My perfect 2 ingredients Homemade Cheesecake crust (Graham cracker crust) will take your No-bake cheesecakes to the next level. In this tutorial, you will learn how to make No-bake cheesecake crust that is stable, neat, crunchy, sweet but not overly sweet. Have you ever experienced cheesecake crust that is crumbly and not able to hold its shape properly? Never again!
- What is Homemade cheesecake crust made of
- What biscuit to use
- How to make the biscuit crumb
- How do you get cheesecake crust to stick together
- Step-by-step process
- How to avoid cheesecake crust sticking to the tin
- How long does it take for the crust to set
- Equipment notes
- Cheesecake ideas to use this No-bake crust
- RECIPE CARD
- 2 ingredients cheesecake crust (Graham cracker crust)
What is Homemade cheesecake crust made of
Cheesecake crust is made of a few simple ingredients you probably already have at home. It is normally made of a type of biscuit crumb (Graham cracker, Digestive biscuits etc.) and melted butter, although I like to add a pinch of salt too in order to bring the flavors out.
Regarding butter, use always unsalted as you want to be in control of the quantity of the salt. I am using 82% fat content European-style butter in all my recipes. While in most of the recipes butter needs to be at room temperature and I always recommend avoiding last-minute microwaving, this is an exception. The butter needs to be melted.
Many recipes state to add sugar too to the cheesecake crust, personally, I think Graham crackers are normally sweet enough and I never add sugar to my crust. My cheesecake crust is crunchy and sweet enough, I do not really see the need of adding sugar.
Can I use oil instead of butter? No, because the butter will harden in the fridge making your cheesecake crust stable that can hold its shape while oil is liquid both at room temp and also in the fridge.
What else can I add to the cheesecake crust? On top of Graham cracker crumb and butter, you can add all sorts of things to your cheesecake crust for example spices like cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla bean, or nuts like chopped hazelnut or even sesame seeds. My raspberry cheesecake crust is made with the addition of freezed dried raspberries that add both color and flavor. Try to experiment next time with your homemade cheesecake crust!
What biscuit to use
Very often Graham cracker or Digestive biscuits is used to make cheesecake crust.
Other cheesecake crust alternatives: You can totally make cheesecake crust without Graham crackers, eg. by using Digestive biscuits or other hard biscuits depending on what you can access from your supermarket. You can also make homemade cheesecake crust using Oreo, ice cream cones, pretzel (for a salty kick!), or any homebaked hard biscuit. One thing worth bearing in mind is the fat content of the biscuit, if it is too fatty, it is worth reducing the butter content in the recipe. You can also make this cheesecake crust gluten-free by using ready-made gluten-free hard biscuits.
How to make the biscuit crumb
There are generally two ways of making biscuit crumb, either the old fashion way in a zip bag using a rolling pin - that is perfect if you are stress baking! Or, you can use a food processor and pulse blend biscuits for a few seconds. Either way, make sure that Graham cracker crumbs are even, no visible huge pieces are left.
How do you get cheesecake crust to stick together
Apart from having a good cheesecake crust recipe - like this one - that has the correct biscuit crumb vs. butter ratio, it is all about the technique! You have to make sure to press the Graham cracker crumb into the tin firmly and neatly on the side and bottom as well. This requires some patience and might take 10 minutes but really worth the effort! Another important point is to let the crust cool (meaning the butter to harden) before filling, never fill the crust without appropriate chilling time!
Making cheesecake crust is literally mixing butter and biscuit crumb, however, there are a couple of important tips and recommendations I would like to share with you:
- Mix butter and biscuit crumb while butter is runny (melted). Butter will act as a binding agent in the recipe. Once it is cooled in the fridge, it will set creating a crunchy, but firm crust to hold the filling. You might have a bad experience from the past with cheesecake crust being too crumbly and not holding its shape, it’s probably due to not enough butter in the recipe
- When butter is melted the mixture might be runny depending on the temperature of the butter but do not add more gracker crumbs. If you feel that mixture is too runny, pop it into the fridge for 5 minutes, it will set very quickly into a consistency you can use making the crust with
- The one and only secret of making a firm, neat crust is to press crumbs firmly and evenly into the side and the bottom of your cake ring. Start with the side and work your way up then when it looks neat and even, continue with the bottom. Find some equipment in your kitchen eg. bend a spoon and use it to really press the crust. I spent probably a good 10-15 minutes just focusing on the crust making sure that it is even on the side and really neat. Place your crust into the freezer and let it set while you are preparing the filling
Since the recipe only uses biscuit crumb and butter, no need to bake it, in fact, this is particularly a No-bake cheesecake crust. The structure is supported by the butter acting like glue that will set in the fridge holding the biscuit crumbs together.
