Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust

Making a homemade, flaky, all-butter pie crust from scratch is unbelievably easy with just a few tricks and tips…and it’s so delicious that you’ll never want to buy a pre-made pie crust again!

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Pie crust is one of those things that many people are intimidated to make from scratch. Believe me, I get it…I used to be right there, too, thinking that my best option was to buy a frozen or refrigerated pie crust every time I wanted to make a pie.

But one day I decided to face my pie crust phobia head-on. I mean, what could be so difficult about flour, salt, butter, and water? If Marie Callender could do it, by golly, so could I!

And the verdict? Y’all, making your own pie crust really is easy. On top of that, the flavor of a flaky, buttery, homemade pie crust far surpasses anything you can buy pre-made. And yes, I am firmly in the all-butter pie crust camp. I know that vegetable shortening has its merits when it comes to pie crust, but it’s an ingredient that I prefer to avoid when possible. I’ve found that I can get a perfectly flaky crust using only butter, but it does involve a few tricks.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}There are two secrets to my success with making homemade pie crust: cold ingredients, and a food processor. That’s right, folks, I let the food processor do the grunt work for me. Now if you don’t have a food processor, you can certainly achieve a perfect pie crust without one. After all, I don’t think our grandmothers relied on a Cuisinart. You’ll just have to cut your ingredients together using a pastry blender (for just a few dollars, it’s a worthwhile investment), and then use a spatula to work in the water. It takes a bit more elbow grease and patience, but making your crust by hand can still yield great results. The key is starting with ice-cold butter and water, and just as importantly, keeping the ingredients cold by working them quickly and not using your hot little hands except when necessary.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}The reason? Because once your dough is all rolled out and popped into the oven, those still-intact pieces of cold butter will melt and steam and burst, creating little air pockets that yield the flakiness in your pie crust. That doesn’t happen if all of your butter has already melted into the dough before hitting the oven.

Alrighty now, enough chit chat. Let’s get on with our crust-making, shall we?

Start by dicing your butter into small cubes, and then popping those cubes into the freezer for awhile. You want it to be nice and cold, even partially frozen.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Next, measure your flour and salt into the bowl of your food processor, and dump the butter on top. I like to make sure my cubes of butter are fairly broken up and not all clumped together when I do this.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse, sandy crumbs. It’s preferable for there to be some recognizable bits of butter remaining, but they shouldn’t be larger than pea-sized.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}With the lid of the food processor on, pour 1 tablespoon of ice water through the feed tube, and pulse a few times. Repeat this step, pulsing between each tablespoon of water until the dough starts clumping together and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much water! Eight tablespoons is usually just right for me, but you could require a tad more. Just pay attention to your dough and stop before it gets too wet.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Once you’ve reached the right consistency, dump the mixture onto a large cutting board or clean countertop, quickly form it into two balls, and then flatten the balls into disks. Remember not to overwork the dough with your hands…you don’t want to warm the dough and melt the butter!

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Place each disk of dough in a plastic baggie (or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap) and put them in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to 4 days. Another bonus of this recipe is that it makes a double crust. So if you need two crusts for your pie, you’re good to go. But if you just need a bottom crust, you have another whole crust to stash in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready for it.

Once your dough is nice and chilled, take it out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for a few minutes so that it warms up just enough to soften a bit before rolling (remember, you still want it to stay cold!). After chilling, your dough shouldn’t be too sticky, but you’ll still want to lightly dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour. Just remember that if you use too much flour, you might end up with a tough pie crust.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Take your time rolling out your crust. Start at the center and roll outward, turning your dough a quarter turn and repeating until the diameter of the whole crust is about 4 inches larger than the pie pan. If the edges of the crust start to split, pinch them together before continuing.

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Transfer the crust by rolling it over the rolling pin, and then unrolling it evenly over the pie pan. Carefully lift the edges of the crust so that its center can be lowered into the corners of pan. Gently press the sides of the crust onto the sides of the pie plate, and finish the edges of the pie with your preferred decorative edge. Clearly, I was going for a rustic look with my imperfect, asymmetrical crust here…

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Now all you have to do is fill and bake your pie according to whatever recipe you’re making!

