Crack Pie

You read the title correctly.

This is a Christina Tosi recipe and I surmise this pie and the real thing have a fair amount in common.

The addictive quality, thinking about it when you shouldn’t be, and wondering when you’re going to get it again are likely common themes for both.

I can say definitely that all rings true with regard to crack pie.


Like all of Christina’s recipes, there are multiple steps and recipes within recipes but the results were worth it.

First, let’s talk about the crust. It’s starts as a sheetpan-style giant oatmeal cookie slab that’s made from butter, brown and white sugar, an egg yolk, flour, and oats. The big cookie slab is spread about 1/4- inch thick onto a sheetpan, baked for 15 minutes, cooled, and then destroyed.

That’s right, after cooling, the cookie is crumbled up with a bit more brown sugar and more butter, and packed into a pie plate as the crust.

After packing the crust in, I made the filling, halving her recipe for the filling. I made the full amount of cookie (crust) because the extra was easily tossed into lunches and gobbled as snacks but I didn’t need two whole pies laying around so halved the filling amount to make “just” one pie.

Too much temptation being around that much Crack otherwise.

The filling is made with heavy cream, 4 egg yolks for each pie filling (8 in the full recipe) vanilla extract, white and brown sugar, milk powder, and she also called for 1/4 cup of corn powder (finely pulverized corn flour, not corn starch). across two pies.

Because I was halving it, this meant 1/8th cup or 2 tablespoons corn powder and rather than ordering or sourcing it at Whole Paycheck, I simply used 1 1/2 tablespoon King Arthur all-purpose flour and things turned out just fine.

It must be all the sugar and fat in this pie that kept me from missing those two tablespoons of corn powder because there is so much (butter) going on already.

Butter in the cookie to make the crust, then more butter adding when crumbling and packing the crust down into the pie plate, more butter in the filling.

And I sure wasn’t complaining.

I found myself digging my fork into the pieplate to just “even out the pieces” and then whoops it’s not even, better have another bite and then whoops it’s 12:32am and I can’t stop thinking about this pie, better go see what my own version of crack is up to.

If you are not a fan of sweet desserts, this is not for you.

If you are not a fan of fatty, buttery, rich desserts, this is not for you.

If you’re not a fan of either of those things, you’re reading the wrong blog anyway.

There’s a reason that Momofuku Milk Bar sells these pies for $44 each.

They are a PITA to make, the cost of the raw ingredients per pie, even if you go el cheapo and buy store-brand multiple sticks of butter, sugar, nearly a dozen eggs, heavy cream, milk powder there’s probably at least $15 dollars worth of just raw ingredients in it (you can’t just buy a quarter cup of milk powder or two tablespoons corn powder or 3/4 cup of heavy cream; you need to buy the whole carton, package, and unless you have those things laying around, you need to factor them in, too)

Not to mention few hours worth of time and lots of labor and dishes. I had every sheet pan, mixing bowl, spatula, and measuring cup I own dirtied up for this pie.

Would I make this again? Yes, definitely and with the changes I noted in the recipe section. I’d even consider using a store-bought graham cracker crust and just making the filling because that’s very do-able and not too time-consuming for the average person trying to juggle life, family, work, school, and not spend 3 hours in the kitchen to make one dessert.

All in all this baby is sweet, creamy, and will make you moan and groan. It’s full of texture from the crunchy oat cookie, complemented with the buttery smooth filling.

Each bite is crack-like, indeed.

Crack Pie from the Momofoku Milkbar cookbook - There's a reason this pie has it's name. And it definitely lives up to the hype! (the pie sells for $44.00 at Momofoku's!)

I can only imagine the Google search hits my site is going to get after this post.

Crack Pie from the Momofoku Milkbar cookbook - There's a reason this pie has the name it has and it definitely lives up to the hype!

