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How to Make a Cookie Crumb Crust

It’s so simple to make a homemade cookie crumb crust! Follow these simple tips to make the best cookie crusts for pies, cheesecakes, and more!

How to Make a Cookie Crumb Crust bakeorbreak.com

Ah, cookie crumb crusts. How great is it to use cookies to make a pie crust? You get pie and cookies all at the same time. That’s definitely a win-win.

Cookie crusts are most often used as a foundation for pies and cheesecakes, although you’ll find them popping up in other sweet treats, too.

The best part is how easy it is to make cookie crumb crusts. All you need is your choice of cookie plus some butter. That’s it!

The Cookies

So, what kind of cookies are good for making cookie crusts? There are far more answers to that question that I have space here to write. The short answer is pretty much any crunchy cookie will work. Graham crackers are the most commonly used cookies for cookie crusts, but so many others work wonderfully, too. Try Oreos, vanilla wafers, shortbread, chocolate wafers, pecan sandies, and more!

Whichever cookie you choose, you’ll need to turn them into fine crumbs. Some people have success with putting the cookies in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin or other tool to crumble them. I prefer using my food processor for simplicity and for consistently fine crumbs. I make these kinds of crusts often enough that I usually process an entire package of the cookies and store the leftover crumbs for future crusts.

Once your cookie crumbs are ready, just mix them with melted butter. Just make sure you mix well and get all those crumbs well coated, and you’re all set!

Where’s the Sugar?

You’ll find variations of the basic recipe below throughout the pages of BoB, but it’s my go-to recipe when I’m making cookie crumb crusts. As a general rule, I don’t add any sugar to the crust mixture. The cookies are usually sweet enough on their own, so I usually don’t see the need to add more sugar. Of course, there are always exceptions based on flavor preferences for a specific recipe.

If you’d like to make your crusts a little sweeter, feel free to add granulated sugar or brown sugar. For the recipe below, you can add up to 1/4 cup of sugar. If the crust mixture is a bit too crumbly after adding the sugar, you may need to add just a little more melted butter, but probably no more than a tablespoon.

cookie crumb crust in a white pie pan

Into the Pan

After you’ve mixed your crust, it’s time to get it into the pan. With all the butter in the crust mixture, you shouldn’t need to grease the pan or only grease it lightly. As someone who takes photos of the things I bake, I usually err on the side of caution with a light coating to make sure the dessert will come out of the pan cleanly.

I’ve seen so many tools recommended for pressing cookie crusts into pans. Spatulas, measuring cups, spoons, and many more are suggested for getting the job done. All you really need is your own fingers. Use the spatula or spoon you used for mixing the crust to spread the mixture around the pan. Then use your fingers to press the crust firmly and evenly into the pan. It’s a quick way to get it done, plus it’s easy to tell from touch if your crust is evenly distributed in the pan.

To Bake or Not to Bake

As you’ll find mentioned often here on BoB, when you’re filling a cookie crust with a no-bake filling, you can either bake the crust briefly or skip the oven time by chilling the crust instead. I usually prefer to bake these kinds of crusts about 10 minutes just to help them hold together a bit better. Plus, it makes the cookie crumbs just a little toasty for some bonus flavor.

For baked desserts that have a cookie crust, follow the directions of the specific recipe to determine whether or not the crust needs to be baked by itself initially before baking the filling.

Fill It Up!

Now that you are ready to make cookie crusts, let’s talk about fillings! There are so many possibilities for delicious filling/cookie crust combos. Come on over to the Recipe Index to find lots of great recipes for pies, cheesecakes, and more. Here are some of my favorites:

Black Bottom Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is a celebration of vanilla with a little chocolate surprise. This is one delicious dessert! - Bake or Break
No-Bake Black Bottom Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

 

 

Coconut, pecans, and cream cheese are an irresistible tasty trio in this almost-no-bake Italian Cream Tart. - Bake or Break
Italian Cream Tart
Amaretto Cheesecake is such a beautiful, delicious, impressive dessert. If you love almond desserts, you must try this one! - Bake or Break
Amaretto Cheesecake
Oreo lovers will be in dessert heaven with these Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars. A cookie crust, a simple no-bake cheesecake, and lots of Oreos make these a sure crowd-pleaser! - Bake or Break
Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars

 

 

Apple Pecan Cream Cheese Tart is a delicious combination of apple pie and cheesecake. This lovely dessert is a fall baking must! - Bake or Break
Apple Pecan Cream Cheese Tart

Cookie Crumb Crust

Yield crust for a 9-inch pie
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Homemade cookie crumb crusts are so easy to make and so much better than store-bought!

