Best Seven Tips for the Perfect Graham Crust

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A graham cracker crust can make or break a cheesecake. Here’s how to make a winning crust every time.

A graham cracker crust can make or break a cheesecake. Here's how to make a winning crust every time.

We already told you how to make a perfect cheesecake with these top ten tips, now let’s focus on the graham cracker crust.

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    1. Ever wonder how many sheets of graham crackers you need to grind up for your crust? I have, so this tip is super helpful. Ten full graham cracker sheets equal 1 and ½ cups of crumbs.
    2. Use a glass measuring cup to help press the graham cracker crust down into the pan and smooth out any bumps so it is compact and holds together well. Start pressing the mixture with your fingers. Once it’s all pressed in a layer in your pan, use the measuring cup to press it down more and to make it smooth.
    3. If your graham crust is for a cheesecake, or if you will want to remove the dessert from the pan completely and in one piece before serving, use a springform pan like this one. This prevents the crust and the filling from falling apart when you try to get it out of the pan.
    4. No worries if your crust falls from the sides during baking. You can fix it using your trusty measuring cup to shape it again as long as you do so while the crust is hot from the oven. Once you smooth it out, set it aside to cool.
    5. Prebake your crust before adding the cheese filling. I am a firm believer in this tip because it prevents a soggy bottom and the flavor is more complex. The great thing about prebaking a graham cracker crust is that it only takes 10 minutes at 350°F.
    6. Use real butter and not margarine in your crust. The flavor really makes a difference. I prefer unsalted butter here.
    7. Add some extra flavor to your crust. Which flavor you choose depends on the filling. If it’s a rich-style filling, try adding 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. If it’s a fruit filling, go with 1 tablespoon of lemon or orange zest. Almost any filling goes with chocolate so go ahead and add two teaspoons of cocoa powder. Vanilla bean seeds, or the handier vanilla paste, are also great additions with any flavor of filling.

Amy Bowen

Amy had no clue how to cook until she became the food reporter for a daily newspaper in Minnesota. At 25, she even struggled with boxed mac and cheese. These days, Amy is a much better cook, thanks to interviewing cooks and chefs for more than 10 years. She even makes four cheese macaroni and cheese with bacon, no boxed mac in sight. Amy is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.