Crack Pie

The recipe lives up to its name and everyone should try this pie at least once. It’s a fairly involved recipe from Christina Tosi’s Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook, as are all her recipes. I wrote extensively in the blog post about the changes I made to the recipe and what I would do in the future. Make sure to thoroughly read the post and recipe a few times before beginning.



1/4 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 recipe Oat Cookie (recipe follows)
1 tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 recipe Crack Pie Filling (recipe follows)
confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Oat Cookie
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c. light brown sugar, packed
3 tbsp. white sugar, granulated
1 large egg yolk
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats
1/8 tsp. baking powder
pinch baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Crack Pie Filling
1 c. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 c. white sugar, granulated
3/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. corn powder (corn powder is defined as freeze-dried corn, ground to a fine powder)
1/4 c. milk powder
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 large egg yolks


To prepare the Oat Cookie crust, preheat the oven to 350°. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula. On a lower speed, add the egg to incorporate. Increase the speed back up to a medium-high for 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar granules fully dissolve and the mixture is a pale white color. On a lower speed, add the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix 60-75 seconds until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Your dough will still be a slightly fluffy, fatty mixture in comparison to your average cookie dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.

Pam spray and line a quarter sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat. Plop the oat cookie dough in the center of the pan and with a spatula, spread it out until it is 1/4″ thick. The dough won’t end up covering the entire pan, this is okay. Bake the oat cookie for 15 minutes. Cool completely before using in the crack pie recipe.

To prepare the pie filling, mix the dry ingredients for the filling using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed. Be sure to keep your mixer on low speed during the entire process of preparing the filling; if you try to mix on any higher than a low speed, you will incorporate too much air in the following steps and your pie will not be dense and gooey – the essence of the crack pie. Add the melted butter to the mixer and paddle until all the dry ingredients are moist. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and mix until the white from the cream has completely disappeared into the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the egg yolks to the mixer, paddling them in to the mixture just to combine. Be careful not to aerate the mixture. Use the filling immediately.

To assemble the pies, preheat the oven to 350°. Put the oat cookie, brown sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse it on and off until the cookie is broken down into a wet sand. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can fake it till you make it and crumble the oat cookie diligently with your hands.) Transfer the cookie crumbs to a bowl and, with your hands, knead the butter and ground cookie mixture until the contents of the bowl are moist enough to knead into a ball. If it is not moist enough to do so, gently melt an additional 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and knead it into the oat crust mixture. Divide the oat crust evenly over 2- 10″ pie tins.

Using your fingers and the palm of your hand, press the oat cookie crust firmly into both 10-inch pie shells. Make sure the bottom and the walls of the pie shells are evenly covered. Use the pie shells immediately or, wrapped well in plastic, store the pie shells at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Place both pie shells on a sheet pan. Divide the crack pie filling evenly over both crusts (the filling should fill the crusts 3/4 way full) and bake at 350° for 15 minutes. During this time, the crack pie will still be very jiggly, but should become golden brown on top. At 15 minutes, open the oven door and reduce the baking temperature to 325°. Depending on your oven this will take 5-10 minutes – keep the pies in the oven during this process. When the oven temperature reads 325°, close the door and finish baking the pies for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the pies should still be jiggly in the bull’s eye centers, but not in the outer center circle. If the pies are still too jiggly, leave them in the oven an additional 5 minutes.

Gently remove the baked pies from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool at room temperature. You can speed up the cooling process by transferring the pies to the fridge or freezer if you’re in a hurry. Freeze your pie for as little as 3 hours or up to overnight to condense the filling for a dense final product – the signature of a perfectly executed Crack Pie. Just before serving finish with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar

Recipe Notes and Tips:

Recipe Notes and Items I Would or Did Change:

I would halve the entire recipe, not just the filling portion, right off the bat (no one needs two of these laying around, nor do you “need” the extra cookie portion; unless you have the freezer space for it or company or are training for a triathlon, halving is my recommendation)

I would use a 9-inch, not 10-inch, pie plate as she recommends. I felt it was just “barely” enough filling and don’t attribute it to halving the recipe. I also used more than half the cookie for the crust and feel a 9-inch would be better.

