Vanilla Wafer Cookie Crumb Crust

Pumpkin butter pie in cookie crust

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
145 Calories
10g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 145
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 5g 27%
Cholesterol 19mg 6%
Sodium 61mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 15mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Perhaps you've made cakes or pies with a graham cracker crust, or maybe using those famously dark and rich chocolate wafers. (Oreos are popular crust substitutes, too.) But don't overlook the humble vanilla wafer. It, too, can bring a lot to a pie. (We happen to feel that vanilla is highly underrated.)

It comes together quickly and doesn't require much time in the oven (or you can skip the oven altogether and just chill it). Simply pulse the cookies in a food processor until they resemble a fine crumb and add the sugar and butter. That's it.

Feel free to use it for any pie in place of a graham cracker or other cookie crumb crust. This is such a versatile crust that you just might find yourself using it more and more for your pies. Use this vanilla wafer crust for your favorite pie filling. It's especially good for a no-bake pie, like the pumpkin butter pie in the photo.


  • 1 1/2 cups fine vanilla wafer crumbs, about 30 to 35 cookies

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Blend ingredients thoroughly.

  3. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.

  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

  5. Cool thoroughly before filling.


  • Too hot to turn on the oven? You can skip the baking step for any cookie crumb crust, including this one. While baking firms it a bit more and adds some flavor, it isn't necessary. The crust is sturdy enough on its own; just make sure the crust is thoroughly chilled before you add the filling.
  • Use this recipe for pie or cheesecake; it's especially good with a cheesecake with a fruity topping, such as strawberry.

Recipe Variations

There are so many ways to vary this cookie crumb recipe. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Add a few tablespoons of finely chopped pecans or walnuts to the cookie crumbs.
  • Replace the vanilla wafer crumbs with gingersnap crumbs for a gingersnap crust—great for your fall baking.
  • Replace the vanilla wafer crumbs (in part or altogether) with chocolate cookies, animal crackers, or shortbread cookies.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract to amp up the vanilla flavor, or use your own homemade vanilla sugar.
  • Add about 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger (or other spices) to the crumbs.