Learn how to prepare this easy gluten-free graham cracker pie crust recipe at home with just three simple ingredients. This versatile recipe is great for baked or no-bake pies, gluten-free cheesecake, and so much more! Plus, see our top recommendations for the best store-bought gluten-free graham crackers. This recipe is also grain-free as written!
- Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Ingredients and Best Gluten-Free Graham Crackers
- Other Gluten-Free Cookie Options
- How Many Gluten-Free Graham Crackers Do You Need to Make a Crust?
- Helpful Equipment
- Bake vs. No Bake
- Can I Make This Crust Ahead?
- Ways to Use This Recipe
- Top Recipe Tips
- Recipe FAQs
- More Gluten-Free Recipes
- Comments and Ratings
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Just three simple ingredients.
- Tastes just like a regular graham cracker crust, no one will taste a difference!
- Easy to make and bake in about 20 minutes, 10 minutes of prep and 10 minutes to bake.
- Easy to make grain-free, vegan, or dairy-free.
- No flour or oats. You simply don't need it!
- Versatile. Use for any of your gluten-free desserts that require a graham cracker crust; such as cheesecakes, cream pies, ice cream pies, or key lime pie. Also works for various pans; pie pan, springform pan, tart pan, or a cake pan.
Ingredients and Best Gluten-Free Graham Crackers
- Gluten-Free Graham Crackers: There are so many great choices for gluten-free graham crackers in the grocery store these days, but I definitely have found a favorite!
- Simple Mills Sweet Thins are my top recommendation! They are simply the best in terms of taste and texture! They are the closest I have found to traditional graham crackers since going on a gluten-free diet. They have a cinnamon and a chocolate variety, either is perfect for making a graham cracker crust. They are also grain-free, which is great for those avoiding all grains!
- Other Graham Cracker Brands I've used and enjoyed: Pamela's Honey Grahams, as seen in this blueberry cheesecake no-churn ice cream, and Schar Honeygrams also make a great crust.
- Feeling adventurous? Make your own homemade gluten-free graham crackers!
- Sugar: I used granulated sugar here, but brown sugar or coconut sugar will also work in this recipe! Sugar is gluten-free.
- Butter: You can use regular butter, dairy-free butter, or vegan butter depending on your preference or dietary needs.
*Refer to the recipe card for full ingredient information.
Love recipes made with only a few ingredients? Check out these gluten-free two ingredient bagels, these easy gluten-free flatbreads and gluten-free pretzel bites made with three-ingredient dough!
Other Gluten-Free Cookie Options
You don't have to stick strictly to gluten-free graham crackers for this recipe. Any crispy cookie will also work, feel free to use your favorite or get creative based on the filling. Here are some options:
How Many Gluten-Free Graham Crackers Do You Need to Make a Crust?
Since no two boxes of gluten-free graham crackers are the same size, it's important to look at the package to determine how many boxes you'll need to buy for the recipe.
Approximately 7.5 to 8 ounces, about 230 grams, of gluten-free graham crackers is enough to make one 8 or 9-inch gluten-free cheesecake crust or pie crust. From this amount, you will end up with about 1 ¾ cups to 2 cups of crumbs.
While not required, a food processor makes the job quick and easy! If you don't have a food processor, a large zip-top bag and a rolling pin are the next best option for crunching up the graham crackers.
- Place gluten-free graham crackers and sugar in food processor bowl.
- Pulse to crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.
- Pour the melted butter into the food processor bowl.
- Pulse to fully combine the mixture.
No food processor? No problem!
- Place the crackers in a large zip-top bag, remove as much air as possible, and seal it.
- Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers into fine crumbs.
- Place the graham cracker crumbs into a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in the sugar. Then pour in the melted butter and stir until fully combined.
- If you're making a cheesecake or another dessert that you'd like to completely remove from a springform pan, line the baking pan with parchment paper to ensure easy release. Whether lined or not, grease both the bottom and sides of your pan to ensure nothing sticks.
- Pour the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the pan.
- Use the back of a measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer. If you need the crust to go up the sides, press the crumbs up the sides first and then do the bottom. This ensures you have enough crumbs to cover the entire pan.
