Find out how to make a gluten-free graham cracker crust with just three ingredients to use in all your favorite dessert recipes.
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Do you love graham cracker crusts? Are you also following a gluten-free diet? Then you know that finding a gluten-free graham cracker crust is almost impossible.
I’ve searched high and low for these at my local grocery stores and I’ve yet to find this as an option anywhere.
Which is why I’ve finally decided to make my own and share the recipe with you. A few months ago, I found my new go-to gluten-free graham crackers. I ate them throughout the summer with s’mores with my family.
And while they are definitely not the exact same thing as traditional graham crackers, they taste great and serve the same purpose. The main difference for me is simply the size of the crackers. They’re like so many other gluten-free foods, they come in miniatures.
After I found this brand of gluten-free graham crackers, I realized that I was one step away from enjoying all the desserts that I’ve been avoiding making for years because I wasn’t ever planning to make my own gluten-free graham crackers.
I’m sure they’re easy to make – I’ve seen loads of recipes online for them. But the root of it is that I’m lazy. I’m not going to make gluten-free graham crackers just to turn around and use them in a different dish or recipe entirely.
If I’m going to make something from scratch, it better provide me with quick results!
I’d rather find a shortcut and save myself some time, so that’s what I did. This graham cracker crust I’m sharing with you today is super versatile, easy, and comes together in literally minutes.
You only need three ingredients and you can use this recipe for pies, tarts, no-bake desserts – you name it!
Best of all, I’ve made this recipe dairy-free too, so there’s no more having to make substitutions from other recipes I’ve found online. Three ingredients, a box of gluten-free graham crackers, a food processor, and done!
In this post, we’ll talk about the basics of graham cracker crusts, how they fit into a gluten-free diet, and how to make your own without gluten and dairy. I’ll also share some gluten-free graham cracker brands you can use for this recipe, and of course how I make my crust step-by-step.
Let’s get started!
What is a graham cracker crust?
A graham cracker crust is a pie crust that’s been made with graham cracker crumbs. Usually it’s just three ingredients: graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
This crust is a great base for many pies or cheesecakes. I used this gluten-free graham cracker crust in my gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake recipe, which is great for Thanksgiving or other fall get togethers.
You can also use my gluten-free cheesecake crust that’s dairy-free, vegan, and raw if you’re looking for something without pre made gluten-free graham crackers.
Are graham crackers gluten-free?
Most graham crackers you can find at the grocery store are not gluten-free, as they contain unbleached enriched flour and graham flour (a flour made from whole grain wheat flour).
Of course you can make your own gluten-free graham crackers at home using gluten-free ingredients. There are many recipes online for you to search for if this is something you’re interested in trying out.
There are also a few brands that offer gluten-free graham crackers that are easy to find and taste the same as most common graham cracker brands.
Read on: Are graham crackers gluten-free?
How to make graham cracker crust gluten-free
To make a gluten-free graham cracker crust, you’ll want to use gluten-free graham crackers in place of normal graham crackers. This means you’ll need to find a brand of gluten-free crackers or make up a batch of your own at home to use in your crust.
With the gluten-free graham crackers, you’ll add some butter or vegan butter and sugar to make up the crust in the same way you would a traditional graham cracker crust.
Gluten-free graham cracker brands
There are a few great gluten-free graham cracker brands out there that you could use to make a graham cracker crust.
Since I also follow a dairy-free diet, I’ve noted the brands here that are also dairy-free with an asterisk (*).
- Enjoy Life Crunchy Cookies Vanilla Honey Grahams*
- Glutino Gluten-free Graham Crackers
- Kinnikinnick Gluten-free S’moreables*
- Kinnikinnick Gluten-free Kinnikritters Graham Style Animal Cookies
- Kinnickinnick Graham Style Crumbs*
- Lucy’s Graham Cracker Crisps*
- Nairn’s Gluten-free Oat Grahams*
- Pamela’s Gluten-free Cinnamon Graham Crackers
- Pamela’s Gluten-free Honey Graham Crackers
- Pamela’s Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Graham Crackers
- Schar Honeygrams*
- Schar Chocolate Honeygrams
The brand that I’m using for my recipe is Schar Honeygrams. I can find them locally at Sprouts and have also ordered them from Thrive Market. You can also get them on Amazon, but they are more expensive there.
Read on: Gluten-free graham crackers
Gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
To make gluten-free graham cracker crumbs, you’ll mix up some graham crackers in a food processor or blender until you get a mealy texture.
