Hawaii expat living abroad in Australia, food and family blog

Mock Graham Cracker Crust (Digestive or Granita Biscuits)

Mock Graham Cracker Crust (Digestive or Granita Biscuits)

When I lived in the USA, I had easy access to Graham Crackers. You could even buy pre-made graham cracker pie crusts, which makes baking so much faster. When I moved to Australia, I soon realised that Graham Crackers were not sold in supermarkets. Here is my tried and tested Mock Graham Cracker Crust recipe for the perfect graham cracker crust substitute using digestive or granita biscuits.

The Graham Cracker Story

The history of the Graham cracker traces back to the 18th-19th century, credited to Sylvester Graham, an American Presbyterian minister. Graham was a advocate for dietary reform and believed strongly in the connection between diet and health. In the 1830s, he developed a coarse, whole wheat flour that came to be known as “graham flour.” This flour was a key ingredient in “Graham bread,” a simple, unsweetened bread that was part of his vision for a healthier diet.

Later in the 19th century, the Graham cracker as we know it today began to take shape. The cracker was initially designed to be part of the Graham diet, a regimen aimed at promoting health and abstinence from certain indulgences. The original Graham cracker was made with graham flour, a touch of salt, and water. Over time, it evolved and sugar and honey were added to the recipe, transforming the plain cracker into the lightly sweetened treat we enjoy today.

Today, graham crackers are a beloved American snack and baking essential. These sweet, whole wheat treats are used commonly as a crust for pies, cheesecakes and desserts as well as the well known s’mores. Graham crackers are made from a blend of graham flour, honey, and cinnamon.

brown crackers on blue surface
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When I moved to Australia there were no graham crackers in sight. I began a mission to find the best graham cracker alternative to create a mock graham cracker crust substitute.

The Biscuit Showdown

So in wanting to do a thorough job of finding the closest alternative to the graham cracker, I got three alternative biscuits available in Australia: the Digestive, Granita, and Marie biscuits.

To test for the best biscuit base, I took five biscuits of each type and chopped them up in the food processor to create a fine crumb. I then added the same amount of sugar and butter to each and created mini crusts using small tart pans that I had on hand. Keeping the portions, process, and cook time the same for all three. I sweet talked my husband and kids to help me do the taste test, and the results are below.

Digestive, Granita and Marie biscuit comparison

The Results

  • Marie Biscuit – A much lighter coloured cracker. It is a sweet, crisp vanilla biscuit. There is no wheat flour in this biscuit and it tastes much sweeter then a graham cracker. I would say that it is not a proper alternative to the graham cracker, however it could make a lovely alternative for a vanilla wafer biscuit. The finished crust was much drier and the crust fell apart quite easily. It would require an increased butter ratio and less sugar if using it as a crust.
  • Digestive Biscuit – the “healthier” option (as advertised on their packaging). I found that this biscuit does taste similar to a graham cracker. It has slightly less sugar and sodium from the other biscuits. The crust held together fairly well and the taste was delicious and crisp. This was the extremely close second place winner.
  • Granita Biscuit – For taste and holding a crust form, this was the WINNER! Slightly darker in colour and a tiny bit more sweet then the digestive biscuit. It held together better then the digestive biscuit, which was an extremely close second place winner. The result was a delicious, crisp crust with the subtle nuttiness of the wheat flour.
Digestive, Granita and Marie biscuit crust comparison

Final Thoughts on the Best Graham Cracker Substitute

Overall, both the Granita and Digestive biscuits are wonderful graham cracker crust substitutes. They will give you a crisp, buttery, delicious alternative to a graham cracker crust. While the winner was the Granita biscuit, I am unsure how widely available it is. My husband, who is Australian, had never tried or heard of the Granita biscuit before this trial. The Digestive biscuit was an extremely close second-place winner. I believe this biscuit is much more widely available. You will have an excellent graham cracker-like base with either of these biscuit options.

A baked comparison of the Digestive biscuit crust, granita biscuit crust, and Marie biscuit crust

How to make the Substitute Graham Cracker Crust

Making the mock graham cracker crust is so easy!

  1. Prepare your biscuit crumb by putting in your whole 250g package of either Granita or Digestive biscuits into the food processor and pulse until it becomes a fine crumb. You can also place biscuits into a ziplock bag and using a rolling pin to crush into a fine crumb.
  2. Mix together your biscuit crumbs and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Stir in the melted butter until you are left with a coarse and crumbly mixture.
  3. Place your mixture into an ungreased 9 or 10-inch pie pan, springform pan or baking dish. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides of the pan. Do not pack it down too firmly as it can make the crust too hard. Pat the mixture down until it is no longer crumbly.
  4. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 170°C/350°F. I bake in a fan-forced oven and only needed 12 minutes to cook the crust to a golden brown.
  5. Add in your filling and enjoy!
Chocolate Haupia Pie with a mock graham cracker crust

Recipe Note

I usually aim to reduce the sugar ratio in my recipes. This is a personal (and health) preference. You can add an additional tablespoon of sugar to this recipe if you prefer a sweeter crust. Although, keep in mind that if you are adding a sweet filling, then I find a less sweet base helps to balance out the flavours.

Mock Graham Cracker Crust

Mock Graham Cracker Crust (Digestive or Granita biscuits)

A buttery and crisp crust alternative to graham crackers using digestive or granita biscuits.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people

Equipment

  • 9 or 10 inch pie pan, springform pan or baking dish
  • food processor
  • mixing bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g package of digestive or granita biscuits See notes biscuits
  • 8 tbsp (112g) butter (melted)
  • 4 tbsp sugar

Instructions
 

  • Put the biscuits into the food processor and pulse until it becomes fine crumbs.
  • Place your crumbs into the bowl and add in the sugar and mix together. Stir in the melted butter until it is all mixed in. Your mixture will be coarse and crumbly.
  • Place your mixture into an ungreased 9-inch or 10-inch pie, springform pan or baking dish. Press the mixture into the pan and up the sides of the pan. Do not pack it down too firmly as it can make the crust too hard. Pat the mixture down until it is no longer crumbly.
  • Bake in the oven at 170°C (or 350°F) for 12-15 minutes. Allow crust to cool completely before adding in your filling.
    Granita crust

Notes

Use either granita or digestive biscuits. The granita biscuits are slightly sweeter so you can reduce the sugar slightly if using them. 
Keyword digestive biscuit crust, graham cracker crust alternative, graham cracker substitute, Granita biscuit crust

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