Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

This Graham Cracker Crust recipe is easy to make and delicious! Made from scratch with only four ingredients, it won’t fall apart and is perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made with scratch from only four ingredients! It won't fall apart and it's perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made with scratch from only four ingredients! It won't fall apart and it's perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

Graham cracker crusts are a classic. They’re used for so many pies and cheesecakes and it’s one of the easiest crusts to make and work with. I’ve always made my graham cracker crusts from scratch, so today I’m talking about the ins and outs of making a graham cracker crust from scratch. If you’ve ever tried a store-bought crust and wanted to ditch it, now is the time!

HOW TO MAKE A GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST

To start, you’ll need your graham cracker crumbs. I used to grind my own graham crackers and always hated all the cleaning and measuring involved. The first time I realized I could buy graham cracker crumbs, I was on it and never looked back.

However, if you’re into making your own, pop about 11-12 full sheets of graham crackers into a food processor and grind them up. If you don’t have a food processor you could crush up the graham crackers in a plastic bag, but just be sure to get things nice and crushed. A solid crust’s enemy is big chunks that can cause crumbling.

I also like to have a decently thick crust on my pies and cheesecakes. Not so much that it takes over, but not so little that it doesn’t add the natural flair that it should. I typically use more crust in cheesecakes than pies, since they are taller and require more to cover the sides. Not to mention that with their height, they can handle a littler thicker crust without taking over. So to make sure we have measurements correct and avoid confusion, I separated out the two crusts in the recipe below. One for pie and one for cheesecake.

To the graham cracker crumbs, we will add some sugar. You can use granulated or brown sugar. I most often use granulated, but when making something that seems like a good fit for brown sugar, like this Bananas Foster Cheesecake, I will use it.

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made with scratch from only four ingredients! It won't fall apart and it's perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

Along with the sugar, we’ll add some salt and then finally, the butter. You could go two ways this these two ingredients. You can use unsalted butter and add your own salt, or just use salted butter and not worry about adding salt. Totally your call! Either way, add that good stuff in there and mix it all together!

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made with scratch from only four ingredients! It won't fall apart and it's perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

When combined, it should be kind of like course, damp sand. The trick with the butter is that you want to use enough to hold things together, but not so much that is pools or gets greasy. You’ll likely notice that I use a touch more butter in the pie crust recipe compared to the cheesecake crust. I find a little less butter is better with a cheesecake crust so that it doesn’t drip out of the springform pan. Plus, cheesecakes tend to slice a little better since you remove the springform pan sides, so a little extra isn’t really necessary. Pie pans are tricky little beasts, so a little extra butter to hold things together is helpful – especially if it’s a no bake pie.

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made with scratch from only four ingredients! It won't fall apart and it's perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

Pour the graham cracker crumb mixture in your pie pan or springform pan and press it into the bottom and sides. I first like to spread the crumbs around the pan evenly, so I know I won’t get a super thick bottom with nothing left for the sides. Dispersing the crumbs out to the sides and everywhere helps.

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made with scratch from only four ingredients! It won't fall apart and it's perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

When it comes to pressing the crumbs, I like to use a glass with sharp corners and straight sides or a measuring cup to help press the crust down and make sure it’s firmly packed. Use your fingers to move the crumbs around and get them in place, then use the cup to firmly press them down. For a pie crust, use the measuring cup for the bottom and then your fingers for the sides. For a cheesecake crust, use the measuring cup along the corners and edges as well. This is where a cup with sharp corners and straight sides can be helpful. A regular glass cup might be taller than the measuring cup and make the sides a littler easier and more even and give you sharp corners, as you can see me do in the video for this Browned Butter Pecan Cheesecake.

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made with scratch from only four ingredients! It won't fall apart and it's perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

DO YOU HAVE TO BAKE A GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST?

You don’t have to bake a graham cracker crust, but I always recommend it. It does a much better job of holding together and not getting crumbly.

Why is that? Well when you bake the crust, the butter not only holds the crust together, but so does the sugar, which melts when heated then cools and firms. If you don’t bake the crust and just refrigerate it, the butter firms up and holds it together, but you don’t get the same double action as with the sugar and butter in the baked crust. Like I mentioned before, you’ll notice I use a little more butter in a pie crust and this is the other reason – it allows for a no-bake crust to hold together better.

Not to mention that if you rely on cold butter for a no-bake crust to hold together, you better not let the pie (or cheesecake) sit out before serving it. If cold butter has to hold it together, room temperature butter will not do the trick. You don’t necessarily need to refrigerate the crust before adding the filling, but you should definitely refrigerate the no-bake pie or no bake cheesecake for at least 2-3 hours before serving so the crust is firmed up.