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust | {Five Heart Home}Voila! Can you believe it? Together, we just made a tender, buttery, flaky, homemade pie crust! That wasn’t so bad now, was it?

The holiday season is right around the corner, and with it, many occasions calling for pie (yippee!). I have quite a few pies planned for you over the next few months, but before I post those, I felt like it was my duty to share this all-time favorite pie crust of mine with you, which incidentally, happens to be just as good complementing a savory pie (think chicken pot pie) as a sweet one.

Even if you’re already a pie crust professional, I think that you will enjoy this bursting-with-butter, melt-in-your-mouth version. And even if you’ve never attempted a pie crust from scratch before, this is a great place to start. You can do it! Pinky swear. And after you do, you’ll see how easy it was and how buttery it tastes…and you’ll wonder what took you so long to make your own homemade pie crust in the first place. πŸ˜‰

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust

Yield: 2 pie crusts

Fool-Proof Flaky Butter Pie Crust

Making a homemade, flaky, all-butter pie crust from scratch is unbelievably easy with just a few tricks and tips, and it's so delicious that you'll never want to buy a pre-made pie crust again!


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 to 10 tablespoons ice water


  1. Pulse the butter, flour, and salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse sand, with some small lumps of butter (no larger than pea-sized) remaining.
  2. Feed one tablespoon of ice water at a time through the feed tube of the food processor, pulsing 4 to 5 times after each addition. Stop adding water when the mixture begins to form large clumps and pulls away from sides of the food processor bowl.
  3. Dump the mixture onto a work surface and push it together into a big lump using your hands. Quickly form the dough into two balls and flatten them into 4-inch disks. Place each disk in a plastic baggie or wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 4 days. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 3 to 4 minutes ahead of time so that it just starts to soften and is easier to roll.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the disk of dough from the center moving outward, turning it a quarter turn and repeating until the diameter of the whole crust is about 4 inches larger than the pie pan. If the edges of the crust start to split, pinch them together before continuing.
  5. Carefully transfer pie crust to the pie pan and continue with pie recipe as directed.


Remember...try not to handle the dough too much or your hands will warm it and start to melt the butter, resulting in a less-flaky crust.

Wrapped in an air-tight plastic baggie or several layers of plastic wrap, a disk of this pie dough may be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for a day or two before rolling out.

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More fool-proof desserts…

Snickers Cheesecake Bars
Snickers Cheesecake Bars ~ a crunchy Oreo crust is topped with a decadent layer of Snickers-studded cheesecake, drizzled with smooth chocolate and gooey caramel, and then sprinkled with salty chopped peanuts! | FiveHeartHome.com

Mini Pecan Pies
Mini Pecan Pies ~ flaky, tender crust requires no rolling and the nutty, sugary filling calls for only 5 ingredients, making these a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving dessert table! | FiveHeartHome.com

Apple Pie Caramel Apples {Disney Copycat Recipe}
Apple Pie Caramel Apples ~ tart green apples coated in chewy caramel, dipped in white chocolate, and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar are an uncanny copycat of Disney's famous treat...and they truly taste like apple pie! | FiveHeartHome.com

Β One-Bowl Coconut Cupcakes
One-Bowl Coconut Cupcakes ~ these easy-to-make cupcakes are extremely moist (thanks to coconut milk) and topped with tangy cream cheese frosting and sweetened coconut flakes | FiveHeartHome.com

Warm Chocolate Cobbler
Warm Chocolate Cobbler ~ a layer of moist chocolate cake floats on top of a caramel-streaked, coffee-laced, pudding-like layer of sauce | FiveHeartHome.com

See all of our RECIPES <<< here!

And see all of our PRINTABLES <<< here!