- Once the mixture is firmly pressed into an even layer, you can refrigerate or bake the crust.
Bake vs. No Bake
Whether or not you should pre-bake graham cracker crust depends on the specific recipe and the type of pie or dessert you're making.
- No-Bake Pies: For pies that won't be baked further after the crust is filled, you don't need to pre-bake the graham cracker crust. The filling is added directly to the unbaked crust, and the pie is then chilled to set.
- Baked Pies: If your pie filling requires baking, the recipe usually asks you to pre-bake the graham cracker crust for a short time, usually about 10 minutes at 350°F. This helps set the crust, preventing it from becoming too soggy when you add the filling.
- Take note of your recipe instructions to determine whether or not the crust needs to be cooled to room temperature before proceeding.
- Exceptions: There are some exceptions where you may not need to pre-bake even for baked pies. It depends on the specific recipe and the moisture content of the filling. Some recipes might call for brushing the crust with egg white or melted chocolate to create a barrier that helps prevent sogginess. You may also prefer to pre-bake a crust, even for a no bake pie due to flavor or texture preferences.
*Just refer to the recipe you're using to determine whether or not you should pre-bake the crust.
Can I Make This Crust Ahead?
Yes, you can make this homemade graham cracker crust ahead. Prepare the crust and press it into your desired pan. Then cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-3 days or freeze up to 3 months.
Ways to Use This Recipe
- Make a delicious cheesecake, like this Gluten-Free Turtle Cheesecake.
- Make a Gluten-Free Banana Cream Pie: Pre-bake the crust in a pie plate and cool. Line the bottom of the crust with sliced bananas. Top with French vanilla or banana pudding and fresh whipped cream or gluten-free cool whip.
- Gluten-Free Pudding Pie: Fill a pre-baked graham cracker crust with chocolate pudding (or your favorite flavor) and top with whipped cream.
- Ice Cream Pie: Fill a pre-baked and cooled crust with 2 pints of your favorite ice cream. Add some toppings, like fudge sauce, caramel sauce, nuts, or whipped cream.
- Or make a Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pie!
Top Recipe Tips
- Melted butter is key. Make sure the butter is completely melted. It acts as the glue that holds the crust together.
- Sugar is not just for sweetness: The sugar not only adds sweetness but also helps bind the crust. You may adjust the sugar a bit to your taste, but don't skip it entirely.
- Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the pan. Pressing firmly helps the crust stay together. A flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup can be helpful for this step.
- Cool completely before adding filling, especially for desserts like pudding or ice cream pies.
- Chill for no-bake Pies. If your pie is no-bake, consider chilling the crust in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes before adding the filling. This extra step helps set the crust.
Store-bought graham cracker crusts typically contain gluten. However, you can find gluten-free options from brands like Mi-Del. Alternatively, you can create your own gluten-free crust at home using gluten-free graham crackers.
You can use butter alternatives like coconut oil or plant-based margarine to make a graham cracker crust. Follow the recipe as indicated by melting it before adding to the graham cracker crumbs.
Butter may leak out of a springform pan if the pan does not seal properly. This is a common problem with springform pans. You can wrap the base of the pan tightly with foil to prevent butter from dripping in your oven.
More Gluten-Free Recipes
We hope you enjoyed this gluten-free graham cracker crust recipe! Check out some more of our favorites before you go!
Gain access to our FREE exclusive mini-series:
Gluten-Free Baking and Lessons Learned!
Plus, be the first to know about new recipes and exciting announcements!
📩 Sign up for the Mini-Series Here! 📩
Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crust
- 8 ounces gluten-free graham crackers, about 2 cups of crumbs, Simple Mills Sweet Thins preferred.
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- Combine gluten-free graham crackers and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until the crackers become fine crumbs.
- Pour melted butter into the crumbs. Process until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Transfer the mixture to your chosen pan and press it firmly into the bottom and up the sides as needed to form a crust.
- To pre-bake the crust: preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Let the crust cool before adding your desired filling.For a no-bake crust: skip this step.
- Grain-Free: Use Simple Mills Sweet Thins
- Dairy-Free/Vegan: Use melted coconut oil or Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks