Graham cracker crusts have unlimited potential. They often are the base for cheesecakes, cream pies, no-bake pies, icebox cakes, bar cookies, and more. Although the ready-made pie shells are available in the baking aisle at the grocery store, these delicious crusts are also quite easy to make at home, requiring just three ingredients and less than 10 minutes in the oven.
You can purchase graham cracker crumbs or make your own from whole graham crackers by pulsing them in a food processor or placing them in a plastic bag and crushing with a rolling pin.
- 1 2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
In a medium bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter until well combined.
Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate or pie tin.
For baked pies, heat oven to 350 F and bake crust for 7 to 9 minutes. Cool before filling. For no-bake refrigerator or freezer pies, no baking is necessary.
- If you are making your own graham cracker crumbs, make sure you process them to a fine and even consistency. Using the pulsing function in the food processor is the best method, but if you don't have this piece of equipment and need to crush with a rolling pin, take care to check that the crackers have been broken up evenly into very small crumbs.
- To easily press the crust mixture into your pie plate, use the bottom of a drinking glass, making sure to cover the entire surface including the sides of the crust.
- Whether you are looking for a variation for dietary reasons or just to add a little interest to the dessert, there are a few alterations you can make to this simple recipe. Mix in a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to give the crust added warmth, or replace the honey graham crackers with chocolate graham crackers. Smooth or crunchy peanut butter takes the place of melted butter in a peanut butter graham cracker crust and is worked into the graham cracker crumbs along with sugar and a little water. This is a no-bake crust that is great with a chocolate cream filling.
- If you need to make the dessert with a vegan graham cracker crust, use melted vegan butter substitute along with the graham crackers and sugar. For a dairy-free version, the crust is made with oil, agave nectar or maple syrup, and dairy-free graham cracker crumbs.
- There are plenty of recipes out there that call for a graham cracker crust, from a traditional Key lime pie to a twist on a Southern favorite—sweet potato cheesecake. Or layer fudge with a cream cheese peanut butter filling over the graham cracker crust for a delicious peanut butter silk pie.