graham cracker crust in dish

There are a lot of essential elements to a pie, but one of the most vital layers is the crust. There are tons of different options, but a graham cracker crust has always held a soft spot in our hearts because who doesn’t love the sweet honey flavor? This recipe requires just a handful of ingredients, it’s really simple to make, and it pairs perfectly with a variety of pie fillings — what’s not to love?

Recipe developer Kate Shungu from Gift of Hospitality came up with this fantastic graham cracker crust recipe you’ll want to use for every future pie. "I love how simple it is to make a really delicious graham cracker crust at home. The lemon zest provides a hint of citrus that really nicely complements a variety of fillings," Shungu raves. She also points out why homemade is better than store-bought: "This crust is thicker than a pre-made crust, and tastes fresher, too!" We love the freshness factor. Keep reading to find out how to make this simple graham cracker crust.

Gather the ingredients for this simple graham cracker crust

graham cracker crust ingredients

You will only need a handful of ingredients to make this delicious crust. Just pick up a box of graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter, and the zest of half a lemon.

Crush the graham crackers

graham cracker crumbs in blender

If you opt to start with full-sized graham crackers, you will need to crush them first. Just place the crackers into your food processor and continue pulsing until they’re finely ground.

If you don’t have a food processor, don’t sweat it! You can also transfer the graham crackers to a sealed plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin for the same result.

Mix the remaining ingredients

graham crust ingredients in bowl

It’s time to mix the crust. Take out a large bowl and pour in the graham cracker crumbs. Then, add the sugar, melted butter, and lemon zest. Use a spoon to mix and combine.

Lemon zest may sound like a quirky addition, but there’s a method to the madness. "Lemon zest is nice with a variety of pies such as lemon meringue, strawberry, raspberry, etc.," Shungu notes. "Lime zest can be used for key lime pie, and orange zest will nicely complement chocolate fillings."

Add the mixture to a pie dish

pressing graham crust in dish

Once you finish mixing the ingredients, transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch pie dish. Use your hands or a measuring cup to spread the mixture evenly. Be sure to push with nothing more than medium pressure to coax the pie crumbs around the sides and bottom of the pie dish. "Take care not to pack the crumbs too hard into the pie dish," Shungu warns. "If they’re packed too hard, the crust will become crumbly when you try to slice the pie."

Bake the crust

graham cracker crust in dish

If you plan on adding a filling that doesn’t require baking, you can bake the crust now. Just turn your oven to 350 F and pop the pie crust in for 10 minutes once it finishes heating. When the timer goes off, remove the crust and let it cool down before you add the pie filling.

If you are making a filling that needs to be baked, there is no need to bake the crust ahead of time.

Serve as desired and enjoy

graham cracker crust with filling

Now, the pie crust is good to go! This would be a great base for various pies, but Shungu shares a few of her favorite suggestions. "I love a graham cracker crust with creamy pie fillings such as banana cream pie, chocolate cream pie, or even key lime pie," she notes.

You can also make the crust a little ahead of time if you’d like. "Fill the crust with your favorite pie filling within two days of making it," Shungu recommends. "After filling, it’ll keep for up to a week."

We hope this pie crust hits the spot!

Simple Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (or 10 to 12 full graham cracker sheets)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ lemon, zested

Directions

  1. If you’re using full graham crackers, place them in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. You can also place them in a large resealable bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
  2. Pour the graham cracker crumbs into a large bowl.
  3. Add the sugar, melted butter, and lemon zest, and mix to combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish and spread it around evenly.
  5. Using your hands or a metal measuring cup, coax the crumbs up the sides of the pie dish and around the bottom, patting with medium pressure. Don’t press too hard or the crust will crumble when served.
  6. If you’re adding a filling that doesn’t require baking, bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350 F, let it cool, then add the filling.
  7. If you’re adding a filling that will be baked in the crust, there’s no need to pre-bake it.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 151
Total Fat 11.2 g
Saturated Fat 6.0 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 22.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 7.1 g
Sodium 72.1 mg
Protein 0.8 g