I would underbake the cookie crust by about 25-30% of what she recommends (take it from 15 minutes to about 10 minutes) so that it crumbles easier and packs into the pie plate easier; plus it gets baked a second time anyway as part of the pie.

I would consider buying a store-bought graham cracker pie crust and just making Christina’s filling if I wanted to take this recipe from 2 hours of standing on my feet to 15 minutes by just making the filling.

I didn’t miss the corn powder and would continue to use my 1 1/2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour because I am frugal, didn’t want to source it, and don’t want to store a bag of corn powder in my already maxed out cupboard space for the occasional one tablespoon use of it.

Tosi recommends baking the entire pie, crust and filling together, for 15 minutes at 350F, opening the oven door and allowing the oven to cool to 325F, and then baking for about 5 more minutes after the oven temperature has reached 325F (about 20-25 minutes of total baking time). I needed to bake mine for about 31-34 minutes of total baking time in order for the center to set (at least one-third longer than she called for which is highly significant and to be noted). Also I was only baking one pie; if I had two in the oven, it would have taken even longer.

Only Eats

Crack Pie Fun Links

Here’s a 5 minute video of Martha Stewart visiting Momofuku Milk Bar. The video quickly shows a variety of their desserts and in the second half of the video, Christina and David make Crack Pie (in two minutes!) for Martha. It was fun to watch them cooking, hear their voices, see their technique and I watched this before I made my Crack Pie and it was immensely helpful. A picture (or video) is always worth a thousand words.

This person cooked and blogged about every single recipe in the Momofuku cookbook (the savory version of the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook). How they do not weigh 900 pounds is a mystery. Here is their blog post on Crack Pie

Almost Bourdain’s post about Crack Pie with pretty step-by-step pictures

This post is part of my participation in the Milk Bar Monday’s Group.

My last post with the group was Cinnamon Bun Pie, which I took ample shortcuts for and this doughy hot mess is a 15 minute project, tops.

My most recipe inspiration from Christina Tosi was my Buttery Toasted Captain Crunchies. She makes something similar with Corn Flakes, or Fruity Pebbles, and I tweaked her recipe and used Cap’n Crunch. They taste like buttered toast much more so than Cap’n Crunch, are uber crunchy, and highly addictive.

See what the other Milk Bar Monday ladies created this week:

Audra from The Baker Chick

Cassie from Bake Your Day

Erin from Big Fat Baker

Jacqueline from The Dusty Baker

Krissy from Krissy’s Creations

Meagan from Scarletta Bakes (the recipe for Crack Pie is on Meagan’s site today)

Nicole from Sweet Peony

Follow the Milk Bar Monday ladies on Twitter

Do you make pie?

Do you make your own crust? Do you have a favorite crust or filling recipe?

The last pie I made and blogged about was this vegan, gluten free, no-bake pumpkin pie

I am more of a fan of pie filling than whole pies, because most crust because tends to be boring and dry and don’t prefer to consume dry and boring calories.

When I think of pie, this caramel maple pumpkin smoothie tastes like pumpkin pie filling. All the “good” parts and flavors of pumpkin pie, no dry crusty parts involved.

These caramel apple bars (gluten free) or caramel peanut butter and jelly bars (gluten free) are my idea of apple “pie”. The crust is flavorful, moist, there’s peanut butter involved, and it’s a one-pan, ten minute project.

One of the reason I don’t make pies is because they are cumbersome and secondly I am take-it-or-leave-it with most pie crust. Although Crack Pie was very cumbersome to make, the crust was phenomenal and the filling was to-die-for, and for a special occasion I could envision making it again.

