Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust

Some of my very favorite desserts start with a homemade graham cracker crust. It's easy to make and so much better than store bought.

homemade graham cracker crust

I love me a cream pie with a graham cracker crust. Two of my favorites are Fresh Raspberry Cream Pie and Key Lime Pie. Find over 30 pies with graham cracker crusts here. For even more favorites, visit my Best Pie Recipes post. 

Today, I'm sharing my recipe, why I prefer homemade over store bought, and whether or not you should bake your graham cracker pie crust.

As always, I'll walk you through it step-by-step.

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust

how to make a graham cracker crust

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How Make a Graham Cracker Crust

To make a graham cracker crust, you need just three ingredients. That's right only 3! Graham crackers, butter and sugar.

Ingredients for graham cracker crust

Let's begin by crushing our graham crackers. There are a few ways to do this.

A lot of people like to use a food processor. It's quick and easy. I have two problems with this.

One is having to clean the food processor. Mine is not dishwasher safe, so that's a lot more work for me.

Two is the food processor can easily over crush the crackers if you're not careful. This can lead to a sandy texture instead of a crumb.

graham crackers in zip bag

I like to use a rolling pin to crush the crackers. Simply place the graham crackers in a zip top bag, zip it closed and roll over the crackers with a rolling pin until crumbled.

crushed graham crackers

This method takes a little bit more time (still it's only a minute or two), but to me it's worth it to not have to hand wash my food processor. And since the crackers are crushed in the bag, the mess is contained and you don't even have to wash the rolling pin.

graham cracker crumbs
See those crumbs! This is the best difference between a homemade crust and a store bought crust.

Store bought crusts are made with graham cracker powder, not crumbs. They are way too finely crushed and I am not a fan.

When you crush the crackers yourself, you inevitably end up with different sized crumbs. Some of them are larger, leading to great texture, which pairs so nicely with the creamy fillings that are often added.

adding sugar and butter to graham cracker crumbs

Next, we'll add the butter and sugar.

I like to use salted butter because that's what I always have on hand. It really doesn't matter if you use unsalted. You can add 1/4 t. salt if using unsalted butter, but it isn't necessary.

Melt the butter and then add it and the sugar right into the bag with the cracker crumbs. (See I really don't like doing extra dishes - we'll keep it all in the bag instead of mixing it in a bowl.)

Zip the bag closed and using your hands, squish the bag until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

graham cracker crust mixture

The crumbs will start sticking together.

Pour the crumbs into the pie pan.

Next we need to form the crust. I find the easiest way to do this is with the back of a spoon. Press firmly to compact the crumbs and create a crust.

I like to start around the edges and then flatten out the remaining crumbs left in the bottom.

Do I need to bake a graham cracker crust? 

That's totally up to you! Here are the pro's and con's and what I prefer.

A graham cracker pie crust does not "need" to be baked. There are no eggs or anything in it that requires baking to be safe to eat. Fill it with your favorite filling and enjoy! 

The down side of not baking the crust is that it will become soggy sooner. If you plan to eat the dessert the same day you make it, then it will be fine. If you will have leftovers and plan to eat it over a couple days, you probably want to bake it. 

Baking a graham cracker crust makes it nice and crispy. That crispiness prevents the moisture from the filling from penetrating the crumbs as quickly.

It is inevitable that a graham cracker crust dessert will eventually become soggy. The question is how long will it take for that to happen.

Baking the crust gives you 2 -3 days before the crust becomes soggy. An unbaked crust will probably be soggy the very next day.

I prefer to bake a graham cracker crust at 350 for 10 minutes. I then let it cool to room temperature before adding the filling. (You can pop it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.)
easy homemade graham cracker crust

How many graham crackers in a cup of crumbs?

Recipes can be confusing. One may call for a measurement amount of graham cracker crumbs. Another may call for the number of crackers. If you have crackers and your recipe calls for x amount of crumbs, it can be frustrating. Or maybe you have graham cracker crumbs and your recipe calls for x amount of crackers.

Here's a rule of thumb. One sleeve of crackers (9 sheets) will make about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs. This can vary slightly depending on how finely you crush them. But it's a good estimate.

So for one cup of crumbs, you will need 4 1/2 graham cracker sheets.

While we're talking about confusing graham cracker topics. Let's straighten out some graham cracker terms. 
  • A sheet of graham cracker is 4 crackers. It's the big rectangle cracker with the perforated lines that can be broken into four pieces.
  • A sleeve of graham crackers is 9 sheets or 36 crackers. 
  • A regular box of graham crackers typically holds 3 sleeves. Of course they sell much larger boxes too.

homemade graham cracker crust

Next time you want to make a yummy dessert that calls for a graham cracker crust, MAKE YOUR OWN!! It's so much better, I promise!

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust

Homemade Graham Cracker Crust

Servings: 8
Author: Rachel
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 20 Min
A homemade graham cracker crust is easy to make and SO much better than store-bought.


  • 1 sleeve graham crackers - about 1 1/2 c. crushed
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 6 T. butter, melted


  1. Crush graham crackers in a zip-top bag.
  2. Add melted butter and sugar to the bag.
  3. Squish the bag until all of the ingredients are combined.
  4. Pour out into a pie pan.
  5. Using the back of a spoon, compact the crumbs all the way around the pan and up the sides in an even layer.
  6. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes if a crisper crust is desired.


Baking the crust is not required, but will produce a crisper crust.

Nutrition Facts



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Nutritional information is automatically generated and not guaranteed to be correct.

homemade graham cracker crust, how to make a graham cracker crust, graham cracker crust recipe
Dessert, Pie, Pie Crust


  1. Sadly, in Australia, we can't buy Graham crackers. I see so many great recipes using them. Your pies look scrumptious!

    1. Wow, I did not know that! You could try crushing vanilla wafer cookies, I think that would be a yummy substitute. Any crisp store bought cookie would probably work.

  2. This is a great recipe for homemade graham cracker crust, it will be so good! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday and come back to see us soon!
    Miz Helen