How to avoid cheesecake crust sticking to the tin
My crust recipe won´t stick to the tin, I have made loads of cheesecakes and never had issues with that. Since the recipe contains just enough butter (fat) there is no need to grease the tin before applying and pressing the crust.
How long does it take for the crust to set
If you chilled your crust well enough for example in the freezer, you can remove the tin as early as after one hour however safer option is to leave the tin on while the cheesecake filling anyway setting in the crust - that is usually around 4-6 hours in the fridge depending on the particular recipe. Make sure you do not remove the tin too early, and that when you remove it, you do it carefully. As mentioned it should not stick but better to be safe than sorry!
You will be pleased to hear that making this cheesecake crust does not require too much equipment!
For assembling the cheesecake I am using a Mousse cake ring (adjustable in size) set to 16cm / 6 inches. I really like the neat tall design of it, however, it does not have a bottom so I make one using kitchen foil. Alternatively, use a springform pan but please note that it does not have such a neat side.
For pressing the crumb together I suggest using a spoon that you can bend, it´s that simple!
Cheesecake ideas to use this No-bake crust
- Strawberry cheesecake recipe: Strawberry cheesecake is one of the most popular desserts all around the world and no wonder why! It is phenomenal as the silky ultra cream cheese filling meets the fruity strawberry compote in crunchy, sweet crust. This is an absolutely no fuss recipe, no baking involved, no issue around the water bath, you do not even have to turn the oven on. Recipe in here
- Pistachio cheesecake recipe: I´ve made many cheesecakes in my life but this Pistachio cheesecake is special! If you are a cheesecake and pistachio lover and like to make delicious desserts without a lot of fuss, this will be a recipe you will love! A No-bake, no problem recipe! Recipe in here
- Oreo cheesecake recipe: Crunchy, decorative Oreo crust filled with extra smooth vanilla cream cheese mousse with hidden Oreo pieces! This No-bake Oreo cheesecake is super light and taste amazing with just the right amount of sweetness! A dream come true! Recipe in here
- Raspberry cheesecake recipe: Silky, ultra creamy lemony cheese filling meets raspberry compote in this crunchy, sweet crust that is enhanced with freezed dried raspberries for the ultimate luxurious taste. Imagine raspberry lemonade in a cheesecake format! Recipe in here
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2 ingredients cheesecake crust (Graham cracker crust)
- 140 g Unsalted butter
- 300 g Biscuit crumb eg. Digestive, Graham cracker
- Pinch of salt
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Start with the melting butter in the microwave, then let it cool slightly while preparing the biscuit crumbs
- Biscuit crumbs can be made in a food processor or by using a zip bag and rolling pin. Mix crumbs with warm but not hot butter and a pinch of salt until it comes together
- Line a spring form or Mousse cake ring (adjustable in size) (set it to 16cm / 6 inches) with the mixture and press it flat evenly and tightly starting with the side then moving onto the bottom. If the mixture is too runny, place it into the fridge for a few minutes. Once the crust evenly distributed, place it into the freezer while preparing the filling
- Once cheesecake crust sets, very carefully remove the ring / spring form
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
- Do not skip the salt, it will balance the flavors
- Use good quality 82% unsalted butter
- Make sure you read my step-by-step instructions with all the details of how to make this cheesecake crust. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind baking
- Heat butter in the microwave on low heat so it does not explode:)
- While preparing the crust, make sure that you press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the side and the bottom of your cake ring
- Respect the chilling time. Chilling time is needed for the crust (butter) to set
- Once you are a pro making this cheesecake crust, feel free to experiment with flavorings eg. adding cinnamon, roasted chopped hazelnuts, freezed dried raspberry etc.