So bottom line is – you don’t have to bake a graham cracker crust, but I always recommend it for a crust that holds together best.

If you are going to bake the crust, bake it at 325 degrees for about 8-10 minutes, then it’s ready to go! Add whatever you like to it and enjoy!

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made with scratch from only four ingredients! It won't fall apart and it's perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!

SOME OF MY FAVORITE RECIPES WITH A GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:

Lemon Mascarpone Cream Pie
Avocado Key Lime Pie
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Turtle Cheesecake
Bourbon Peach Streusel Cheesecake
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake
Easy Strawberry Cheesecake
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
No Bake Key Lime Cheesecake
Cannoli Cheesecake
Pumpkin Cheesecake

TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:

* If you don’t have graham crackers where you live, try digestive biscuits or tennis biscuits.

* Use any flavor of graham cracker – regular, cinnamon, chocolate – to switch it up! You can even add about a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the graham cracker crumbs and it gives a little something extra to the crust!

* About 11 graham cracker sheets equals 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs.

* Use a food processor for crushing the graham crackers, or crush them up in a ziplock bag. Just be sure to not leave any big chunks remaining.

* For a no bake crust – be sure to keep it cold. Butter binds the crust together and if it softens, so will your crust.

*For a gluten free crust, try gluten free graham crackers/crumbs.

* This crust can also be used for mini cheesecakes. For directions, see these Mini Cheesecakes.

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Easy Graham Cracker Crust recipe
Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 9 inch pie or cheesecake 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This graham cracker crust is easy to make and delicious, made from scratch with only four ingredients! It won’t fall apart and it’s perfect for baked pies, no bake pies and cheesecakes!


Scale

Ingredients

Pie Crust (baked or no bake)

  • 1 1/2 cups (201g) graham cracker crumbs (about 11 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 3 tbsp (39g) sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (112g) unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Crust (baked or no bake)

  • 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs (about 17 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 5 tbsp (65g) sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp (140g) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

1. Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
2. Add the melted butter and stir until well combined.
3. Pour the mixture into the pie pan or cheesecake springform pan and spread the crumbs around so that they are evenly dispersed.
4. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Pack it firmly. Use a measuring cup or glass with sharp corners and straight edges to help and use your fingers for the sides of the pie pan.
5. For a baked crust, bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes. For a no bake crust, refrigerate until ready to add the filling, then keep refrigerated for 2-3 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


Notes

You can use granulated sugar or brown sugar.

Keep a no bake crust refrigerated until serving. The cold butter is what keeps the crust together, if it sits out and the butter softens, so will the crust.

The amount of crust listed for a pie is best for a 9 to 10 inch pie pan. The amount listed for a cheesecake is best for a 9 inch cheesecake.

Keywords: graham cracker crust, pie crust, cheesecake crust

Enjoy!

This post contains affiliate links.

Some recipes from friends:
French Silk Pie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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Recipe rating

56 Comments
  1. Kes

    A couple of years ago I made a bake cheesecake with crust all around, but I don’t remember how I did it! and yours looks the most similar! If I am baking a cheesecake for 1+ hours, do I bake the crust first? or do I bake the crust along with the cheesecake? Thank you for your help!

    1. Lindsay

      I’ve honestly never tried it, so I’m not entirely sure. As long as there wasn’t any moisture/condensation upon thawing, I think it’d be ok.

  2. D'Leah Deiter

    I believe you stated utillizing more butter in the pie crust as opposed to the cheesecake…but i think your recipes show 1/2 cup for pie which i believe is 8 tbs, and for cheesecake you have 10 tbs..i by far not an expert baker and i could be wrong, so for my own clarity in case ive mixed something up in my reading..let me know what you think and thank you i am trying your recipe as we speak..ive been winging it for a few yrs now and my husband and i have conflict between us when it comes to our crusts lol..

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, you are right on the amounts of butter shown, but you also need to take into account the amount of graham cracker crumbs. The cheesecake crust has 3/4 cup more, so it needs more butter, but it’s still less butter per the amount of crumbs. Make sense?

  3. Raymond Patnoe

    I made the pie crust and used a cups of crumbs with an equal ratio of butter because I love a thicker crust.
    But I also added 2 tablespoons of Ghirardelli chocolate and cocoa powder. Yummy! It’s in the oven now.
    When it comes out I will add a later of cookies lemon pudding , then I’ll float a layer of chocolate pudding over the lemon.
    Then top it off with meringue.
    This is one of my most beloved childhood desserts my mom use to make.

  4. Laura

    Hi: Do you recommend using parchment paper on the bottom of the springform pan, or spraying it with Pam prior to pouring the crust, so it won’t stick to the pan? I recently used another recipe, and the crust stuck to the bottom and it was too wet, so i ended up with a “crustless” cheesecake. I would like to try yours, but I am hoping for better results.