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  1. Looks perfect! I love my food processor for pulsing my pie crust. It cuts in the butter so perfectly and finely, way better than my hand-held pastry blender ever did. I know that people are intimidated by the idea of making pie crust. You’ve done a good job explaining how to do it, and people should also realize that any skill comes only with practice, practice, practice! πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Judy! I totally agree…I have much better pie crust outcomes using a food processor than I ever did by hand. I’m afraid I lack the patience to get everything to the just-right stage with a pastry blender! πŸ˜‰ And practice is definitely key. I think the hardest part to making pie crust for the first time is not feeling sure that everything “looks right” at the various stages, which is why I felt like it was important to include step-by-step pictures for this post. I’m glad to hear that you think that these directions looks like they’d be helpful to a newbie crust maker. πŸ™‚ I really appreciate you stopping by and commenting…have a great week!

  2. Debbie Caraballo says:

    OK, Samantha….I haven’t even attempted to make a pie crust for many years; therefore, I’ve never tried it in a processor. Maybe even I could get this recipe to turn out right?? Seriously, I’m a darn good cook, AND baker, but pie crust is something that never worked out for me. If I try it, I’ll let ya know! Thanks for posting – it’s very intriguing!

    Deb (we won’t talk about the Aggie game this time!)

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You can do it, Deb! Seriously, if you have a food processor, making a pie crust is cake. πŸ˜‰ Do let me know how things go if you end up trying it!

      And your Aggie comment made me laugh. I’m going to need to start taking blood pressure meds before the games if they keep playing such close ones! Too bad that one didn’t turn out in our favor…hopefully we didn’t lose our QB in the process. πŸ™

      Good luck with the pie crust!

  3. I love apple pie and I cannot wait to try your pie crust recipe Samantha! I really hate cleaning my food processor, but you are so right about it being the way to make crust.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Emily! The food processor makes throwing together a pie crust so much easier, doesn’t it? I don’t like cleaning my food processor either, so I usually end up sticking all of the parts in the dishwasher. They take up a lot of room, but somehow I always find a way to make them fit… πŸ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Samantha! You made the perfect pie dough!
    There really is nothing like a pie dough made with butter, and lots of it!
    Oh ~ and your pie is also quite beautiful :0) Such pretty scallops (my favorite!).
    Have a beautiful week,

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks so much, Suzanne! I totally agree…you just can’t beat the flavor of a buttery pie crust!

      I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment. Hope your week is going well!

  5. I for one am always intimidated by a good pie crust! Cannot wait to try this recipe, I’ve got a pie filling that’s in need of a good crust! I’d love for you to share this post with my Life Created link party; this week’s party is now live πŸ™‚


    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      There’s no reason to be intimidated by this crust, Erin…it will turn out great and go perfectly with your pie filling! Thanks so much for stopping by, and i appreciate the invite to your link party! πŸ™‚

  6. Samantha, this looks like the perfect pie crust! A lot of people are going to be happy to have this in time for Turkey Day! πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for joining us and sharing at Best of the Weekend! Pinning! Hope you have a happy weekend!

  7. Hi Samantha! You make a pie crust look easy! I can hardly wait to give it a try! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Felecia! Believe me, if I make it look easy, that just means that anyone can do it. πŸ˜‰ Good luck! Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I love your pie crust tips! Cold ingredients are a must, so much so that I even freeze my flour, it’s just one more way to keep in the cold! I’ve never made a crust with just butter. I like to use a mixture of shortening and lard, but this is something I really might like to try. Thanks for sharing on Strut Your Stuff!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      What a great idea to freeze the flour, too, Cheryl! I’m sure your pie crust turns out great…I hope you enjoy this all-butter version, too! πŸ™‚

  9. These are great tips, I also like to use the food processor, I used to do it by hand. I’ve also realized that refrigerating the crust is a must. I do tend to favor a hybrid pie crust as my last butter crust didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked but I think I’ll give it another try. πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Angela! Hybrid crusts definitely have great texture, but I’m an all-butter girl and have been really happy with how this one turns out, taste and texture-wise. Hope it works well for you if you end up trying it! πŸ™‚

