With a homemade pie crust in the freezer, whipping up a tasty treat for drop-in company or an effortless brunch on a lazy Sunday will be a snap. Roll the extra crust up between two pieces of waxed or parchment paper, and slip it into a freezer bag. I store mine in the freezer door where it is less likely to get smashed or lost among the shelves.–Asha Gomez

Empty pie crust in a pie plate, with kitchen shears next to it.

Cream Cheese Pie Crust

4.75 / 4 votes
Take this advice: when making pie crust, prepare two and freeze one! This cream cheese pie crust is very nearly foolproof and is very forgiving.
David Leite
Servings16 servings | 2 (9-inch) crusts
Calories129 kcal
Prep Time45 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (9 oz) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 7 ounces cream cheese*, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup very cold water


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, mixing until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces.
  • Add the cream cheese, mix until the cream cheese is incorporated and starts forming a shaggy dough. Gradually drizzle just enough cold water over the dough so that the dough clears the side of the bowl. You may only need a little bit of the water.
  • Form dough into 2 flat disks. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Roll each crust into 10-inch (25-cm) rounds. Use as directed in recipe.


*What makes cream cheese pie crust different?

The fat and dairy in cream cheese inhibit gluten formation, which is what makes pie crust tough and less-than-flaky. In this recipe, the addition of baking powder helps keep the dough tender after baking, as well. The cream cheese also works a little miracle when the crust is being baked–it helps to avoid that dreaded shrinking that can happen with all butter crusts. 
My Two Souths Cookbook

Adapted From

My Two Souths

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 129 kcalCarbohydrates: 18 gProtein: 3 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 14 mgSodium: 259 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2016 Asha Gomez. Photo © 2016 Asya Nurullina. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This cream cheese pie crust is PERFECT. It is the easiest, most forgiving pie dough I’ve ever worked with. The recipe makes enough for two, and I used the second crust for an apple pie to good effect, so you can use it for either sweet or savory applications.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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  1. What kinds of pies is this crust particularly good for? Just wondering if its actually better for some applications than a butter or shortening crust would be.

    1. Margo, you can use a cream cheese crust for any type of pie, although we love using it for savory pies like this tomato cheese pie or for apple pie, as the tang of the cream cheese pairs well with the apple flavor. The addition of cream cheese makes this pie dough very easy to work with.