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How to Make a Graham Cracker Crust

Learn how to make a graham cracker crust with just a few ingredients! This simple crust recipe is the perfect base for cheesecakes pies, and tarts. It’s so easy to make!

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How to make a gluten free graham cracker crust with text and a graham cracker crust in a white pie dish

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Today we are learning a simple, staple recipe that everyone needs in their recipe box – how to make graham cracker crust! This crust is essential because it’s a base recipe that can lead to so many delicious desserts.

Simple Ingredients, Delicious Results

The beauty of a graham cracker crust is that it calls for just a few, simple ingredients. Graham crackers, granulated sugar, and butter. You can add a little pinch of salt too, if you like. That’s it, just three or four ingredients!

This graham cracker crust can be made with gluten free graham crackers or regular graham crackers. That’s the beauty of this recipe, it’s so simple to adapt to meet different dietary needs.

Picture collage to show the steps of how to make a gluten free graham cracker crust

How to Make a Dairy Free Graham Cracker Crust

For any of you who need a lactose free or dairy free pie crust recipe, you can use this recipe! It’s really easy to adapt to a dairy free diet – simply swap out the butter for dairy free or vegan butter or you could even use melted coconut oil.

If you need lactose free but not necessarily dairy free, use ghee! It’s still dairy (so not safe for dairy allergies) but it still has that really, buttery taste that we all love in a good graham cracker crust minus the lactose. It’s great for my lactose intolerant daughter.

I use Organic Valley Ghee because I can easily find it at my grocery store.

Also, be sure to check the labels on your graham crackers. I use Kinnikinnick S’Moreable Graham Crackers, which are also dairy free. Schar Honeygrams are dairy free, too.

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Graham cracker crust crumbs in a white pie dish to show how to make a gluten free graham cracker crust

To Bake or Not to Bake

If you’re making a no-bake cheesecake or pudding pie, you don’t have to bake this crust before adding your filling. Just be sure to press your crust into the pan really, really tight.

Sometimes, I like to bake it for a few minutes first – it gives the crust a really nice “toasted” taste that just adds an extra dimension of flavor to the dessert. Totally optional but definitely delicious!

I also like to bake it for a couple minutes before cooling and adding a cheesecake filling that will be baked again. It really just helps it and will greatly reduce the risk of filling leaking through the crust and making it soggy. Again, totally optional.

Fillings for a Graham Cracker Crust

So you made a graham cracker crust, now what? What should you fill it with? Make a chocolate pudding pie by filling the crust with chocolate pudding and topping it with whipped cream.

My favorite version of a chocolate pudding pie is by making it with my Baileys Chocolate Pudding (use more milk in place of the Baileys if you prefer) and topping it with my White Chocolate Ganache Whipped Cream. It’s insanely good!

My coconut cream pie filling would be amazing in this gluten free graham cracker crust too. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

You can also make a double-batch of my no-bake salted caramel cheesecake filling to make a full-sized dessert instead of individual cheesecakes. I’m sharing a classic no-bake cheesecake filling next week so be sure you’re getting my email updates so you don’t miss it!

A finished gluten free graham cracker crust in a white pie dish to show how to make a graham cracker crust

Pie-spiration

Need some more pie options? Try my regular gluten free pie crust – perfect for sweet and savory pies like quiche or fudge pecan pie. Enjoy!

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A finished gluten free graham cracker crust in a white pie dish

How to Make a Graham Cracker Crust

Yield: 1 9 inch crust
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Learn how to make a graham cracker crust with just a few ingredients! This simple crust recipe is the perfect base for cheesecakes pies, and tarts. It’s so easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free graham cracker crumbs (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • pinch of salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Add the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt to a large bowl. Mix together until all of the crumbs are moistened. **If you are making your own graham cracker crumbs with a food processor, feel free mix the crumbs, sugar, butter, and salt together with the food processor.**
  3. Use a flat bottomed measuring cup to firmly press the crumbs into a 9 inch pie dish or 9 inch spring-form pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. 
  4. Cool before adding the filling.

Notes

  • I make my own graham cracker crumbs by processing gluten free graham crackers in my food processor. It only takes a minute!
  • If you don't need gluten free, just use regular graham crackers!
  • Yes, you can skip the baking part for a truly no-bake dessert. 

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Martha Rivas

Sunday 17th of March 2019

My daughter and I are both celiacs, so for us, gluten free is a must. Sometimes however, my favorite store is out of GF grahams. So I substitute Kinnikinnick Vanilla Wafers. My husband is a diabetic so I omit the sugar as well. Works and tastes great.

Shay

Thursday 21st of March 2019

great idea!

Belle

Saturday 16th of February 2019

Can the sugar be omitted? I can't use the graham crackers mentioned due to high corn flour content. I use Pamela's, but find the crackers already too sweet.

Shay

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

If you omit the sugar, just use a little bit more of the graham cracker crumbs so the mixture isn't too wet.

Amanda

Thursday 10th of May 2018

This is awesome. It is so helpful to know that I can use coconut oil if I'm making a pie and realize I am out of butter!

Andrea

Wednesday 9th of May 2018

there is something about graham cracker crust that brings me back to my childhood it reminds me so much summertime and all the pies my mom would make with us. thanks for the great tips on making the crust!

Kaila (The Wanderlust Celiac)

Wednesday 9th of May 2018

Yum! I love the idea of baking it just a little bit for a no bake cheesecake to give it that toasty feel.

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