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How to Make a Crumb Crust – Making a Crumble Crust in Minutes

A crunchy Crumb Crust is a cooking technique that I use for a lot of my recipes.  This delicious crust can form the bottom layer of bar and cheesecake recipes and can take the place of a pie crust anytime you don’t want a double pie crust dessert.Making the perfect crumb crust is easy with a food processor and just three ingredients. In just seconds, you will have the perfect base for your topping ingredients.

Don’t know how to make a crust like this?  Just follow my cooking tips step by step and you’ll have a delicious base for your next dessert done and ready for your sweet toppings.

I use crumb crusts all the time in baking.  Sometimes, I use it just on the bottom and other times (like these maple syrup date bars) I use it on both the bottom and the top of the recipe.

Crumb crusts are also MUCH easier to make than a standard pie crust.  If you have a food processor and a few ingredients, you can make a crumble crust in just seconds.

A heavy marble rolling pin also works well. Just put the ingredients in a zip lock baggie and crush them this way.A food processor makes a great crumble crust

What is a crumble crust?

Basically a crumb crust (or crumble crust) is made from three ingredients: Butter, Sugar of some sort, and 1 other ingredient.

The beauty of a crumb crust is that you can decide what that third ingredient is depending on what else you want to put on top of the crust.

Crumble crusts are very adaptable to other ingredients.  Here are a few ideas for adapting the basic crumb crust.Variations on a crumb crust - graham cracker crust, pretzel crust, oatmeal crust, and Oreo crust are all good choices

  • Will you have chocolate chips swimming in the topping? Try an Oreo Cookie based crust like one for these Oreo Mint Cheesecake bars.
  • Crumb crusts pair really well with a streusel topping. Use Flour in your crumb crust for this pairing.
  • Will your toppings have a salty taste? Try making the crust with pretzels. These no bake peanut butter pretzel bars show how great it tastes.
  • Want a traditional crumb crust? Use Graham crackers. I love the way it is used with these mini cherry cheesecakes!
  • Want something the kids can’t wait to dig into? Try an animal cracker crust. (My lemon cheesecake bars uses one.)
  • Use oatmeal for a hearty crust.  It goes great with these caramel apple bars.

Let’s make a simple crumb crust!

For my crumb crust, I use a mixture of the following: (I am showing both white sugar and brown, you can use either in the recipe)Ingredients for a crumb crust.

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar or 1/2 cup or white sugar
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour

Want to see how easy it is to make a crumble crust recipe?  Just dump all of the ingredients into a food processor. I cut my butter into cubes and make sure that it is at room temperature.Butter, brown sugar and flour go into a crumble crust recipe

A few pulses with the food processor and, a few seconds later, the flour and brown sugar combine to make a wonderful mixture that is just perfect to use in bars.Pulse until a corn meal mixture is formed

Butter at room temperature will be easily incorporated into the brown sugar and flour making a coarse corn meal type of texture with a few larger clumps in it.  Trying not to taste it right now is a challenge!The perfect texture for making a crumble crust

Press the mixture into a pan that is lined with parchment paper and sprayed with some non stick cooking spray. I use a Misto sprayer.

Using a sprayer like this allows me to add whatever oil I would like and it is SO much cheaper than buying a store bought non stick spray.  The parchment paper will make it easier to remove the crust after it is cooked and topped.Prepare the pan with parchment paper

The bottom of a small measuring cup will press the mixture down evenly.Press down the crumb crust

All that is left to do is the cook the crumb crust in a 350 º oven for 20 minutes.  Baked crumb crust

The crust puffs up a little and turns a light golden brown.  Once it is cooled, you can add whatever you would like to for toppings.  This type of crust is perfect for fruit desserts but can also be used in lots of other ways.

My latest crumb crust got a layer of cheesecake as well as some cinnamon apples and a streusel topping and they were amazing!  See the apple cheesecake bars recipe here.Apple cheesecake streusel bar with crumb crust

How will you adapt your crumb crust today? Tell us in the comments below.

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Tips for making a crumb crust quickly in a food processor.

Yield: 1 9 x 13" crust

How to Make a Crumb Crust

Making a crumb crust

A crunchy  delicious crust can form the bottom layer of bar and cheesecake recipes and can take the place of a pie crust anytime you don’t want a double pie crust dessert.

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar or brown sugar


Add all of the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds until the mixture resembles coarse corn meal.

Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350º oven.

Add any toppings you would like to finish the crust.

Note: The photos in the tutorial show both white and brown sugar. You can use 1/2 cup of either.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/10th of the crust

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g

Nutritional information is approximate due to natural variation in ingredients and the cook-at-home nature of our meals.


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Sunday 7th of June 2020

Greetings, This was my first crumble and it was easy in the food processor The taste is delicious! I can’t stop sampling, but it’s a bit greasy and it’s not crumbling quite the way I want. What do I do?


Monday 8th of June 2020

Add more of the dry ingredients until it is the consistency you like.

Esther Veedell

Friday 29th of May 2020

My traditional cheese cake - cream cheese, egg and sugar - is baked. If your crumb crust is pre-baked can I then top it with my mixture and put it back in the oven for another 50 minutes? Or, optionally should I put the baked crumb crust in the freezer, fill it with my mixture and put in in the oven?


Friday 29th of May 2020

I have not tested this recipe on a baked cheesecake but my understanding is that baked cheesecake crusts are normally baked first, even if just for a short time since blind baking makes the crust less soggy from the filling.

S. A.

Sunday 2nd of December 2018

I'm trying to find a way to make crust for fruit bars-one that will 'hold up' , that is, will stay firm enough to be able to cut it without it crumbling. mine always fall apart ! Thanks !


Sunday 2nd of December 2018

Hi. It is a challenge. The nature of fruit bars is that the ingredients are juicy and that plays havoc with the crust. You could try freezing the crust after making it and then letting the filling cool before adding it and the topping. This should make it hold up better. Carol


Wednesday 24th of October 2018

I'm confused about the ingredients. In the ingredients photo it shows butter, flour, white sugar and brown sugar. Below that you list: 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of butter and 2 cups of flour. Then in the recipe card it says half a cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of butter and 2 cups of flour. Can you please clarify?


Wednesday 24th of October 2018

Hi Samantha Thanks for alerting me to the typos. I have made a few adjustments so there is no confusion now. You can use 1/2 cup of either white or brown sugar. Both work well depending on the taste you are after. I have made it both ways. The ration is 1 cup butter, two cups of flower and 1/2 cup of sugar. It is all relative to taste though. If you like a sweeter crust, you can use more sugar. Carol

Neelima Gupta

Friday 7th of September 2018

Thats a great reciepie. can i replace the sugar with a little salt to make it a savoury crumb keeping the flour and butter ratio same


Friday 7th of September 2018

Hi Neelima. Yes, you can add salt to the recipe. It will still work with the same ratios. Carol

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