Learn how to make whole wheat pie crust from scratch with this step-by-step tutorial. This pie crust is flaky, tender, buttery, and hearty—everything a pie crust should be.
I used to think that if anyone made pie crust, they had better make it with all-purpose flour and shortening.
If they were brave enough to even do that.
But as I’m venturing into mostly whole wheat baking, I’m finding that the rumors I heard about whole wheat flour were totally wrong. Whole Wheat baked goods CAN be tender, moist, fluffy, flaky, and incredibly delicious.
Today I wanted to show you guys how to make whole wheat pie crust from scratch. Keep in mind that I’m not saying that so and so’s pie crust recipe is incorrect—this is just what I’ve found works best for me.
I used to make this pie crust by hand (cutting the butter in with a pastry blender), but in my opinion, it’s just too much effort. My food processor gets the job done 10 times faster and there’s way less mess. And as long as you don’t pulse the dough for too long, you still end up with flaky, tender, buttery pie crust.
So, let’s get started!
First things first, combine your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) into your food processor. Give it a pulse or two to combine it. You can leave the sugar out if you’d like, but I like the flavor it adds to the crust.
Now you’re going to cut your butter into cubes. (I haven’t tried this pie crust with coconut oil yet, but I’m guessing it would work similarly.) Make sure your butter is COLD!
Toss that butter into the food processor and give it a few pulses until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
I probably could have pulsed this a little more, but I’m not too picky.
Then pour in the ice water and pulse just until the mixture looks like large moist crumbs.
The original recipe I’ve based this one off of uses half ice water, half vodka. The vodka keeps gluten from developing (and gluten RUINS pie crust, which is why you can’t pulse the dough too much).
I haven’t tried the recipe with vodka yet, mostly because I’m a minor, but it supposedly doesn’t change the flavor of the crust and there’s only 1/4 teaspoon per slice of pie.
This is what your mixture should look like after adding the ice water. Try pinching some of those crumbs together—they should stick and create a dough.
Take the dough out of the food processor and start packing it together. This should only take about a minute, but once you’ve got a ball of dough, divide it into two, and flatten those pieces into disks.
Then just wrap ‘em in plastic wrap and refrigerate. It needs to chill for at least an hour, but you can keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you are wanting to freeze the crusts, just pop them into the freezer and they should keep for up to three months.
When you’re ready to use the pie crust, roll it out on a floured surface until it’s 10 (or more) inches in diameter. You don’t want it too thin, but you definitely want it to reach the edges of the pie plate. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to let any gluten that may have developed relax.
Carefully drape the pie crust into your pie pan and crimp the edges as you’d like. You can also just crimp the edges down with a fork if you don’t trust your pie-crimping skills.
And you’re done! A delicious, homemade whole wheat pie crust without all the bad stuff.
(Do you like my pie pan? You can buy it here!)
I made a sweet potato pie with this crust (recipe coming right up!) and it was super delicious.
Now go make some pie!
Here’s the recipe:
- 2½ cups white whole wheat flour (where to buy)
- 2 teaspoons unbleached pure cane sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold salted butter
- ½ cup ice water*
- In the bowl of your food processor, combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse to combine.
- Cube the butter and add it to the food processor. Pulse 3-5 times, or until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Pour in the ice water and pulse until there are tiny clumps of dough and dough sticks together when pinched.
- Use your hands to shape the dough into a ball, packing it together firmly. Cut the dough ball in half and shape each of those into balls. Flatten each dough ball into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, or up to 3 days. You can also freeze the dough at this point.
- After the dough has chilled, roll it out until it reaches 10 inches in diameter. Repeat with other ball of dough, if using. Let dough rest five minutes (this helps the gluten to relax).
- Carefully drape the rolled pie crust over your pie pan and press into the pan. Crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork.
- Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. Fill with whatever pie filling you'd like. Continue as instructed on pie recipe.
Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Looks awesome! I can’t wait to try this!
This looks great! I love baked goods made with whole wheat. I’ve never heard of a pie crust being made that way, but I would LOVE to try it! Pinning for later. Thanks for sharing!
Leesha @ Living Contently says
Oh wow! I am always looking for healthier food options. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.
I’ve often thought about trying out a whole wheat pie crust, but still haven’t gotten around to doing it. Yours looks fabulous, thanks for the recipe!!
This is such a beautiful pie crust with such easy ingredients! Never thought about using whole wheat to make it, but it sounds so healthy! Pinned and can’t wait to try out soon
Margaret Anne says
Thanks so much Maggie! Using whole wheat flour for pie crust makes it so much heartier and flakier, in my opinion. Thanks for sharing.
Heather @ My Overflowing Cup says
Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s not only beautiful, but healthy. Pinned.
Margaret Anne says
You’re very welcome! Thanks for sharing Heather.
Quirky Homemaker says
We use whole wheat for everything! I haven’t tried a pie crust yet, though. Thanks for sharing!
Sarah @ GlamGranolaGeek says
This looks amazing! Glad to hear it can be done by hand though, because my food processor sucks.
Margaret Anne says
Thanks Sarah! I’m sorry to hear about your food processor—but luckily it’s super easy to make by hand.
I am impressed with your skills! I have never made a whole wheat pie and need to give this a try. Thanks for linking up to On Display Thursday!
Wow, it looks beautiful! I am featuring this post today at On Display Thursday, and it pinning it to our party board. Thanks for linking up!
Monica George says
Do you not pre-bake the crust before adding pie filling?
Margaret Anne says
It would depend on the type of pie. Most recipes designate prebaked or uncooked pie crust.
Jennifer Harding says
Loved this recipe thanks! We will be using it as our go to pie dough recipe! I used whole wheat flour. I just wanted to comment and say that this recipe works with regular whole wheat flour. I made a Vegetarian Pot Pie with this Whole Wheat Crust and the family loved it.