Kitchn Love Letters

The $7 Secret to the Most Decadent No-Bake Desserts

published Nov 12, 2023
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No-Bake Pumpkin Delight on display.
Credit: Kelli Foster

Whether you’ve baked a fluffy cheesecake or a dense and custardy pumpkin pie, you’ve probably pulsed a few graham cracker sheets in a food processor for a crust before. While I love the simplicity of the three-ingredient crumb crust, I can’t help but wonder how graham crackers became our go-to choice when there are so many other tasty (dare I say, better?) options. 

Before you plan your holiday menus this year, reconsider your pie crust. It might be time to stuff those stale graham crackers back into their sleeve and reach for something new to elevate your no-bake pie crust. 

Enter: Effie’s Homemade Corn Biscuits. These thick and crunchy crackers are the best substitute for graham cracker crusts. They’re super crisp, utterly buttery, and have just the right amount of sweetness to complement — not overwhelm — your filling. No one will miss the wet, sandy graham crackers clinging to the bottom of their icebox cake, I promise. 

Credit: Elizabeth Briskin

What’s So Great About Effie’s Homemade Corn Biscuits?

Part of what makes a classic pie crust so irresistible is the generous use of butter. Cold butter melts in the oven, releasing steam and giving the pastry its signature delicate layers. Of course, the high-fat dairy also enriches dough with its signature irresistible flavor. Butter is also responsible for making Effie’s Corn Biscuits so darn good (it’s the second ingredient), which is why they just make sense in a crust. 

The fine people at Effie’s Homemade must be using high-quality butter to boot, because the flavor comes through in every bite of the slightly sweet, wonderfully corn-forward biscuits. My favorite product from Effie’s Homemade can’t-go-wrong offerings also has a touch of anise. This spice adds a slightly complex, adult-tasting note to the otherwise cookie-like crackers. 

The biscuits also have an ideal crunchy snap to them and a pleasantly golden hue. They’re thick and sturdy, so they stand up to a dunk in coffee, tea, or warm cider. They also add heft to an appetizer platter, but Effie’s crackers are more than a canvas for a blanket of mortadella; the best way to use these beauties is in pastry. 

What’s the Best Way to Use Effie’s Homemade Corn Biscuits?

If you have plans for a no-bake cheesecake, an icebox dessert, or even a zingy key lime pie, try swapping the usual graham crackers for Effie’s Corn Biscuits, and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. 

So often with cream- and custard-topped desserts, the filling gets all the glory. But the foundation of your pie matters just as much as what’s sitting on top of it. To make a fancier, more flavorful crumb crust for your next statement sweet, swap the graham cracker crumbs ounce-for-ounce with Effie’s. The easiest way to do this is to use a recipe that includes weights. One box of Effie’s is about seven ounces, which also happens to be the standard for many graham cracker crust recipes. 

Effie’s crackers are lightly sweetened, so taste your melted butter and crumb mixture before adding sugar. Depending on how sweet your filling is, you may want to add one to four tablespoons to your crust. Then simply follow the rest of the recipe as written. 

Buy: Effie’s Homemade Corn Biscuits, $6.50 for 21 cakes (7.2 ounces) at Effie’s Homemade 

Got a secret ingredient for a standout dessert? Tell us about it in the comments below.