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A graham cracker crust recipe for baked pies and no bake pies! We could also title this post The Anatomy of a Graham Cracker Crust. In other words, we’re making our own graham cracker crust from scratch today and it’ll be the best graham cracker crust you’ve ever had!

NEVER buy a store bought crust again – this one is easy and tastes SO MUCH BETTER!

graham cracker crust in glass pie plate.

The BEST Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Graham cracker crust is one of my favorite pie crusts. I don’t think I can choose an absolute favorite, because I love all of them too much. But a good graham cracker crust is a must have in your baking arsenal. So many pies can be made to pair with the graham cracker flavor because it’s so versatile. You can fill it with creamy s’mores chocolate pudding or even an easy blueberry-lemon dessert filling.

I think everyone needs a from-scratch graham cracker crust recipe in their arsenal. What if you want a pie right now and can’t get to the store? And, let’s face it. As good as those store-bought crusts are, they sorta taste like the aluminum foil pie tin, right? Or is it just me?

Store-bought is great in a pinch, but homemade is always better. #mytwocents

ingredients in a graham cracker crust - bowl of graham cracker crumbs, bowl of melted butter and bowl of brown sugar

Ingredients in Graham Cracker Crust

The main ingredient in this pie crust is graham crackers, obviously. (If you’re out of the USA and are curious what a graham cracker is, they’re similar to digestive biscuits, and you can make this crust out of those, I think.)

  • You have two different options when starting with graham crackers: whole and crumbs. One is cheaper, one is easier. Should you buy whole graham crackers? Or crumbs? It doesn’t matter at all!
  • BROWN SUGAR: 99% of recipes you see use granulated sugar. That’s fine, you can use that if you want. I like using brown sugar. Brown sugar is my favorite kind of sugar, and graham crackers are very brown sugary. It fits.
  • BUTTER: I used unsalted butter in all my recipes, but you can substitute salted if you need too. You won’t notice a huge difference.
  • Cinnamon gives the crust a little secret flavor that goes with just about everything. But, if you’re not a cinnamon person, you can leave it out.

What if you’re using whole crackers but it calls for crumbs?

3 full graham cracker sheets = approximately 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

two white plates with graham crackers and crumbs.

How to crush graham crackers for pie crust:

I tried crushing the crackers in my food processor and in a plastic bag using a rolling pin and, when compared with the store-bought crumbs, they were all exactly the same.

Moral of the story: use your favorite graham cracker or crumbs, and crush them the easiest way for you.

How to make a Graham Cracker Crust from scratch

  1. Grind: grind or crush your crumbs.
  2. Mix: stir the crumbs with sugar, cinnamon and melted butter
  3. Press: press into pie plate
  4. Use in your pie recipe!

Mixing Tip

I mix all my crumb crusts with a FORK. I like how a fork works for mixing together the crumbs, and then again when adding the butter. It makes it more crumbly somehow.

It’s the texture of very coarse sand. You pour this mixture into a 9″ pie plate. Make sure you measure your plate. 9″ is standard, and I think this would even do well in a 9 1/2″ pie plate. But anything over (or under) that and you need to edit the recipe.

Best Pie Plate

This recipe is written for a 9-inch pie plate. It’s a thick pie crust, so if you want it thinner you could use a bigger pie plate or a deep dish. Anything smaller and it’ll be too thick, so either make two or use a portion of the crumbs.

Another secret to the perfect graham cracker or cookie crust is compacting the crumbs. You need to really, really compact them. I use the bottom of a glass for the bottom of the pie plate. Press it good!

Then I use my fingers for the sides. Again, use a lot of pressure. Try to get it as even as possible.

This is important if you’re going to fill and bake the pie. It really depends on what you’re filling it with, but anything that is liquid (like, say, a lemon bar filling) will soak through any gaps. So it’s important it’s very compacted.

graham cracker crust in glass pie plate.

How to use your crust

  • No Bake Pie: Chill the crust for at least one hour before filling with your no-bake filling. Chill according to the recipe directions, then cut and serve. The crust is semi-crunchy and perfectly sweet. It may crumble a little more on cutting than the baked version, but it’ll hold together nicely. Perfect with no bake cheesecake!
  • No Bake Filling Pie with crunchier crust: Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 325°F. Let it cool completely, then fill and chill according to the recipe directions. A baked graham cracker crust will be more crunchy and be less crumbly, but you have to use your oven.
  • Baked Pie: Fill it with your liquid/baked pie filling and bake the pie as directed in the recipe you’re using. Perfect with chocolate chess pie!

Either way you make it, this graham cracker crust is the best base for your pies. It’s easy, comes together in mere minutes, and tastes way better than packaged.

2 graham cracker crusts in glass pie plates.

Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • Use real butter for best results. Butter substitutes and low fat butter will cause the recipe to be oily.
  • Remember that 3 graham cracker sheets = approximately 1/2 cup crumbs.
  • When this pie is made for a no bake pie it can be hard to slice the first piece. After that the pieces will come out easy.
  • Use any kind of filling for this pie, like coconut cream, banana, peanut butter, or lemon.


