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

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.

Recipe 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.

Did you make a recipe?

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© 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!

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172 Comments

Comments

  1. Jays Anne on 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!

    • Sally on April 24, 2016 at 6:39 pm

      GF graham crackers work, yep!

  2. Marilyn on 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

    • Sally on May 7, 2016 at 10:11 am

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

  3. Gaby on 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

    • Sally on May 18, 2016 at 11:09 am

      Try greasing the pan first, that should help.

    • sheila on June 9, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Gaby, The same thing happened to me making a similar graham cracker crust in a glass pan twice! If you grease the pan it will be way too oily. I have made them in a non stick Spring form pan and it was fine. I think I will try the next time in a non stick pie pan although it will not look so pretty. I will keep the glass for other pies and quiche…my last attempt was so disappointing because the key lime pie I put inside was awesome…just couldn’t get it out!

      • Trudy H on August 14, 2017 at 6:18 pm

        Thank you for the advice.   My son said the crust was better than the ones he makes at his restaurant, except for the fact that it stuck to the glass pie plate. I think I’ll try a non stick pan next time.   We ended up crumbling the crust and sprinkling it on top of the chocolate cream pie I made.   Holy good!



  4. Georgena on 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 =)

  5. Mel on 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!

    • Sally on June 11, 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.

      • Mel on June 13, 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!



  6. Wendy on 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

    • Sally on June 19, 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.

  7. Summer Parker on July 4, 2016 at 1:53 am

    Hello!

    I am planning on using your recipe tomorrow as the crust for a fruit pizza. Would you suggest chilling the crust or baking it when using it for a fruit pizza? Thank you!!

    Summer

  8. Poonam on September 3, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Hi how long does this crust last if refrigerated and used as a bake for no bake desserts? 

  9. Emily on October 6, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Great recipe to follow! 
    I made a coconut cream pie and just added a little bit of almond extract to the crust . Complemented it very well. Defeintly using this again 🙂

  10. Janis on October 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    How do you keep the crust from sticking to the pan? I spray the springform pan and then put down the crust and we serving cheesecake it is hard to slice because crust is sticking

    • Sally on October 17, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Laying a piece of parchment paper onto the pan before the crust should help.

  11. Sadia Mohamed Fadal on October 25, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Hey Sally! Can you please tell me how much of butter and sugar should I use for 2 1/2 cups of biscuits? It would be of great help. Thank you so much in advance. 🙂

  12. Clare V. on November 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Would this same amount of butter and sugar work for another biscuit or Oreo crust? Should you reduce the sugar?

    • Sally on November 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm

      Hi Clare. I actually do not use sugar in the Oreo crust recipe– just butter and Oreo crumbs. Like here. For the other biscuit type cookies, it depends how much sugar is in them.

  13. Jodi on November 7, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    my husband has to be gluten free. I have thought about making “graham” cracker pie crust but switching graham crackers with cornflakes. If I make a pumpkin pie would you think I should bake the pie crust before adding the filling? I am not that much of a baker, but when I do I follow recipes to the t. I am unsure making substitutions.

    • Sally on November 8, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Hi Jodi– yes, I would absolutely pre-bake the crust.

  14. Donna on November 15, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    Hi! This recipe looks DELICIOUS!!! I am excited to try it, but I have a question about pan size. Should I double this recipe for a 9 by 13 pan?

    • Sally on November 16, 2016 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Donna! Doubling the graham cracker crust recipe would be too much for a 9×13 pan (it’s already so thick!) so I recommend 1.5x the recipe.

      • Donna on November 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm

        Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try it!



  15. Damian on November 23, 2016 at 11:55 am

    How exactly do you add the honey in to the mix? (like instructions when to and what type of honey do you use?)

  16. Vanessa on November 24, 2016 at 11:51 am

    My crust still looks sandy and breaks apart even after baking. Did I not put enough butter? I baked longer than 10 minutes. I used 2 prepackaged bags of crackers 

    • Patricia on December 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Each bag contains about 10 rectangles in the brand I buy. You doubled the amount of crackers at minimum. Did you double the butter and sugar?

  17. Natalie on December 1, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    Hi Sally!! This is excellent, thanks for sharing! I have 3 questions 🙂

    1. What size pan would best fit the quantity of your crust recipe?
    2. In order for the crust not to stick to the pan, should I grease/butter the pan, put parchment paper, etc.? What’s your best recommendation for that?
    3. I want to try replacing the cocoa powder crust that’s in this recipe (https://www.tastemade.com/videos/ferrero-rocher-cheesecake) with your graham cracker crust. Everything else will be the same, just the crust will be replaced with yours. Do you think that will work?

