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!

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 5 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. 

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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


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


  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar


  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.


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

Keywords: graham cracker crust

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!


Comments are closed.

  1. After I read this last night, I made sure to pick some cream cheese when I went to Malvern today! You made me so excited. And I think the pre-made graham cracker crusts taste like cardboard. They lose the graham cracker taste! IMPOSTERS!!!

  2. Yasmine Maggs says:

    Hi Sally from the UK!!! LOVE your blog and I have a copy of Sally’s Baking Addiction too. I absolutely LOVE everything you do and all your recipes WORK and are delicious!

    1. Thank you!!

  3. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says:

    yum yum yum! love the tips!

  4. Hi Sally, any good tips for making graham cracker pie crusts in a mini pie tart pan without them falling apart when trying to remove from the pan? I like to make bite-size banoffee pies but the crust keeps falling apart!

    1. Hmm. Are you using this recipe? Make sure you are chilling the pie crust before filling to bind the ingredients. You can try to pre-bake the crusts too– even if your filling is no bake. I have much more luck when I pre-bake the crust.

    2. E, did you ever find a solution? I’m trying to make mini pumpkin pies in mini tart pans and having the same issue. Most parts of the crust stick together, but the top edges crumble off. I’ve tried all the tips with no luck. Let me know if you figured it out! 🙂

  5. Lovely post. quick question though, would marie biscuits be alright instead of digestive biscuits? 

    1. I’m unfamiliar with them, but if they are similar to digestive biscuits they should be OK.

  6. Ellen Renee says:

    I have never made it with brown sugar…sounds great though. Question…do you use the same amount of brown as you do white sugar? Packed or loose? Thanks!

    1. Same amount – packed.

  7. Hey, I made this following the directions, the only difference is I substituted the butter for margarine.  It was very liquidy and i added more crumbs to even it out but when I cooked it, i had pools of margarine in the bottom of the pan.  So for future reference, DON’T USE MARGARINE.  I had to precook it twice as long as well 😛 

  8. Janice Moore says:

    I made this graham cracker crust with a key lime pie filling.  The crust was delicious, but the crust where the sides meet the bottom was tough.  It was very hard to cut with a fork when you are eating the slice of pie.  The crust was pretty thick in this area. The bottom and sides were fine.  Any suggestions?

    1. It’s supposed to be a little thicker and tougher in the corners. Unsure of any solutions– did you pre-bake it? If so, was it overbaked?

      1. Janice Moore says:

        Yes I baked it twice.  My recipe for key lime pie called for baking the crust then letting it cool and then filling and baking again.  

  9. 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!

  10. Denise Armstrong says:

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

    1. If using brown sugar, pack it.

  11. 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!!

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

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

  13. 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?

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

  14. 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. 

    1. 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.

  15. 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 🙂

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

  16. 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!

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

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

    1. HI,

      May i ask which biscuits work for you?

  18. 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.

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

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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. 

  21. 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!! 

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

    1. Yes, absolutely! I do that here

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

    1. 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?

  24. 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. 

  25. 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?

    1.  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.

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

  27. Lauren O'Shea says:

    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

    1. King Arthur Flour has a recipe for homemade graham crackers.

  28. 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. 

    1. 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!

  29. 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!

    1. GF graham crackers work, yep!

  30. 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

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

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