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, I typically spray the sides of my springform pan with non stick spray and put parchment paper in the bottom.

  5. Wendy

    I used to make no-bake lemon pies with homemade gram cracker crust all the time. My mom passed & I lost the recipe. I used this one. The ingredients are right but the crust did not fill out my glass pie dish. I had to make additional crust adding 2 additional whole gram crackers. I baked it for about 10 minutes, it doesn’t look done until after it sits, perfect! Thank you.

  6. Martine

    How can shrinkage be prevented? Pressed up just over the edge, the baked crust still shrinks down so that the filling extends way above the crust edge.

    1. Lindsay

      Shrinkage can occur with a traditional pie crust, but I’ve never heard of it happening with a graham cracker crust. I’m not sure.

  7. Britt

    Every time I make this crust it crumbles. What am I doing wrong? I follow the recipe to a T.
    I use the box of crumbs instead of crushing my own.

    1. Lindsay

      Are you doing the baked or no bake version? And what filling are you adding to it? It will be crumbly if you mess with it too much before adding the filling. If you are using the box of crumbs, I would just make sure there aren’t any large chunks that get in your crust. Sometimes I still pulse the crumbs from the box in a food processor just to make sure I have very small crumbs. Big chunks can make your crust more crumbly.

  8. Katie

    Thank you for the recipe. I always eyeball my crust and sometimes it doesn’t turn out right. I also use an entire box of chocolate chip teddy grams instead of gram crackers and it actually measured out perfectly. I prebaked, which I have never done. I also pounded those suckers into a fine dust and used a mesh strainer to make sure all the pieces were very fine because I had problems with a crumbly crust in the past. So far so good!

  9. Lisa

    Hi,

    Love your website!  I’m a first time cheesecake baker and wanted to know if the butter is melted before or after measuring?

    Thank you

  10. Linda

    I have a favorite cheesecake recipe that does not have a crust.  Would I be able to make your crust and make my recipe my old way?  Also I do not have unsalted butter can I use regular butter.

    1. Lindsay

      Without knowing anything about the cheesecake recipe, I’d think it’d be fine. And salted butter would be fine.

  11. Riana

    Instead of baking the crust separately, can I just bake it with the cheesecake for 60 minutes or does it need to set up first before the cheesecake bakes?

  12. Terry Weller

    Tried the graham cracker crust for a cheesecake at Xmas and it was perfect! However, I tried the recipe for a pie today and found a problem. The pie crust recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups (201g) of cracker crumbs, or about 11 full sheets. It took 15 sheets of Nabisco graham crackers to equal 202g. This made well more than the 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. The resulting amount was too much for a 9″ pie plate so I had to toss quite a bit away. Also, it didn’t quite hold together as well as the cheesecake recipe.

  13. Debbie Harris

    This is the BEST graham cracker crust, I have been using it for years and you explain it very well, the one in the stores is ok but when you make it from scratch you will not want to buy from the store again. I make Double-Layer Pumpkin Pies with this crust, if you give it a try you may never go back to cooking regular pumpkin pies again.

  14. Cynthia June

    This is not only the very best recipe for Graham cracker crust, but it’s the best explanation of all the “whys” and “whats” as to the mechanics of the ingredients.
    Before I found and read this post all the way through I was having trouble with my graham cracker crust crumbling on me which was very annoying to me. I so much appreciate you explaining that large pieces of graham cracker that weren’t broken down into tiny crumbs were the reason for my pie crust falling apart!! Now my graham cracker crust are perfect thanks to you. Thank you so much again for taking the time to explain all of this to us!

  15. sarah

    in the recipe it says to add the Graham crackers, sugar, salt and butter into a bowl until well combined. but in the next step it says to add the melted butter. the recipe only calls for melted butter. I’m a little confused

  16. Melissa Sibert

    You need to do the same post for OREO crusts.  Use cup measurements not the number of OREO cookies used.  

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, I actually have it on the calendar. 🙂 I make them a little bit differently and will include both cups and number of Oreos.

  17. Deborah A Behney

    Just wanted to wish you and your beautiful family a happy
    and healthy new year and tell you that your emails and recipes
    bring me joy! Thank you.

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t, but I just added a link to some gluten free graham cracker options in the “tips” section above the recipe. I hope that helps!

  18. Rienie Denner

    I cannot find Graham Crackers here in South Africa. What can I substitute it with? Or can you supply the recipe for Graham Crackers so I can make my own? 

    1. Alex

      I’m interested in trying this, but question…if I pair this with a recipe for a cheesecake that I have to bake, do I still bake the crust separately in advance? Concerned about baking it twice.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12