5 Fun Alternatives to Graham Cracker Crusts

updated Dec 3, 2022
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(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

My favorite part of a pie or tart, hands-down, is the crust. In fact, if there’s a double crust, I’m even happier. And while graham cracker pie crust is one of the easiest crusts to make, don’t forget that there is a whole world of other fun possibilities out there that are equally delicious.

The Graham Cracker Crust Technique

Pretty much any crunchy thing that’s cookie or cracker-like can work in as a pie crust. You just have to grind it up, mix it with some butter to hold it together, and press and bake. Here’s the basic technique that you can use to make a crumb crust:

Now that you know the technique, here are five tasty and creative ways to swap out the graham crackers for something new!

1. Crisp Cookies

Remember that graham crackers are really just cookies, so anything in that family will work well. Go with speculoos or crisp ginger snaps for a spicy kick that works well with cheesecake or cream pies, vanilla wafers or animal crackers if you want something more subtle, or chocolate wafers or even Oreo cookies for something dark and chocolate-y. Don’t forget that nut-flavored cookies also work well, like Italian amaretti.

2. Ice Cream Cones

When I saw that people were using sugar cones as pie crust, especially for ice cream pies, all I could think was, “Genius!” Sugar cones stay nice and crisp and if you can get your hands on waffle cones, even better since those taste more like cookies.

3. Cold Cereal

Look no further than breakfast for lots of crunchy options for pie crust. Grind up granola, crispy rice cereal, or cornflakes together, and if you top it with a yogurt filling, that means you can have pie for breakfast, right?

4. Pretzels

If you like sweet-savory combinations, pretzels make a great pie crust. They’re salty, crunchy, but just a tiny bit buttery to make a great contrast with a rich filling like chocolate mousse and peanut butter. And if you want to go all-savory, a pretzel crust would be a delicious base for a quiche.

5. Coconut Macaroons

If you like coconut macaroons, why not try them as pie crust? This flour-free crust of egg whites and shredded coconut offers a sweet, chewy contrast to the filling above. Pair it with something tart like key limes or go for the tried-and-true chocolate and coconut combination instead.

What do you like to make instead of graham cracker pie crust?