Shortcut Pie Crust

This shortcut pie crust recipe, made from just flour, butter, sugar, and salt, dispenses with kneading and rolling. Easiest pie ever.

Shortcut pie crust being mixed together by hand in a bowl.

This pie crust is revolutionary. It’s a press-in crust, with no rolling or chilling required. Plus, it’s buttery and flaky, and so easy to prepare it just may give you the courage to go forth and make a pie on a whim. You can use either granulated or light brown sugar. Both are equally delicious here.

Dried beans or pie weights can be reused time and time again. Mason jars are a great way to store them.–Cheryl Day and Griffith Day

LC Tasting Is Believing Note

Close your eyes and take a nibble of this no-knead, no-roll-out pie crust and you may just mistake it for a shortbread cookie. Is that such a terrible thing? The recipe does make you work, though, seeing as you need to decide whether to use granulated or brown sugar. We tend to reach for the former with traditional fruit fillings, the latter for spiced nut or custard fillings.

☞ Contents

Shortcut Pie Crust

Shortcut pie crust being mixed together by hand in a bowl.
Our shortcut pie crust is exactly that–it takes no time to whip up and, to be honest, it doesn't even need loads of skill. Perfect for beginners.

Prep 5 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 25 minutes
8 servings
249 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated or packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter melted


  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the butter and stir with a fork until the mixture looks moist and crumbly.
  • Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. You can crimp the edges decoratively or leave them rustic.
  • Bake the pie crust according to your desired pie recipe. (If the recipe calls for a prebaked pie crust, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the pie crust with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or pie weights, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans or weights and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before filling.)
Print RecipeBuy the The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook cookbook

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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 249kcal (12%)Carbohydrates: 25g (8%)Protein: 3g (6%)Fat: 16g (25%)Saturated Fat: 10g (63%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 41mg (14%)Sodium: 150mg (7%)Potassium: 39mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 7g (8%)Vitamin A: 482IU (10%)Calcium: 14mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I’m in love with this piecrust! I don’t have to clear off my very crowded kitchen counter to roll it out; I just toss it into the pan and make it pretty! And it tastes amazing. I don’t have pie weights and it baked up just fine lined with foil. I’m off to find other fillings to use just so I can make it again!

Wow. I loved this recipe for its ease and simplicity. It’s so easy to assemble and certainly withstood a heavy sweet potato custard filling. Of course it’s not light and flaky like a traditional pie crust, but I’d use this recipe in a heartbeat with other custardlike pie fillings.

This recipe is for a very simple piecrust. It doesn’t require the cold butter or ice water or anxiety over whether the dough is too dry or too wet. Flour, sugar, and salt are combined with melted butter and patted into the pan by hand, so no rolling pin is required.

The option to use granulated sugar or brown sugar is interesting. For testing, I used brown sugar. As I patted the dough into the 9-inch pie pan, my instincts told me that the crust would be too thick but I followed the instructions in the recipe. The dough was easy to work with, and I was able to make a decorative crimp along the edge. I baked the crust for 20 minutes with the weights, and then it took about another 10 to 12 minutes more to get golden brown.

The result was buttery and crunchy like a shortbread-cookie crust. This would work well with sweet fillings, but not with savory fillings. I think the recipe actually makes a bit more dough than is required for a 9-inch piecrust. It’d work in a 10-inch pie pan, maybe even a 9-inch springform pan. Were I to make this again, I’d likely use less if I was making a 9-inch pie.

I’m a bit of a piecrust purist and was shocked at the thought of melting the butter and mixing it all in. I wasn’t sure how this crust would turn out. Overall, it worked well for this pie and the kids all thought it tasted like a sugar cookie. Now I have to figure out how to use it for other types of pie. Also, I’ll have to experiment with making it look prettier.

I made this twice. It’s easy to throw together. The first time I made it with granulated sugar and pressed it into the pie plate. The second time I made it with brown sugar and rolled it out. Both tasted good. Rolling gives a much more even result but requires more flour. The unevenness made it bake unevenly, too. Brown sugar gives the crust an automatic brown look at the prebake stage. It went nicely with the sweet potato pie filling.

This recipe makes a rich and delicious crust that is reliable no matter the filling. A little disclaimer here is that rather than a pie crust, what you’ll get is more like a shortbread cookie crust. Using melted butter makes a very moist mixture, but I personally think the wet texture makes it easier to press the dough into a pie plate evenly by hand (no cracks!). Pre-baking worked well when I tested it in a sweet potato pie recipe a few years ago. Most recently I filled a raw crust with partially cooked pears for a pear crumb pie. The crust baked beautifully with a golden bottom (20 minutes at 400°F and an additional 45 minutes at 375°F after covering the edges with foil). When serving your pie, you’ll be pleased that the crust slices neatly from the edges to the center.

Originally published October 16, 2012


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. Well, I don’t know what I did wrong…probably drizzling all the butter in…I doublechecked all my measurements. The “crust” was totally wet, more gooey than crumbly. I had to throw it out. It couldn’t be right. This time around, in time for Thanksgiving tomorrow, I’ll have to go back to my normal standard recipe for shortcrust. Sure would love to hear back. Definitely 11 tbls melted butter was way way too much. Sure am disappointed, but will try again another time….

    1. We had this happen, too. We made a second batch, too, thinking first must be wrong it was so oily and wet. As the butter cools a bit, the crust is firmer. It does seems wrong if you’re using freshly melted warm/hot butter. It worked out fine as it cooled while we were pressing it in the pan.

    2. Triana, I’m so incredibly sorry to hear about your experience with this pie crust recipe. You slowly drizzled the butter in while mixing with a fork, yes? I’m going to have our recipe testers make this again—as you’ll see in the comments beneath the recipe, they quite liked the pie crust when we originally tested it—and see if we can recreate the situation you encountered. Please be patient and I will be back with you. In the meantime, again, my apologies. We test all our recipes before sharing them on the site to try to avoid this sort of disappointment. I’ll touch base as soon as I have some answers. Wishing you and yours a happy, happy Thanksgiving.

  2. 5 stars
    I have been using your wonderful short cut pie crust recipe for a while, thank you so much for sharing it. It is such a superior alternative to buying refrigerated premade piecrust when you are in a hurry or feeling lazy. It is amazingly good. No one seems to even think about it being not exactly pie crust! I particularly like it with my Peach Cream pie and my Ice Box strawberry pie. Thank you so much, I love your site!

      1. David, I forgot to mention that I scaled up the recipe by 1-1/3, because I love to use my larger, deeper pie pans (more pie!). And although this crust can be pounded out thin, it’s a lazy recipe, I’m a lazy girl, and it’s just easier to have enough dough without having to work at dough pounding to stretch it out. Also, I always grease the pie pan and I make it with the granulated sugar to best simulate a “real” piecrust look and texture. Can’t thank you enough for giving me this cool tool to hide up my sleeve.

  3. Looking for a lost cake recipe with pie filling & crumb topping. Removing small amount of topping before adding liquified base. Thank you so much.

    1. Oh gosh, Mimi. I don’t know of any such thing, but let’s hope that some of our readers do…anyone? I’ll ask around elsewhere, Mimi, and let you know if I hear of anything……..

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