham crackers? A friend of mine needs gluten free, but loves pie with the rest of us!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 24th, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      GF graham crackers work, yep!

      Reply

  22. #
    62
    Marilynposted May 7, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Is the crust supposed to be soft, like the filling? Would appreciate an answer since I’m not sure if I did something wrong, I like a little more crunchy crust for my cheesecakes.

    By the way, you have the best blog! Thank you! 
    Hugs, M

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on May 7th, 2016 at 10:11 am

      It should be slightly crunchy. Did you pre-bake the crust? That can help.

      Reply

  23. #
    63
    Gabyposted May 17, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Hi, 

    First time trying this crust and it’s stuck to the pan impossible to cut. Please help. I used a glass pan i’m going to use a springform pan my second try, any tips? Thank you!

    Gaby

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on May 18th, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Try greasing the pan first, that should help.

      Reply

  24. #
    64
    Georgenaposted June 7, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Take a look at my Mini Banoffee Pies using your Graham Cracker Crust Tutorial. Worked a treat! Thanks =)

    Reply

  25. #
    66
    Melposted June 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I just made this last night. I pre-baked as directed, added my chocolate layer, topped with marshmallows, broiled it to toast the marshmallows, and it fell apart when I cut into it. It looked all lumpy and sandy like it did when I packed it down. Any thoughts on what might have gone wrong? Should I have pre-baked longer? How can you really tell when the pre-bake is done? It tasted amazing, so I’d love to fix the crumbling. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 11th, 2016 at 9:13 am

      I’m glad you still enjoyed it! It sounds like the crust should have been pre-baked longer. That’s an easy fix. I usually take it out when it just begins to brown, which is about 10 minutes.

      Reply

      • Melreplied on June 13th, 2016 at 12:57 am

        Thanks so much, you were right, they were undercooked. I left them in longer than 10 minutes, but failed to notice the pizza stone was in there too. Pulled out the stone, tried again today, turned out perfect! You’re awesome!

  26. #
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    Wendyposted June 19, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Hi Sally, I made your pie crust last night and, when cooking, the sides shrank down so that the crust is now very shallow. I thought I packed it down well, and shaped the sides to slightly above the pie plate. Now the sides are well below the edge. Can you tell me what I did wrong? I still have to fill it and cook it today. Thanks

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 19th, 2016 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Wendy, it could have been a few things. Did you chill the pie crust? And pie weights are always a HUGE help avoiding this. Did you use them? Overworking and over-stretching the dough are two other culprits as well.

      Reply

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