  10. You just made the most perfect looking pie crust I’ve ever seen!! πŸ˜‰ Stunning!

  11. Dear Samantha, I love making homemade crusts. This sounds easy and looks perfect! Thank you for sharing. Just stopping by from Best of the Weekend. Blessings, Catherine xo

  12. You make it look so easy!! I’ve only made pie crust from scratch a few times, and I’m definitely pinning this for future reference! Thanks so much for sharing, Samantha : )

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Thanks, Liz, and you’re welcome! πŸ˜‰ I promise, it is easy! Plus, if you make a few batches in a row and pop them the disks of dough in your freezer, you have quick homemade pie crust any time you need it…

  13. I have your recipe pie crust chilling in my fridge right now. This is the second time I make a pie today, the first recipe I used was an epic fail….
    I am a beginner when it comes to making pie crust. Well honestly, this is the second time I attempt a crust. I followed the recipe to a tee. Wish me luck, as it is Christmas Eve and I have no choice to serve this pie good or horrible.
    I will keep you posted on my families feedback!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Valerie! I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a rough go with pie crusts, but I really hope that this recipe turned out well for you! If you followed the steps, I’m betting it did. πŸ˜‰ Hope you had a great Christmas!

      • It was a success! I was pretty proud of myself. Everyone liked the pie or at least they said they did. Either way it turned out. Thanks for the perfect instructions

        • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

          Your comment totally made my night, Valerie…I’m very happy to hear that your pie crust was a success! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know. πŸ™‚

  14. hi – thanks for the recipe & instructions. I’m an experienced cook & a pretty good baker, but I’ve never consistently turned out a good pie crust! My nemesis! I have a question – can I make this crust with regular salted butter? If so, would I need to reduce or eliminate the salt in the recipe?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Barbara! I hope this crust recipe ends up being the tasty and consistent one you’ve been searching for! Yes, you can use salted butter, and yes, you might want to cut back on the added salt just a tad to compensate for it. Salted butter can be made with varying amounts of salt depending on the brand, which is why I prefer to use unsalted and control how much salt I’m adding back…but salted butter will work just fine in pie crust. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the question and good luck with this recipe!

  15. This pie crust came out awesome! Thanks so much for an ALL Butter recipe! I dont like to use shortening and ur tips about keeping the butter & crust cold (not over working it w/the hands either) really helped. I used a pastry cutter cuz i dont have a big food processor. I also tripled the recipe to make 6 pie crusts at once I kept the butter in the freezer like u suggested and added it lil by little. It took some muscle but definitely was well worth it. This is my go to pie crust from now on. Thanks!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      You’re so very welcome, Stephanie…I’m very happy to hear that this pie crust is a keeper for you! As a bonus, I bet your arms are nice and toned after making 6 crusts at once by hand…wow! This recipe my favorite, too…butter makes everything better. πŸ˜‰ Hope you enjoy this recipe for many years to come…thanks for coming back to let me know that it was a hit!

  16. So I made this crust last night for my Pi Pie, and it was delicious! I’m not sure I added enough water, because instead of rolling out beautifully like yours it kind of crumbled and wouldn’t stay in one piece, so I just puzzle-pieced it into the pie tin, and it still tasted great. Also I was a little worried because I only have a mini-processor, so I just did it in shifts and stirred it all together at the end.
    Last year for Pi Day I used a regular all-shortening recipe, and now in the future I’ll definitely be using this butter one. So good!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So glad this was a hit, Quixii! I think pie crust making gets smoother/easier with practice, so I bet that your crust will turn out even better next time! πŸ™‚

      • Thank you! This was only the second time I’ve ever made pie crust, and people were super enthusiastic about it, so I can only imagine how good it can get. πŸ™‚

  17. Thanks so much … I’ve been struggling w/ my pie crust the past few years, so I’m eager to try this. I want to share w/ you how I deal “cutting in” butter w/ flour. (I used to have a cookie business, and my cut-out recipe called for cutting butter into flour … for the amount of dough I had to make, it was just too much work to do it by hand or w/ a pastry cutter.) Anyway, what I do is to take frozen butter and shred it into the flour, using the large holes on the grater. It works like a charm … it’s quick & makes the perfect size pieces. I’m thinking that will be quicker than cutting the butter into little squares (& then putting that into the food processor to add water to) … but I’ll have an extra pound on hand in case I’m wrong!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      What a great tip, Mari Ann…thank you for sharing that! I think your method would work in this recipe as well. πŸ™‚