Have a great week and thanks for the KitchenAid 7-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway entries


285 comments on “Crack Pie”

  1. Thanks for the feedback. I ended up making 2 of these yesterday(we entertained 8 for dinner). It was a huge hit. Y0u’re spot on in recommending a 9 in pie pan. I had a bit of a challenge getting the pie crust spread evenly into the pan (the crust kept sticking to my fingers) Until I used a spoon to press it in-that worked pretty well. Also used your flour substitution. As a few others have noted mine turned out darker, but the taste is…well crackish! Great blog post!

    I write a wine blog and found the perfect bottle of wine to enjoy with this, so I’ll be linking back to this page!

    • So glad that the pies were a big hit! Tthat is awesome that you made two! And glad my tips for the flour, pie size and it all worked out so well for you. Thanks in advance for the linkback :)

    • put plastic bags on your hands to press out cookie crusts… it helps a little!

  2. This pie recipe looks & sounds delicious, but…I don’t see what’s amusing about naming all these food dishes with the word “crack” in it – better than crack, crack pie, crack cookies……I understand what the meaning is supposed to be, but it makes me cringes a bit & not really want to eat something that is compared as being like, or better than an ilegal street drug that destroys lives & has nothing good about it? I’m not trying to be rude or critical towards you, I just don’t get it.

    • I didn’t name the pie. If you notice, it’s a famous pie I made from the Momofuku Milkbar Cookbook of the famed Momofuku Milkbar restaurant in NYC. Christina Tosi named it, not me. I just made it.

      • No, I’m sorry, I didn’t see the part where someone else named it. But that really doesn’t make a difference to me. Honestly, I mean no offense to you personally, & I’m not criticizing you, you have some great recipes on your pages. This was just around the 4th or 5th recipe I’d seen in 2 days with the word “crack” in the title, so I just happened to comment on your page.. And I didn’t mean it in a critical way, I just really don’t get it & I wish someone could explain to me what the appeal is in that name? It doesn’t matter who named it, everyone seems to think it’s cute & the recipe becomes even more popular, even if it isn’t that good – this pie sounds amazing, btw, I’m thinking of it for Easter :)
        I had a kid ask me why it’s ok to eat crack cookies, if drugs are bad for you. I think people just don’t really think about the meaning behind the name, maybe they just weren’t around when that drug was as pervasive as meth & destroyed so many families. It might be a different thought if we were serving out families ‘Magic Meth Mashed Potatoes’, ‘Better Than Meth Muffins’, or picture handing your kid a cookie & saying ‘here you go sweetie, have a ‘Monster Meth Cookie’ ,I wonder if those recipes would go viral?
        Seriously, please don’t take it personally, just something to think about. I’ve been silently following your pages & like a lot of your stuff. I don’t know if you can delete my comments if you don’t want them there, or if I can do it if you want me to – but I will if you let me know.

      • This is a very strange comment. If you hate the name, why not call it something else..? Personal issues, I guess. Great looking pie!

    • in the 80’s there waas a “better than sex” cake… and now there are all the drug references with food. you are right and people should think before they name these things. but face it – Momofuku Custard Pie doesn’t sound as good!!! hahaha.

    • Hey JL, lighten up for God’s sake. Rename the damn pie if it makes you feel better. Seriously!

  3. I just got her cookbook as a gift for Valentine’s Day and I have to say I was like whoa those are some complicated recipes! I made the cornflake marshmallow cookies and had the same too-flat and overbaked results, so I’m glad it wasn’t me doing something wrong! I will definitely want to try this one out, though. Pretty much everyone loves the Crack Pie from what I’ve seen!

    • I know, have you ever seen so many long, complicated drawn out recipes? LOL Well I have but hers are right up there! And yes with those cookies. I believe it has to do with commercial vs. home kitchen equipment and also baking on a scale 10x as big as what we make. Sometimes you just can’t quadruple a recipe or make 1/10th of the recipe, even if you adjust all other measurements; baking just doesn’t always work that way, and I believe those things are partly to do with the many home-based (failed) or very iffy results. And on top of that, not quite sure if she divulges ALL her trade secrets in the book :) But this pie is worth taking the time to make!

