Basic Graham Cracker Crust

Basic Graham Cracker Pie Crust

The Spruce 

  • Total: 18 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Yield: 1 pie crust (8 servings)

A graham cracker pie crust is an easy, delicious option on top of which to build many pies and cheesecakes. It's also far less time-consuming and takes less skill than a standard pastry crust or shortcrust. Use it in cream pies, frozen pies, and icebox pies – all are wonderful with graham cracker or cookie crumb crusts. 

Our basic graham cracker pie crust needs just 3 ingredients: graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. The recipe has the measurements for both an 8- or 9-inch pie crust or a thicker or deep dish crust.

Ingredients

  • For a Standard 8- or 9-Inch Pie Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • For a Thicker Crust for Cheesecake or Deep Dish Pie:
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. If the recipe you're making requests a baked pie shell, preheat the oven to 375 F.

  3. In a large bowl combine all ingredients using the smaller amounts for a standard 8- or 9-inch pie plate, or the larger amounts for a springform pan or a large, deep-dish pie plate.

    crushed graham cracker
     The Spruce
  4. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly using a spatula or wooden spoon.

    mix ingredients
     The Spruce
  5. Press the crumbs firmly over the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate.

    form the crust
     The Spruce
  6. For an unbaked pie shell, chill for an hour in the refrigerator before filling. To loosen a chilled crust so it will release from the pie plate easily and in one piece, heat the bottom and sides of the pie plate with a damp kitchen towel which has been rinsed in very hot water.

  7. For a baked pie shell, bake it for about 8 to 10 minutes. For a firm pie shell, bake it for 10 to 12 minutes, or chill it thoroughly in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 

  8. Place the pie shell on a rack and cool completely before filling.

  9. Enjoy!

Graham Crumbs

  • To make graham cracker crumbs, put the graham crackers in a plastic food storage bag, seal the bag after letting most of the air come out, and use a rolling pin or meat mallet on the flat side to crush the crackers until the crumbs are fine. Alternatively, put the crackers in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  • It takes about 14 graham crackers (squares) to make 1 cup of fine crumbs.

Recipe Variations

Here are some suggestions for flavored crusts:

  • Pecan or Walnut: Reduce the crumbs by 1/4 cup and add 1/4 cup of finely chopped pecans. For a walnut flavored crust, use 1/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts.
  • Cinnamon-Spiced: Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the crust mixture or about 3/4 teaspoon for a large crust.
  • Peanut: Replace half of the graham cracker crumbs with chopped dry roasted peanuts. If desired, add 1/4 cup of grated or shaved semisweet chocolate to the peanut and crumb mixture. This makes an excellent crust for a peanut butter pie.
  • Chocolate: Replace the graham crackers with chocolate graham crackers.
  • Light: Replace the butter with yogurt or light margarine.