    Thanks a million!

    • Sally on December 2, 2016 at 7:55 am

      Hi Natalie! 1) I suggest a 9-inch pie dish. 2) No need for greasing or lining the pan. There is enough butter in the crust to prevent any sticking. 3) I can’t see why not!

      • Natalie on December 2, 2016 at 10:01 am

        Yay!! You’re the best, I will let you know how it turns out. Thank you.



      • Natalie on January 30, 2017 at 1:03 pm

        Hi Sally! I just wanted to let you know that I tried it and it came out superb!! You’re the best, thanks again.



  18. Brittney on December 7, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    It was tasty but it stuck so badly to my glass pan, impossible to cut 🙁 any suggestions? I was suprised it stuck with all of that butter!

    • Sally on December 8, 2016 at 7:51 am

      Me too! Try greasing the pan next time. Or spray with nonstick spray (that helps!).

  19. Joan on December 15, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Food processor?  Zip top plastic bag?  My mom had us place the crackers between sheets of wax paper and roll over them with a rolling pin.  Being careful to lift the sides of the wax paper a couple of times as the crackers got close to the edges.  Who needs modern conveniences?  Lost her recipe so will try this one in an angel food cake pan we use to make our Christmas dessert.  Thanks

  20. Joan on December 15, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Oh, and she would use the paper the butter was wrapped in to grease the bottom of the insert before putting it in the angel food cake pan.  Sorry!  Just thought of that important step as I was making my crust.

  21. Rocio Armengol on December 17, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    If you live in Mexico use Galletas Marias instead of Graham crackers. They work perfectly.

  22. Krystal on December 30, 2016 at 9:43 am

    OMG I just made this using Biscoff cookies in place of the graham crackers, and holy cow, was it delicious with my plain cheesecake. (I also made this using just regular graham crackers and it also turned out amazing. I added an extra couple tablespoons of butter because for some reason, it felt too loose still for me. So it was even *healthier* than yours, lol.)

  23. Lindy on January 7, 2017 at 5:33 am

    Any suggestions on why my crust was not crunchy? It was very soft, almost the same texture as my cheesecake. I pre-baked it til brown and lined the pan with parchment. This is at least the third crust I have made. At first I couldn’t get them to stop crumbling and being soft, now I can’t get them to stop being soft. I am so sad! Thanks for all your recipes!

    • Sally on January 7, 2017 at 8:49 am

      Hi Lindy! You can try reducing the amount of butter slightly– this could help for next time.

      • Lindy on January 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm

        Well, I figured when I had less butter it left my crust crumbling. With the increase it was too soft. I am not sure it will be easy to find the perfect in between balance. If this fails as well, could you give me some tips on other components that make the crust crunchy? Thanks so much for getting back to me! I greatly appreciate it!



    • Olivia on February 25, 2017 at 9:41 am

      Where do you live Lindy? I find in the summer when it’s super humid no matter what I do, my crusts also turn out soft. Also I find putting the pie plate on a cookie cooling rack whether the crust is hot or cold helps. I always put one under my pie in the fridge. Also, I find I get a crunchier crust in a metal pan. Hope some of this helps, I know how frustrating it is. Also, are you using butter? Some margarines have a high water content and lead to a softer crust. I now use coconut oil. It makes for a nice crunchy crust. Good luck!

  24. Terri Phillips on February 2, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    I’m making a refrigerator dessert for a church function and will use a 15×11 pan. Would doubling this recipe be enough? I like the crust to be the same thickness as the 9″ springform pan recipe. 

  25. Liz on March 2, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    What would the measurements be for a smaller pan (Ex: 7in cheesecake spring form pan)?

  26. Fernbach, Joanne on April 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

     I am making this recipe, and when I opened the Nabisco box  I think they are smaller than they used to be. The box says 14.4 ounces. I’ll bet anything they were 16 ounces before. The graham cracker seem thinner as in how wide they are. So instead of using 10 sheets I’m using 12. 

  27. Pamela on May 24, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Sally. Made your graham cracker pie crust recipe and I have to say it came out perfect! I also used the recipe ( minus the graham crackers) to make a lemon cookie wafer pie crust for a creamy, no-bake lemon cheesecake pie. That also came out perfect and my husband was in lemon heaven! This is now my go-to recipe for graham cracker and cookie pie crusts. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sally on May 25, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      You are welcome! So happy it’s proving to be a versatile recipe for you!

  28. gwmax44907 on May 31, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Before serving loosen pie crust from pan; dip bottom in hot water for a few seconds.

  29. Phyllis thiel on June 12, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Try using a small tsp of Knox gelatin in the graham cracker crust before you refrigerate it!  It works.

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