This is the best gluten free graham cracker crust recipe! Whether you’re making pumpkin pie, lemon bars, cheesecake, or apple pie, this is the perfect easy recipe!
Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust
Is there anything more delicious that a great graham cracker crust with an amazing dessert? Maybe it’s just me, but anything with a graham cracker crust will instantly become one of my favorite desserts.
If you can’t find gluten free graham cracker crumbs where you live, you could really use any gluten free cookie. Just be sure to crush it to a really fine dust for the best results. This is easiest to do with a food processor, but a large ziplock bag and a rolling pin works well, too!
How to Make a Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust
The main difference with using gluten free graham cracker crumbs is that they don’t absorb the butter as readily as regular graham cracker crumbs would.
You’ll notice that when you press your crust into place, it almost looks like the melted butter is pooling on top of the crust.
Luckily, there’s an easy way to fix that!
All you have to do it let the crust rest for anywhere from 10 – 20 minutes before baking it. That resting period will give the gluten free crust time to absorb the butter.
Once the butter has been absorbed, you can treat the crust as you would a regular graham cracker crust.
Gluten Free Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients
For this recipe, you need 4 ingredients.
- Certified gluten free graham cracker crumbs
- Melted unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Fine sea salt
Gluten Free Graham Cracker Pie Crust Variations
Depending on how you want to use the crust, there are a few different variations you could try.
- Add cocoa powder to make a chocolate crust
- Use coconut oil instead of butter
- Try brown sugar instead of white sugar for a more caramelized flavor
Best Ways to Use This Crust
These are my favorite graham cracker crust desserts to use this recipe with:
- Pumpkin pie
- Blueberry Pie
- Apple Pie
- Lemon Bars
- Key Lime Pie
- Any Kind of Dessert Bar
How to Make a Vegan Graham Cracker Crust
To make this recipe vegan, you’ll need to substitute the butter with either plant-based butter or coconut oil. Given the choice, I’d opt for Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks. They’re the closest substitution for baking, and the sticks have a lower water content than the tubs do.
Also, be sure to check that the cookies you choose are vegan (a lot of gluten free baking brands rely on the binding power of eggs).
Any vegan and gluten free cookie will work for this recipe as long as you use a food processor to make fine crumbs.
How to Bind a Gluten Free Graham Crust
There are two binders in this recipe, and an optional third one.
The butter is very important, because aside from adding tons of flavor, it binds the crumbs together. That’s why it’s important to use enough butter when you’re making your crust.
Even though you want to use enough butter to bind the crust, you don’t want to use so much that the crumbs can’t absorb it all. You’ll know the consistency is right if the mixed ingredients look sandy.
Sugar is also an important binder in this recipe. When the sugar heats up, the crystals melt and then solidify once the crust cools. Those melted sugar crystals go a long way in helping this gluten free pie crust hold together.
In addition to the binding ingredients, it’s incredibly important to tightly pack down the crust into your baking dish. I mean really really really tightly. Especially if you’re using this for a no-bake dessert recipe, it’s even more important in that scenario.
The best and easiest way to do this is with the back of a measuring cup. You can use your fingers, but I always get the best results with I’m using that flat surface of a measuring cup to my advantage.
If you’d like to see an example of the difference using the back of your measuring cup makes, the photo just above was flattened using a measuring cup, while the photo at the top (showing the butter pooling) was pressed with just my fingers.
If You’re Making a Baked Pie or Dessert
Just follow the directions in the recipe card! This recipe was written assuming it would be used for a baked dessert.
All you have to do is bake the crust at 300 F for roughly 10 minutes before allowing it to cool and filling it.
If You’re Making a No-Bake Pie or Dessert
If you’re using this recipe for a no-bake dessert recipe, stir the sugar in with the butter while it’s melting. Letting the sugar melt with the butter will help the crust bind together once it’s cooled.
Once the crust has been assembled, let the crust cool for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator before filling it.
What You’ll Need
I definitely recommend using an extra large mixing bowl to mix the ingredients together. I love this one. It gets used all the time in my kitchen – for everything from baking to salads, it always comes in so handy.
This is a simple and easy recipe with minimal ingredients, but you will need a couple of ingredients for it to turn out well.
The first ingredient you’ll need is gluten free graham cracker crumbs. This is the brand I use and I absolutely love both the taste and the texture! Since there’s so much variation between gluten free brands, I can only vouch for how this recipe will turn out with this brand.
The second ingredient is optional and you’ll only need it if you’re going to have a really thick and heavy filling (like a thick cheesecake), or a wet filling (like fruit pie). It has what feels like magical binding properties that mimic gluten (hint: it’s not xantham gum!) – you can find it here.
- 1 cup certified gluten free graham crackers crumbs (150 g)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (52 g)
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter (72 g, melted)
- 1 Tablespoon psyllium husk (optional - for thick fillings and wet fillings, like fruit pie)
- Preheat the oven to 300 F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the certified gluten free graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, psyllium husk (if using), and melted butter. It should be a sandy consistency.
- Line a 9x9 dish with parchment paper. It helps to leave excess parchment paper hanging over the edges - these act as a handle to pull the dessert out later. It also helps to add a bit of fat to the dish before adding the parchment paper (butter or oil) - it holds the parchment paper in place. Add the graham cracker crust mixture to the dish and firmly press into an even layer. I find it's easiest to get an even crust if I press it into place using the back of a measuring cup.
- Let the crust rest for 10 - 20 minutes. You'll notice that the melted butter is pooling on top of the crust because you used gluten free graham cracker crumbs. This resting time gives the gluten free crumbs a chance to absorb the butter. Once the butter is absorbed, you can treat this crust as you would a regular graham cracker crust.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then allow to cool while you make the filling.
You can use this crust for no bake recipes, too. As long as you refrigerate the recipe before serving it, the cold will solidify the butter enough to serve it.
You don't need to use parchment paper if you're using this in a round glass pie dish. Just grease it first. The sloped edges will allow you to get under the crust and the fat content will stop it from sticking.
The measurement for the graham cracker crumbs is different depending on whether you buy premade crumbs or crush your own from graham crackers. To reach the 150 g, you’ll need roughly 1 cup of premade graham cracker crumbs or roughly 1 ½ cups if you’re crushing your own crumbs from full graham cracker sheets.
If you find that you have a hard time getting your crust to hold together, you can stir in 1 Tablespoon of psyllium husk before adding in the melted butter. I've occasionally done this for really bars that have very thick fillings and I would definitely add this for something wetter, like a fruit pie.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 6.1gSaturated Fat: 3.4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 9.7mgSodium: 54.9mgCarbohydrates: 10.1gNet Carbohydrates: 9.1gFiber: 1gSugar: 5.2gProtein: 0.6g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
If you try this recipe, please let me know what you thought in the comments or on Instagram! @keytomylime
Be sure to pin this recipe for later!
Try making this gluten free graham cracker crust with your next gluten free dessert!