Fine graham cracker crumbs make the best graham cracker crust. This is an easy take if you have a food processor, but if you don’t you can make your own graham cracker crumbs by putting the crackers in a plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.
How to make graham cracker crust dairy-free
If you also follow a dairy-free diet, you can make a gluten-free graham cracker crust without the dairy by swapping out butter for a vegan butter option or coconut oil.
My preference is to use vegan butter, because it’s closer in flavor to a traditional graham cracker crust, but you can use whatever fat choice that you like for this recipe.
What can you make with a graham cracker crust?
Many people love graham cracker crusts for a variety of desserts. Here are a few ideas for how to use this dairy and gluten-free graham cracker crust:
- Pies, like key lime pie or chocolate mousse
- Mini pies and tarts
- Mini cheesecakes
Read on: Is cheesecake gluten-free?
Read on: Get my gluten-free cheesecake recipe that’s also dairy-free and egg-free.
Read on: Try my gluten-free pie crust made with oat flour.
How to make a dairy and gluten-free graham cracker crust step-by-step
Ready to make your own dairy and gluten-free graham cracker crust? Here’s how it comes together step-by-step!
Process the graham crackers in a food processor
In a food processor, blend up the graham crackers into a mealy texture. You’ll want about 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs.
Combine the graham cracker crust ingredients in a bowl
Pour the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted vegan butter in a bowl. Mix together with a spoon or rubber spatula until combined. You’re looking for a sandy and coarse texture.
Transfer the graham cracker mixture
Transfer the graham cracker crust mixture to a 9-inch pie plate or other pan you’ll be using (springform, baking pan, etc).
Press the graham cracker crust into the pan
Using the back of a measuring cup, press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. You want the crust to fit tightly against the sides and bottom of the plate. The crust should be thick on all sides and the bottom.
Pre-bake or refrigerate the crust
If you’re making a baked dessert, you can pre-bake the crust at 300 degrees for about 7 minutes or follow the recipe you’re using for more specific instructions.
If you’re making a no-bake dessert, chill the crust in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before filling it. This will allow the crust to harden and be easier to fill.
Finish your dessert recipe
Follow the instructions for the rest of the dessert you’re making using this recipe as the base. Enjoy!
Read on: Dairy-free Pumpkin Pie
Can I freeze this crust?
This crust is easy to freeze in the pan that you’re planning to use later. Freeze this gluten-free graham cracker crust for up to 3 months. Psst – this is great if you use these a lot in the summer or around the holidays to get ahead!
You can also make this crust ahead and refrigerate for a few days before using it in your recipe.
Gluten-free graham cracker crust variations
You’ll sometimes see different flavors of graham cracker crusts at grocery stores, but for the most part, it’s hard to find gluten-free versions of these. Make your own variations at home with these ideas.
- Add 3 tsp cocoa powder for gluten-free chocolate graham cracker crust
- Add 1 tsp cinnamon for gluten-free cinnamon graham cracker crust
- Add lemon, orange, or lime zest to the crust
- Swap white sugar for brown sugar or coconut sugar in the crust for a different flavor
- 2 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs (about 220 grams)
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 5 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
- In a food processor, process gluten-free graham crackers into fine crumbs.
- Transfer the graham cracker crumbs to a bowl along with the sugar and melted vegan butter or coconut oil.
- Mix together with a spoon or rubber spatula until combined. You're looking for a sandy and coarse texture.
- Transfer the graham cracker crust mixture to a 9-inch pie plate or other pan you'll be using (springform, baking pan, etc).
- Using the back of a measuring cup, press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. You want the crust to fit tightly against the sides and bottom of the plate. The crust should be thick on all sides and the bottom.
- To pre-bake for a baked dessert, bake the crust at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes or follow the recipe you're using for more specific instructions.
- To use with a no-bake dessert, chill the crust in the refrigerator for about 2 hours before filling it. This will allow the crust to harden and be easier to fill.
- Follow the instructions for the rest of the dessert you're making using this recipe as the base. Enjoy!
For a dairy-free graham cracker crust, be sure to choose a gluten-free graham cracker with no dairy ingredients. Some options are: Kinnikinnick gluten-free S'moreables or crumbs, Enjoy Life crunchy cookies vanilla honey grahams, and Schar honeygrams (what I used in this recipe).
If you love graham cracker crusts with your favorite pies or desserts, I hope this recipe will give you the freedom to still enjoy those recipes while sticking with your gluten-free diet.
This recipe can even be made ahead of time, so it’s really useful for the holiday season or the summer when you want quick desserts ready in just a few minutes.