Classic, quick and easy graham cracker crust recipe, homemade with 4 simple ingredients. This best no bake pie crust is great for cheesecake, pies, tarts. No mixer or food processor is required!
This recipe is a hit at Thanksgiving parties. I used it as the base in this Easy No Bake Caramel Apple Pie and these Mini No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes. Even if you have never made this before, you can make this one because it's the easiest dummy-proof version ever and beats any pre-made store bought crust, hands down!
Table of contents
- Graham crackers crumbs- These should be crushed fine. They can be made at home or store-bought.
- Brown sugar- The added molasses in this sugar gives it a slightly different flavor than granulated sugar.
- Cinnamon- Adds a wonderful warm, sweet flavor.
- Butter- Use unsalted and be sure it is melted for this recipe.
Gluten free- Use gluten free graham crackers and the rest of the recipe is the same.
Chocolate version- You can either use chocolate graham crackers, which is the easiest option OR you can add 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe.
"Healthier" option- Replace butter with melted coconut oil. However, a little more is required to create the crumbly texture.
Enhance the flavor- By mixing in some extracts, such as vanilla, almond, or maple.
Add spices- Such as ginger, nutmeg, or allspice.
How to make easy graham cracker crust recipe from scratch?
- Mix together- Graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon (Images 1 and 2).
- Stir in- Melted butter until you have a crumbly mixture (Images 3 and 4).
- Spread- Mixture in a pie dish (Image 5).
- Chill or bake- Until firm (Image 6).
What to put in a no bake graham cracker pie crust?
- Pie fillings- Such as Homemade Apple Pie Filling or Strawberry Pie Filling or Blueberry Pie Filling or Cherry Pie Filling or Peach Pie Filling
- Custard- Try my Homemade Vanilla Custard and fresh berries.
- Puddings- Try this Banana Pudding or Vanilla Pudding or Chocolate Pudding or even this Chia Seed Pudding.
- Cheesecake fruit dips make the best no bake topping- Spread any of these on top of the crust: Easy Pumpkin Dip or Creamy Chocolate Dip or Cream Cheese Fruit Dip and even this Peaches and Cream Dip.
- Jelly and fresh berries- Just mix Jello mix with any berries of your choice in a bowl and pour this mixture on top of the crust. Then, chill until it sets and enjoy.
- Chocolate- Especially in the form of Chocolate Ganache.
- Ice cream- This filling is great for frozen pies and tarts.
Tips and techniques
Use unsalted butter- To prevent the crust from becoming too salty.
Don't replace butter- With shortening or margarine because the results are not very good.
If the pie crust is too soft and greasy- You added too much butter.
If the pie crust is too dry- And is not coming together properly, you didn't add enough butter.
To prevent crust from breaking/crumbling when slicing- Make sure to pack it down tightly. This is best done by using your hands and fingers to pack it down and then using the flat bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to smooth everything out.
Recipe can easily be doubled- To make more pies. And you can even freeze them for later use.
You must chill the crust before filling- Because this makes it firm and prevents the crust from becoming soggy.
You can use store-bought cracker crumbs- Or you can make them at home by putting graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and crushing them with a rolling pin. You can use the Keebler or Honey Maid brand.
If you are planning on using this as the base for pumpkin pie- I highly suggest baking it first because that filling is always so thin.
Melted coconut oil is a great substitute. A second option would be olive oil.
There is not enough butter in it. You should add enough to create a wet crumbly mixture. It shouldn't look like cookie dough though. Be very careful not to add too much.
There is too much butter in it, which will make it soggy as well as very greasy. Balance out the extra butter with more cookie crumbs. Another reason for soggy bottoms is a super wet filling with too much liquid that will start to get absorbed by the cookie crumbs. Make sure to use thick fillings.
It works well both ways. This is typically a no bake crust that holds together well after simply chilling or freezing. However, to make it even firmer and crispier, you can bake it at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes.
7 graham crackers = ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
14 graham crackers = 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
28 graham crackers = 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- Make ahead- Cover, and store in the fridge 1-2 days before making you pie or cheesecake. You can also freeze them for up to 1 month and unthaw them in the fridge overnight.
- Room temperature- Cover and leave out no more than 1 day.
- Refrigerate- Extra pie crusts can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Freeze- Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
More pie and "pie inspired" recipes
- Easy Homemade Apple Pie
- Easy French Silk Pie
- Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
- Easy Pecan Pie Recipe
- Apple Pie Cake
- Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes
No Bake Graham Cracker Pie Crust Recipe
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon.
- Add melted butter and mix with a wooden spoon until you have a crumbly mixture.
- Dump this mixture into a round pie dish (9 inch) and press it down on the base and the sides with your fingers.
- Then, use the flat bottom of a drinking glass or flat bottom of a measuring cup to really to pack down the crumbs.
- Chill this crust for 30 minutes to 1 hour before filling.
- If you are baking it, bake the crust at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes. Let it cool completely before filling it with anything you like. Enjoy!
- If the pie crust is too soft and greasy, you added too much butter and will have to add more cookie crumbs to balance it out.
- If it is too dry and is not coming together properly, you didn't add enough butter. Just remember that a small amount of butter goes a long way. Add a little at a time until desired consistency and texture is achieved.
- This is enough for a 9 inch pie.
- Extra pie crusts can be store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Read additional tips and variations above.