Vanilla Wafer Crust for Pie

Making the vanilla wafer pie crust is very easy! With only 2 ingredients and a little know how, you can make this delicious crumb crust that will work beautifully with a lot of different fillings! My favorite use for it is in banana pudding pie, but try it with chocolate or coconut cream pie- it’ll knock your socks off!

sliced banana pudding pie with vanilla wafer pie crust sitting on a table with two pieces of sliced pie in the background
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Before we get started, I noticed that a lot of other recipes for crumb crusts have added sugar, but I really think that this recipe I have used for decades is the perfect sweetness without adding extra sugar. Plus, the vanilla wafers already have plenty of sugar in them!

Ingredients needed for the crust

  • Melted butter
  • Vanilla Wafers

That’s it! It really cannot get any simpler than this.

A stick of salted butter and an open package of vanilla wafers on a wooden cutting board

Equipment needed to make vanilla wafer pie crust

How to make the crumb crust

All you need is to do is melt your butter in the microwave or on the stovetop and crush the vanilla wafers into fine crumbs. You can crush the wafers in a food processor or put them in a gallon zipper bag and roll over them with a rolling pin or hit them with a meat mallet.

I don’t make my crumbs super fine, I like a few chunks. Add the crumbs to the melted butter and mix them together with a spatula or fork until there are no dry crumbs left and the mixture will hold together like wet sand.

Then dump the whole mixture into your 9″ pie plate (link to a cheaper glass pie plate) and start pressing the crumbs into the shape of the pan. I like to use a double shot glass or flat bottomed glass to do this (because that’s all I had when I started baking and I still prefer it) but they do sell tart tampers (<-Amazon link to nice wooden tart tampers) if you prefer a professional tool:

Be sure and press the crumbs into an even layer up the sides of the pan. If you are having trouble getting the crumbs to stick, you might have to melt another tablespoon of butter to add to the mixture. Don’t be afraid to pour all the crumbs back into the bowl and start over.

Baking and Storing

After you have the crumbs pressed into the pie plate the way that you like them, you should bake it ASAP. Preheat your oven to 375°F and bake it for 8-10 minutes. The crust will look lightly toasted when it is done and it should smell delicious! If yours isn’t done by the end of 10 minutes, don’t be afraid to bake it 2 more minutes at at time until it’s toasted to your liking!

This crust can be stored covered at room temperature until you are ready to use it. My personal preference is to use it within 3 days of baking it.

Vanilla Wafer Pie Crust

Learn how to make vanilla wafer pie crust from scratch. Super easy and very delicious!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade pie crust, pie crust recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Mikel Ibarra

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup vanilla wafer crumbs
  • ¼ cup melted butter

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F

  2. Add vanilla wafer crumbs to the melted butter, stir until the mixture looks holds together like we sand.

  3. Pour the crumb mixture into a 9" pie plate and use a tamper or flat bottomed glass to press the crumbs into an even layer covering the sides and bottom of the pie plate.

  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned.

  5. Cool to room temperature. Cover until ready to assemble the pie.

Recipe Video

Frequently Asked Questions About Vanilla Wafer Pie Crust:

What’s a crumb crust?

A crumb crust is any pie crust made using some type of crumbs, held together with a binder, and pressed into a pie plate.

Can I substitute the vanilla wafers?

Yes! This recipe will work with cream filled sandwich cookies, granola, gingersnaps, or crisp macaroon cookies

What type of fillings can I put in this type of pie crust?

Any filling like ice cream or pudding works really well. Vanilla cream, coconut cream, chocolate cream.

Can I use this filling for a cheesecake?

Absolutely! You might need to double the recipe if you want it to go all the way up the sides of a 9″ cheesecake pan.

Do I have to bake this crust?

I always do, but you could just freeze it for a few minutes to make the butter set up and then pour the filling in. I really like it better baked, but if you were in a hurry or didn’t want to heat up the kitchen, the cookies are already baked. It will taste great, for sure!

Can I freeze the crust?

Yes, as long as you wrap it up tightly, it will keep in the freezer for at least 6 months.

Questions?

I tried to cover everything, but if you have questions about making this amazing Vanilla Wafer Crust for Pie, please send me an email and I’ll do my best to find you an answer!

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About Mikel Ibarra

Mikel Ibarra holds a BFA in painting, is a certified cake decorator, teaches baking and cake decorating classes, and frequently combines her passions for the sake of art. Sweet Bytes is where she shares everything she knows about the art of baking and running a baking business.