Do you have to bake a pre-made graham cracker crust?

No – with this recipe you can just fill it unbaked.

What can you use instead of graham cracker crust?

If you don’t have graham crackers, you can substitute digestive biscuits or any other simple cookie. Graham crackers aren’t very sweet, which is why we add sugar, so be mindful when substituting other cookies. If you want a whole other kind of pie crust, try my Oreo Crust.

What sugar can I substitute?

You can use granulated sugar if you prefer in equal amount of the brown sugar called for.

Can I make vegan graham cracker crust?

I’m not sure if graham crackers themselves are vegan but if they are you can substitute vegan butter sticks for the regular butter.

Can I use flavored graham crackers?

Yes! Cinnamon graham crackers or chocolate graham crackers would be fantastic with this same recipe.

Try using this crust with the following pies:

graham cracker crust in a clear pie container.

Perfect Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

4.37 from 91 votes
NEVER buy a store bought pie crust again when you can make this easy 4-ingredient Graham Cracker Crust. Use it for ANY pie recipe – bake or no bake!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 1 crust
Serving Size 1 slice


  • 1 ½ cups (154g) graham cracker crumbs (from about 9 whole graham crackers/18 squares)
  • ¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon optional
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoons (99g) unsalted butter melted


  • If you’re using whole graham crackers, finely crush them in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and roll with a rolling pin.
  • Stir graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a fork.
  • Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie plate. Press hard to compact. You can use a glass to press the bottom, but use your fingers to press the sides.
  • To make a no-bake pie: Chill pie crust for at least one hour before filling. Cover if chilling longer. Make pie as directed.
  • To make a baked graham crust: Preheat oven to 325°. Bake crust for 10 minutes, until it just starts to brown. Cool completely before filling.
  • To make a baked pie: Preheat oven to 325°. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Fill with pie filling and bake according to recipe directions.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • Use real butter for best results. Butter substitutes and low fat butter will cause the recipe to be oily.
  • Remember that 3 graham cracker sheets = approximately 1/2 cup crumbs.
  • When this pie is made for a no bake pie it can be hard to slice the first piece. After that the pieces will come out easy.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 1448kcal | Carbohydrates: 151g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 92g | Saturated Fat: 52g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 211mg | Sodium: 857mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 82g | Vitamin A: 2452IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 6mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

NEVER buy a store bought pie crust again when you can make this easy 4-ingredient Graham Cracker Crust. Use it for ANY pie recipe – bake or no bake!

Favorite No Bake Pies

Last Updated on May 12, 2023

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I used chocolate teddy grahams to make a crust for a salted caramel chocolate tart, and baked the crust. It was perfect!  Wound up using about a half tablespoon less butter.  

  2. Your crust must be CRAZY buttery! I used half the (vegan) butter and it was still a little more than I prefer. Though I love the amount of cinnamon – it’s enough for that little extra flavor, but not so much that it’s overtly cinnamon-y. I have a tendency to overseason everything, so this was a really helpful guideline!

  3. How to keep a graham cracker crust firm after baking and chilling , then putting in it a cold lemon pie filling , topped with egg white meringue and graham cracker crumbs, then browning the meringue and crumbs? How do I keep crust from being soggy?????

    1. Baking the crust before filling it should keep it from getting soggy. This crust is rather thick, which is why it stays crunchy.

  4. Hi Dorothy, i would like the recipe for graham cracker crumbs and melted butter for a 10″ Springform pan when making a cheesecake. I like going a good 2-4″ up the sides. the recipes just have it for the bottom of a 9″ pan. Would appreciate your expertise. Thanks so much. Like you, I like my crumbs thick. Tammy

  5. Tip: place graham crackers in a gallon size zip-top storage bag and seal. On a hard surface, place a thin stack of newspapers, a magazine, or a stack of scrap paper. Place bag containing graham crackers on top. Beat crackers with the flat side of a meat hammer until crumbs are of desired consistency. Continue with recipe as directed. This recipe is so easy and delicious. I may never buy another graham cracker crust again.

  6. Help? (I have substituted ginger snaps for the graham crackers) but instead of 9 inch pies I would like to make one big one. I doubled the recipe, so what size pan should I use? Just put in a standard cake pan and the crust seems so thick there won’t be room for all the filling. Do I need to crush down/up more, or use a larger pan? #newbie

  7. I used this graham cracker crust recipe for a no bake lemon cheesecake & it worked perfectly. I did include the cinnamon & it was delicious! I appreciate the attention to detail & the way you outlined the specific reasons for certain ingredients. I opted to bake mine & it turned out wonderfully.
    Thanks so much for your well-thought out & detail oriented recipe! This will be my go-to graham cracker crust from now on!

  8. I just read all the comments and have to say I am confused by the folks having soggy crusts or ones that stick to the plate.. as I posted I have made this crust as directed more times than I can count and have never run into any of these problems…on that note thanks again for sharing this recipe.. it has become my family favorite whenever a crust is required 

  9. Have made this crust many many many times and it always comes out perfect! I experimented with other recipes and this one wins hands down!