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  8. Hello,
    I’m using the small ( mini ) store bought graham cracker crusts …anyone know how long I should bake them ??

  9. I make my own “graham cracker” style crust using a shortcut of store bought cookies instead of graham crackers. Vanilla wafers are a good choice. I really like pecan sandies. The bargain brand oatmeal worked great for this recipe.

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  11. I don’t know if I’ll ever make the filling but I’m thinking that crumb crust would be better than any I’ve had. I detest graham crackers and vanilla wafers are too sweet. I’ve been using the store bought shortbread crust for cheesecakes but it’s too sweet for some pies. I love oats and I could control the sugar in this crust, sounds like a winner.

  12. i rarely make pies but this one reminds me of my daddy’s favorite custard pie…. i will try to make this one, but i can tell you that the 1/4 cup of milk powder is superfluous… sounds sinfully delicious….

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  14. The reason for the longer cooking time and the brown tops is because of the change to the 9 inch pie plate. It makes the filing thicker which means it’s needs longer to set. So long that the top is turning brown, for some. I think sticking with the 10 inch plate would be best, just plan for a thin crust and thin filling. It should set in the time suggested and no brown top. I’m going to try that next time.

  15. My stand mixer didn’t come with a paddle attachment. How important is that, do you think? I’d love to try to make this, but I don’t want to have to buy special equipment for it. Thanks!

    • Most stand mixers really only have one main attachment, the paddle attachment. The other 2 common ones are dough hook or the wire whisk, but you do need the paddle attachment for 99% of all baking recipes you’d make with a stand mixer. Maybe you already have it, and it’s a terminology thing, which I am thinking it is.

      • I have a Sunbeam, and it only came with the wire whisk.

      • Wow, not sure what kind of baking they think you’ll be able to do, but in general, you’ll probably want to get the paddle attachment. It’s what you’ll use to make cookies, cakes, muffins, quickbreads, etc.

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  17. I just tried this recipe and I would love to know how you got that fluffy, yellow consistency!! Mine turned out yellow on the top and much like caramel in the middle. Nothing like your beautiful pictures. It must be the baking time. Any tips for getting a fluffy pie?

    • It’s very hard to trouble-shoot what someone did in their kitchen and so it’s hard for me to really say what happened. In generally fluffiness occurs in baking when you really BEAT and whip things like crazy, so make sure you mix over and beyond what you even think you need to do, use a stand mixer, and if yours was yellow and caramely that sounds like over-baking to me. There’s a fine line with this pie of being done and not, and sounds like you crossed into the over-baking realm. Since this is not my original recipe and is Christina Tosi’s, email her! Or call Momofuku in NYC! I would :)

      • Thanks! I definitely want to try again. I’m going to put my mixer on turbo and see where that gets me. I love a fluffy pie! Kudos for making such a beautiful one… This recipe is clearly for experts only.

      • Yea you need to MIX this batter from what I remember from making it. You really have to aerate it and get it whipped!

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  21. Yesssss, I’ve always wanted to make this pie. This and her cornbread cookies. She’s a baking goddess.

  22. Momofuku crack pie is SO good. Everytime i’m in NY I eat a slice.
    One tip that I noticed just from your pics, is that next time you make this you may want to refrigerate it for a few hours before eating, as crack pie should be kept refrigerated. The consistency should be that of a thick lemon bar.
    Enjoy your crack pie!!

    • Thanks and I did.

      Sometimes things warm up and soften a bit in the time it takes to get them from baking dish to plate to getting those perfect images with the camera under hot lights or in warm rooms.

  23. Hey, I learned something today! Corn flour = corn masa.

    This looks soooooo good. I have been reading about this pie. I think I need to make it, seeing as I don’t expect to hit NYC anytime soon.
    Thanks for the recipe!

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