This Vanilla Wafer Crust recipe gives you a fantastic homemade pie crust with great texture, flavor, and sturdiness. It’s an easy recipe that works both as a no bake crust OR a blind baked crust. It can even be used for cheesecakes and other desserts as well.

Vanilla Wafer Crust in a Pie Plate with Cookies in background

Though I love my No Bake Graham Cracker Crust, there are times when I prefer vanilla wafer cookies, or other kinds of cookies instead. I love a good Chocolate Wafer Pie Crust, as well as storebought gingersnap cookies like I use for this Banoffee Pie.

There are many appropriate times for a traditional Butter Pie Crust, but cookie crust is my favorite for any dessert that has some sort of creamy cold filling.

That means all the no bake pies like Coconut Cream Pie or banana cream pie, but also creamy cheesecake recipes.

Vanilla Wafer Pie Crust in Blue Pie Pan with Wafers in Background

This vanilla wafer pie crust is suitable for using completely unbaked, after some brief refrigeration time, or you can bake it for a few minutes to set the crust before filling.

Step by Step Overview:

Begin by adding vanilla wafer cookies to the bowl of a food processor:

Vanilla Wafer Cookies In a Food Processor Bowl

You may use the original store-bought nilla wafers from Nabisco, or, I’ve found that many grocery stores like Whole Foods will sell their own versions (I used theirs).

Run the food processor until the cookies are ground up very well into fine crumbs:

Ground up nilla wafer crumbs in food processor bowl

Don’t have a food processor?

Place the vanilla wafers in a plastic Ziploc bag and smash thoroughly using a rolling pin or meat mallet. Note that you will probably not be able to get the crumbs as uniform as a food processor, but it will still work.

Place the cookie crumbs in a large bowl and add granulated sugar:

Vanilla wafer cookie crumbs in a mixing bowl with sugar

Stir together to mix, then add melted unsalted butter to the bowl:

Vanilla cookie crumbs in a glass mixing bowl with melted butter pouring in

As for how to melt the butter, I simply microwave it in 30-second intervals until melted, but you can also place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, until you get melted butter.

Use a spatula to mix the crumbs thoroughly, until evenly moistened.

Moistened nilla wafer crumbs ready to be pressed after being mixed

Pour the moistened crumbs into the dish of your choice.

Here I’m using a standard 9″ pie pan for use with my Coconut Cream Pie.

Pouring the vanilla wafer crumbs into a pie plate for pressing

However, you could use this classic crumb crust in any pan or ramekin that you wish.

Use it in a springform pan for cheesecakes, or in a tart pan.

Spread the moistened crumbs out evenly, then use a measuring cup or rounded glass to firmly press the crumbs against the bottom of the pie plate and also up the sides of the pan.

Using a measuring cup to firmly compact the cookie crumbs up the sides of the pie plate

If you do not intend to bake the crust, you must first refrigerate the unbaked crust for 30 minutes before it can be filled with your favorite pie filling.

Or, you can bake it in a 350F oven for 7 minutes, until slightly dry to the touch. Then let it cool before adding the filling of your choice.

A blind baked version of the homemade pie crust

Baking will give you a slightly sturdier crust for slicing, but so long as you compact the crumbs firmly, the no bake version should be plenty sturdy as well.

If you’re not planning to use the crust right away, you may wrap the pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.


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Vanilla Wafer Pie Crust

Vanilla Wafer Crust

This easy vanilla wafer pie crust has a buttery texture and delicious flavor. It's perfect for no bake pies and cheesecakes!

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  • 11 ounce box vanilla wafer cookies (311g)*
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 standard stick + 2 tbsp)


  • Place all of the vanilla wafer cookies into the bowl of a food processor and grind for about a minute until you get fine crumbs.
  • Pour the crumbs into a large mixing bowl and mix in the granulated sugar.
  • Melt the butter in the microwave in 30-second intervals, or alternatively, place in a saucepan over medium heat for a couple minutes, until melted.
  • Pour the butter into the cookie crumb bowl, and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
  • Pour the moistened crumbs into a 9" pie plate and compact firmly using a measuring cup or a rounded glass. It is incredibly important to spend a few minutes thoroughly pressing it all out, to ensure the crust holds together when you later cut the pie.
  • If you are not baking the crust, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before filling.
  • If you'd like to blind bake the crust, bake at 350F for 7 minutes, until dry to the touch. Make sure to let the crust cool after baking before filling.


*Measured out, this is 2.5 cups of cookie crumbs. One 11-ounce box of vanilla wafer cookies has about 84 cookies. It is easiest to go by weight. You need 311 grams of cookie crumbs.


Calories: 2637kcal, Carbohydrates: 278g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 168g, Saturated Fat: 90g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 25g, Monounsaturated Fat: 42g, Trans Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 304mg, Sodium: 1270mg, Potassium: 297mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 149g, Vitamin A: 3499IU, Calcium: 34mg, Iron: 0.1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.