Turn a sleeve of graham crackers into a sweet, crunchy, buttery Graham Cracker Crumble. This easy-to-make topping is a fun way to dress up your favorite ice cream sundaes, breakfast parfaits, fruit desserts, and more.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
I’m all about crunchy toppings, whether it’s for macaroni and cheese, casseroles, or desserts. This Graham Cracker Crumble is a great way to add crunch to your favorite sweet treats. Here’s what we love most about it:
- This recipe is great for using up leftover graham crackers or graham cracker crumbs in the pantry. I always seem to have extra in there!
- It’s easy to make and prep ahead, for a sweet treat when you’re short on time. Plus, it’s freezable.
- It’s a great way to shake up your breakfast or dessert routine, from yogurt, to ice cream, and beyond.
- You can customize the crumble using different flavors of grahams, types of sugar, and spices.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Graham Crackers. You can use any of your favorite graham cracker varieties to make this recipe, from “classic” and honey to cinnamon and chocolate. My favorite box to use is Nabisco Original Graham Crackers, which are made with molasses–I grew up on them!
- Unsalted Butter. Tossing the crumbled graham crackers with butter will help them clump into clusters and toast in the oven.
- Sugar. Make this recipe with white granulated sugar, light, or dark brown sugar–your choice! When using a graham cracker made with molasses, I tend to use granulated sugar; if I’m using a honey graham and want to add some depth of flavor, I’ll use brown sugar.
- Kosher or Sea Salt. Just a hint of salt will offset the crumble’s sweetness.
- Vanilla Extract (optional). Depending on the brand of graham crackers you’re using, you might want to give your crumble a little flavor boost with a splash of vanilla.
- Cinnamon (also optional). If you aren’t using cinnamon flavored grahams and want to add a bit of warm spice to your crumble, add a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to the mixture.
Want to try making your own graham crackers from scratch? Try this recipe for Homemade Graham Crackers from Kitchn.
How to Make Graham Cracker Crumble
It only takes 10 minutes of hands-on prep and about 10 minutes of baking time to make this this crumble topping.
Start by crushing the graham crackers. I like to place them in a plastic zip top bag, seal it up, and crush the crackers using a rolling pin or the bottom of a measuring cup. You can also pulse them in a food processor.
I like to crush the grahams roughly, creating some crumbs that are fine and leaving some pieces that are a bit chunkier. I find that this gives the crumble more texture than crushing all of them finely (as you would if you were making a graham cracker crust).
Place the graham cracker crumbs in a mixing bowl and toss with your sugar of choice, salt, and cinnamon, if using. Pour in the melted butter and vanilla, and toss until the crumbs are fully coated.
Spread the buttery crumbs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 325 degrees F for 8-12 minutes, depending on your oven and the brand of grahams you’re using.
The crumble is ready when it’s golden in color and has a toasty aroma. I recommend keeping a close eye on the pan starting at the 8 minute mark so that it doesn’t burn.
Note that when you first remove the crumble from the oven, it will be soft in texture. As it cools to room temperature, it will crisp up and become crunchy.
Once fully cooled, break up the crumble into bite sized pieces and store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 3 months.
Return your graham cracker crumble to room temperature before using it to top your favorite desserts and snacks.
Ways to Use This Graham Cracker Crumble Topping
Truth be told, it’s difficult not to snack on these Graham Cracker Crumbles right out of a jar! Here are some of our favorite ways to use this sweet, crunchy clusters:
- As a topping for your favorite ice cream and sundaes. We love it with vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberry sauce, or with hot fudge and marshmallow topping for a S’mores Sundae.
- Layered into yogurt parfaits for breakfast with fresh fruit or your favorite preserves. (Delicious with my Homemade Cherry Preserves!)
- In a pudding parfait for dessert. Layer your favorite flavor of pudding with whipped cream (or whipped topping) and the graham crumbles in a small glass or mason jar. Add sliced bananas with vanilla pudding for a fun twist on a Banana Pudding Parfait.
- Sprinkled over grilled peaches with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped mascarpone.
- As the finishing touch for these adorable No Bake Cheesecake Cups.
Q. Can I use pre-crushed graham cracker crumbs?
A. Yes, you can use graham cracker crumbs, but they aren’t my first choice since they’re crushed so finely and uniformly. The toasted crumble will still be delicious, but it won’t have as chunky or varied a texture as it does when crushing whole grahams yourself.
Q. Can I add spices other than cinnamon to the mixture?
A. Absolutely! Try swapping out some of the cinnamon for ground nutmeg, cardamom, or ginger. Or, if you’re making your graham crackle crumble during the fall, try using your favorite pumpkin pie spice.
Q. Can I make this recipe gluten and/or dairy free?
A. Yes, this crumble can be made with gluten free graham crackers (such as Schar Honeygrams) and non-dairy butter (we like Miyoko’s Creamery European-Style Cultured Unsalted Vegan Butter).
I haven’t tested gluten or dairy free alternatives extensively, so I would recommend keeping a close eye on the crumble as it bakes to monitor for burning.
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Graham Cracker Crumble
- 1 sleeve graham crackers (9 sheets of 4 crackers), roughly crushed*
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar (granulated or light/dark brown, your choice)**
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)***
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- pinch kosher or fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine crushed graham crackers, sugar, salt, and cinnamon (if using) in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and vanilla (if using), and stir to fully coat the crumb mixture.
- Spread crumbs onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 8-12 minutes, until light golden brown and fragrant. Watch the crumbles carefully so they don't burn (mine most often takes around 10 minutes, but times will vary by oven and brand of graham crackers used). The graham cracker mixture will be soft when you take it out of the oven and will crisp as it cools.
- Cool the mixture to room temperature and break it up into crumbles. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature, 1 week in the refrigerator, or 3 months in the freezer. Return to room temperature before using the crumble to top your favorite sweet treats (such as parfaits, ice cream, or yogurt).
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