Make your cookie crumb crusts the best they can be with these simple tips. These crusts are perfect for cheesecakes, icebox pies, and so much more! - Bake or Break

Ingredients

  • 1 & 3/4 cups* cookie crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, melted**

Instructions

  1. Combine the cookie crumbs and butter until thoroughly combined.
  2. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch round pie pan.

For no-bake fillings:

  1. If baking the crust, bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool before filling.
  2. If not baking the crust, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before filling.

For baked fillings:

  1. Follow the directions for the specific recipe to determine if the crust should be baked before baking the filling.

Notes

*For those of us who like to measure ingredients by weight, keep in mind that there will be variations in how much different cookies weigh. You want this amount in volume. If you're using graham cracker crumbs, the weight is 175g.

**I have occasionally found that some cookie crumbs need a little less butter to make a good crust mixture. If you're trying a new cookie for your crust, try adding 4 tablespoons of the butter and then adding more if needed.

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    33 Comments on “How to Make a Cookie Crumb Crust”

  1. thank you for the lovely ideas and recipes. I so appreciate them! Sunshine rays and smiles from Boksburg, South Africa

  2. Cookie crusts are my fave, love this post!

  3. I’m out of butter. I have Crisco and coconut oil. But, I don’t know if they will work. Crisco makes things fluffy. I don’t want a fluffy cookie crumb crust.
    Is it possible?

  4. Can I freeze the extra crumbs to use later?

  5. This was a perfect cookie recipe! I used it to make a Vanilla Wafer crust for a banana pudding! Thank you

  6. Jennifer, I love reading your blogs.    This cookie crumb crust led me to your recipe for the  Italian Cream Tart as well as the individual Italian Cream Trifles which look scrumptious and are now on my “to make” list.  When I read that Fishs Eddy is your favorite store in NYC I knew we were kindred spirits.   I have only visited the store a few times when I was in NYC, and thought it was a wonderful place. Looking forward to trying these treats very soon.  

  7. Thanks for the basic cookie crust. I found out the hard way that you don’t bake a Coconut Dream (like the Girl Scout Samoan) crust. It just melts. Cooled enough to reshape and back in the fridge now. Going to hold a no bake cheesecake for son’s birthday.

  8. This looks delicious! How long will the cookie crust stay fresh for?
    I’m hoping to pre-make the crust for a party then make the filling closer to the day. Thanks!

    • Hi, Emily. I don’t think I’ve ever made one in advance. My guess would be it would be fine for two or three days if you keep it tightly wrapped and refrigerated. I’d think a baked crust might hold up better than one that’s just mixed with no baking. It could possibly be fine longer than that, but I can’t say for sure.

  9. I have a diabetic person to see about. He loves Choc delight dessert. I took SF pecan sandies to make the crust. With SF PUDDINGS, cream cheese with trivia. Cool whip topping.
    Have served it and even the guest did not know, that good.

  10. Carol November 7th 2019

    I am looking for the coconut pie recipe that was on tv. I can’t remember the station. It had a vanilla wafer crust and pudding was made from scratch and cooked on the stove and the coconut was put in at the
    last step and then the topping. Do you have this recipe

  11. Is it ok that I didn’t fully cool the chocolate cookie crumb crust before I added the pudding pie filling

    • Hi, Brenda. Ideally, the crust needs to cool completely before adding the filling. With a pudding pie, adding the pudding when it’s hot will warm up the crust, so I would likely have chilled the crust to try to prevent any issues with the crust not holding together.

  12. Hello
    where can I buy Short bread cookie crumbs
    I cannot find the cookies or crumbs

  13. Since a lot of things that use a Cookie Crumb Crust are sweet if you do not have cookies on hand a great substitute is Saltine crackers, the sweet salty combination is great and can offset some of the sweet in overly sweet pies.

  14. How do you store your left over cookie crumbs?

  15. Can I use soft cookies to make crumb? Or do they need to be dry, crispy cookies?

  16. Hi, my niece is really getting into baking. She tried a peanutbutter cream pie with oreo crust last night. It has peanutbutter, cream cheese and whip cream. She baked the crust as recipe said, cooled. Added filling and then chilled. The crust was so stuck you could not get it up with the pie. Had to scrape it off and add on the plate. She sprayed pan with Pam, was a metal pan. What can she do next time? It also was good but seemed bland or missing something. What could she add for bit more flavor? Vanilla, layer chocolate pudding, fruit filling layer or caramel? Any suggestions appreciated.

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