This simple-to-make Graham Cracker Crust recipe is designed for a 9x13 pan. In minutes you will have a buttery, homemade graham cracker crust that is the perfect foundation for cheesecake, fruit bars, icebox pies, and more!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Versatility: This recipe allows for a wide range of delicious variations. Turn your favorite pie or cheesecake recipes into an easy-to-serve treat in a 9x13 baking pan.
- Simple and Quick: With just 3 simple ingredients, it's simple to make your own graham cracker crust. You can even make it as a no-bake crust!
- Perfect for Crowds: Whether it's a family gathering, potluck, or bake sale, this recipe yields enough to satisfy a large group of people.
This is the recipe that I use when I make a double batch of pumpkin cheesecake bars. It's a wonderful crowd-pleasing dessert!
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
Graham Cracker Crumbs: You can buy graham cracker crumbs or make your own by processing whole graham crackers. The finer the crumbs, the better the crust will hold together.
Granulated Sugar: Sugar not only adds sweetness but also helps bind the crust together.
Substitute brown sugar for a molasses flavor. I also prefer using brown sugar when making a no bake graham cracker crust because it has a little more moisture and holds together better without baking.
Butter: Butter is crucial for both flavor and texture. It binds the crumbs together and gives the crust a buttery richness. Use salted butter for the best flavor, or add ¼ teaspoon of salt if you are using unsalted butter.
How to Make A Graham Cracker Crust for 9x13 Pans
Mix Crust Ingredients
- Mix the sugar and graham cracker crumbs together.
- Next stir in the butter.
- Thoroughly mix the ingredients until the crumbs are fully coated. The mixture should resemble the texture of sand.
Press Into Pan
- Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9x13 baking pan without greasing it.
- Use your hands to evenly press the mixture across the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides.
- Apply moderate pressure while pressing, but avoid packing it down too densely to keep the crust from becoming too hard.
- The flat bottom of a measuring cup or glass can be helpful to smooth the crust.
- The goal is to press just enough so that it holds together when cut.
- If you plan to use the crust for baked recipes, pre-bake it for about 10 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Cool before filling.
- For a completely no-bake recipe, skip the baking and refrigerate for 30 minutes before filling.
Prevent Your Graham Cracker Crust From Falling Apart
One of the common challenges when making a graham cracker crust is preventing it from falling apart. To ensure a solid and intact crust, it's important to take a few extra steps.
Pack with Care: Use medium pressure when pressing the mixture into the pan. Give special attention to the sides and corners of the pans, making sure they are even and packed in well.
Bake the Crust: First, bake the crust in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until it becomes slightly golden. Baking the crust helps to bind the ingredients together and gives it a firmer texture.
Use Fine Crumbs: Finer crumbs will create a better binding texture, preventing your crust from crumbling. You can achieve this by using a food processor, or placing them in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin to crush them finely.
Cinnamon: Simply add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the crumbs and mix it in with the sugar before adding the melted butter. This will infuse the crust with a warm, spicy flavor. You can also use cinnamon graham crackers.
Chocolate: Use chocolate grahams to easily create a chocolate crust. This is perfect for chocolate-based fillings like mousse or chocolate cream pie.
Coconut: Pulse ⅓ cup of shredded coconut in a food processor with the graham crackers for a tropical twist. This pairs wonderfully with coconut cream, key lime, or pineapple fillings.
Nutty: Replace ½ cup of graham cracker crumbs with chopped nuts (like pecans, walnuts, or almonds).
Can I use this recipe for a no-bake 9x13 graham cracker crust?
While baking is recommended to achieve a sturdier crust, it is not always necessary. If you are making a no-bake cheesecake or pie, you can simply refrigerate the crust to allow it to set before adding your filling.
Can I use digestive biscuits instead of graham cracker crumbs?
Yes, you can substitute with digestive biscuits if they are more readily available to you. Digestive biscuits have a similar texture and flavor to graham crackers, making them a suitable alternative for your crust.
Can I make a good graham cracker crust without dairy?
For a dairy-free crust, replace the butter with melted coconut oil.
Can I make graham cracker crust in advance?
Yes, this crust can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 2 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Thaw at room temperature before using.
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Graham Cracker Crust for 9x13 PanRecipe by:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs about 16 full graham cracker sheets
- ⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar
- 7 tablespoons (99 grams) butter melted
- If starting with whole graham crackers, break them down into fine crumbs using a food processor, or by placing in a sealed bag and crushing with a rolling pin. The finer the crumbs, the easier it will be to form the crust.2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- In a medium bowl, mix together the crumbs and sugar. Then pour in the melted butter and stir until fully coated. The mixture will be similar to the texture of sand.⅓ cup (66 grams) granulated sugar, 7 tablespoons (99 grams) butter
- Transfer the crumb mixture to an ungreased 9x13 baking pan and use your hands to press it evenly across the bottom and slightly up the sides. Apply moderate pressure without packing it down too densely. You can use a small measuring cup to help smooth and flatten the bottom. Pressing just enough for the crust to hold together when cutting.
- For baked recipes, pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes at 350°F. For no-bake recipes, chill the crust for 30 minutes before filling.