Perfect Graham Cracker Crust

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

s'mores pie in a glass baking dish with a graham cracker crust and a slice cut out

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.

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 at the same time. And it’s made from only 3 ingredients. Just THREE!

ingredients for graham cracker crust including butter, sugar, and graham crackers

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. Don’t have graham crackers where you live? Use 1 and 1/2 cups crushed digestive biscuits instead.

graham cracker crumbs in a food processor

You can use a food processor or blender to grind up the graham crackers. Mix the crushed graham crackers with 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 5 Tablespoons of melted butter. I like to use a good amount of butter 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.

2 images of graham cracker crust ingredients in a glass bowl and crust mixture in a glass bowl with a spatula

Mix it all up.

The mixture will be thick, sandy, and coarse.

graham cracker crust mixture in a glass bowl with a spatula

The trick to a really great graham cracker crust is to 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.

hand using a measuring cup to press graham cracker crust into a round baking pan

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.

a measuring cup pressing graham cracker crust into a round baking pan

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.

s'mores pie in a glass baking dish with a graham cracker crust

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!

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hand using a measuring cup to press graham cracker crust into a round baking pan

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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)
  • 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Don’t have graham crackers where you live? Use 1 and 1/2 cups crushed digestive biscuits instead.

Keywords: graham cracker crust

88 Comments

  1. Taste was great for my desert. But like many others above, it was too hard to cut. I did use parchment liner for the pan, and was able to remove the crust from the pan. But cutting it was something else. My suggestion that I will do next time is NOT to pack it tightly, but only firmly press it into the lined pan. And do one pass with pressing rather than multiple passes. I think you want some crumble when using a fork to eat your desert. Otherwise, it was great.

  2. Just used this recipe to make mini strawberry pies. It’s a really good crust that I’ve used before. Just wanted to let others know that one recipe of this filled five of the mini 5 inch aluminum pie plates. I wasn’t sure how many it would fill, but it worked out perfectly for five.

  3. This recipe is perfect. Contrary to others’ experiences, this was NOT TOO HARD and CUT PERFECTLY. Don’t mess with this crust. Sally is right. It is perfect.

  4. I did your recipe like I did with any other of your recipes and once again, it didn’t fail me! It wAs a success and turned out really amazingly delicious! Thank you so much!

  5. My tart pan is 11 inch, should I double the recipe?

    1. Hi Salma, I haven’t tested an 11 inch pan but 1.5 times the recipe should be enough.

  6. I just substituted gluten free “Graham” crackers in this recipe and was happy with the outcome. Glad it worked out so well.

  7. Hi, may I know if I can still use this base if my cheesecake recipe requires me to bake it for about 35 minutes?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      You can! We use it in many recipe including this classic cheesecake.

  8. Hi Sally! Thank you for the Ingenious idea of adding sugar for the crust. Mine have been just so crumbly and no matter hor much I packed it, still too soft and breaks apart when I slice them up.
    By the way if my recipe calls for 250g of digestive biscuits, how much brown sugar should I require? My butter is currently at 90g and I’m wondering it’s that’s insufficient too. Thanks heaps!! I will try your tip to pre bake my crust at 150degrees for 10 mins!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sheena, 250g of digestive biscuits sounds like a lot for one standard size crust. If it’s extra thick that may be why it’s crumbling. Try following the recipe above which only uses 150g of either graham crackers or digestive biscuits and then use the called for butter and sugar amounts and see how that works out for you!

  9. Denise Fuller says:

    Great crust!!!
    Where can I find the recipe for the dessert shown…with the golden marshmallows on top??
    It looks very interesting…would love to try it!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Denise, that’s our S’mores Brownie Pie — we’d love to know if you give it a go!

  10. Unfortunately, this did not work for me as a no-bake crust. I used this on the bottom of a no-bake bar, and I debated baking the crust first, but given that the recipe said I didn’t have to, I didn’t. Well, it isn’t a crust at all, it’s just a crumbly mess. I followed the recipe to a T, packed it down nice and firmly and chilled it for a long time before topping it. I’m super disappointed because it ruined the texture and servability of the whole bar. It tastes fine, but it’s literally just crumbs. This should always be baked!

    1. It needs one more tablespoon of butter. Then pack it very hard. You should not need to bake it.

  11. I just want to say that not only do you know how to make fantastic food, you also really know how to put a good recipe website together. It is always a joy to use your recipes. I greatly appreciate the jump to recipe button, as my phone tends to reload the page multiple times. It make it so much easier. You have no idea how handy your site is to me. Every single recipe is always a hit. Thank you!

  12. Lesley Simpson says:

    question…i am diabetic…can i leave the sugar out…sounds like it is needed to solidify the crust??

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lesley, You can try reducing the sugar in the crust, but if you leave it out completely the crust will be pretty crumbly. We haven’t tested this with any sugar substitutes. Let us know what you try!

  13. Hey Sally!
    I was wondering if I could pre bake the pie crust even though my key lime pie is no-bake to save time. Also do you have any tips about meringue?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Willa, you can bake the pie crust before adding a key lime pie filling if you prefer. You can reference this lemon meringue pie recipe for meringue tips!

  14. Help. I can’t get Graham crackers or digestive biscuits. May I use petite beurre? Thank you.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Judy, those should work just fine!

  15. Sally … can you or ANYONE please tell what wonderful pie is in the pictures for this Graham Crust Recipe. Because of the toasted marshmallows and the fact it’s a Graham cracker crus I am guessing some sort or S’mores Pie … can you PLEASE let us all know what it is and what the recipe is for the ENTIRE pie. Thank you and I look forward to not only using this crust to make a Crème Brûlée Pie but future pies. Doe the Crème Brûlée Pie I plan on adding a little espresso powder to the melted butter prior to mixing it with the Graham Crumbs and Sugar.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      The pictured pie is our S’mores Brownie Pie — let us know if you give it a try!

  16. I’m getting ready to try your lemon meringue pie recipe and combine it with the Graham Cracker crust that you have provided for us above. I will follow your recipe’s to the letter and send comments directly after the first few slices are tasted.
    Thanks for making this delectable information available.
    Cheers Peter

  17. I made this and it was actually the best recipe I’ve used out of all the ones I’ve tried over the years. The crust came out perfect. Its firm enough but still has the crumble. Flavor is excellent and the amount of butter is just right. I actually wind up using too much sugar, a half cup. I added a pinch of salt and some cinnamon.

  18. Love your recipes and you extra little tips

  19. As Graham Cracker packaging evolves, a sleeve is only about 136 grams o’cracker. I topped up with 5 Ritz.

  20. Thank you Sally, firstly, for all of your mouthwatering and foolproof recipes, and secondly for TEACHING us how to do everything! Posts like this really help us get creative, and bring to life all of the random desserts that I get in the mood of. This week I followed this recipe with Ritz crackers, and filled it with peanut butter mousse, topped it with caramel chip ganache and toasted peanuts. YUM!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Miriam! Thank you so much for making and trusting our recipes and for your positive feedback. That dessert sounds absolutely incredible!

  21. I like to use a glass tumbler to press my crust. I find the handle on say a spoon or measure cup makes it harder to press the outside edge which is where most of the crumbling occurs.

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