  18. I don’t usually take the time for comments but this is the EASIEST and best pie crust to make!! I felt intimidated making a pie crust… not anymore!! I used my ninja blender and it came out beautiful! ! This is my new go to pie crust recipe!! Thank you! πŸ™‚

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So happy to hear it, Sarah! I made this recipe twice myself yesterday… πŸ˜‰ Thanks for taking the time to let me know that it was a hit. Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. I made this pie crust exactly as you showe; but made just one. I kept it in the refrigerator for 3 days before using it. Baked for a filling that was cooked seperately. It all just melted down to the bottom of the pie plate; and barely left any sides to hold the filling. I used it anyway and it tasted awful!! I used to make my own crust so was hoping it would turn out.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Janis! I’m so sorry to hear that this pie crust didn’t work out for you. Honestly, the only comments I’ve ever gotten from people who had trouble with this recipe said they either halved or doubled the recipe. Since pie crust can be finicky, I guess this recipe just requires following the directions exactly. At any rate, I hope you have better luck if you decide to try it again! πŸ™‚

  20. OMG! I have never made a scratch pie crust. And this recipe came out perfect. I can’t believe how fast it came together. Followed the directions exactly and used to make mini apple and cherry pies. Deliciousness! The crust is so buttery and flakey just the way I love it. I will never buy another pre made crust again. This recipe is a new addition to my collection. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Yay, yay, yay! So happy to hear that this recipe was a success for you, Tonya! Thanks for taking the time to let me know, happy pie making, and hope you have a great weekend!

  21. Hi there I am hoping to try your recipe I have done a few others and failed miserably I was wondering if I make yours can i roll it out and form in my pie Pan then can I then freeze it for A-day or 2 until I’m ready to blind back then fill/bake?

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Yes, Janelle, that should work! I haven’t baked this crust from frozen, though. If you’re only making it a day or two ahead of time, I’d probably just refrigerate it rather than freezing it. If you do decide to freeze it, I think I’d let it thaw in the fridge before baking. Hope that helps!

  22. Paula Gravley says:

    The first Thanksgiving that Mike and I were married, I tried to make pies to take to my in-laws for Thanksgiving and I spent most of the time crying! I could not remember how to make a pie crust like my grandma had done. I started buying the crusts from the store after that and gave up.
    This is the first pie crust that I have tried in 11 years and it worked beautifully!! Thank you so much for the great instructions and tips! We are having Thanksgiving with my in-laws again this year, and this time I am so excited to bring pies with a homemade crust and not from a package! Yeah!!!
    Thanks again!!!

  23. I have never made a pie crust before last night.
    .but due to allergies in the family i needed an all butter crust. This is such a winner! I thought I’d ruined its flakeiness when i had to reroll my first attempt (it stuck to the rolling mat) but both crusts turned out beautifully flakey! my daughter was so excited to be able to have pie with everyone today! Thanks!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      So happy to hear that, Becca! I’m glad your daughter was able to enjoy this pie crust. πŸ™‚

  24. I love this recipe, but there was no mention what temp or how long to bake. I found other sites which called for 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes. I will never use another recipe. Thank you
    LaBelle, Florida

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Sally! I’m thrilled to hear that you’re going to make this your go-to pie crust from here on out! I didn’t include baking time/temp for this recipe because that typically depends on what you’re making with the crust. For example, when I blind bake this crust for pecan pie, I follow the baking directions given in the pie recipe, which means a different baking time and temperature than if I were to lay the same crust on top of a chicken pot pie and bake it. So you were smart to find a recipe to fit the purpose of your crust and follow those baking instructions. πŸ™‚ Hope that helps and happy pie making!

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