Crack Pie — This 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, but I promise the effort is worth it! 

slice of crack pie on a white plate

Milk Bar Crack Pie Recipe

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.

slice of crack pie on a white plate

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 cornstarch) across two pies.

I found myself digging my fork into the pie plate 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.

Milk Bar crack pie in a glass pie plate

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.

slice of crack pie on a blue plate

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, and 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.

milk bar pie in pie plate. one slice is missing

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.

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

slice of crack pie on a white plate

What’s in Crack Pie? 

To make this Milk Bar pie recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter 
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg yolks
  • All-purpose flour
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Kosher salt 
  • Corn powder
  • Milk powder
  • Heavy cream
  • Vanilla extract

momofuku crack pie in a glass pie plate

How to Make Crack Pie

I’ve given very detailed instructions in the recipe card below on how to make this Milk Bar crack pie recipe. Below is just a brief overview of the process: 

  1. Make the oat cookie crust. Make it like you would a normal cookie dough, spread it out onto a baking tray, then bake. 
  2. Let the oat cookie cool completely, then pulse in a food processor with a little butter and salt. 
  3. Press the oat cookie mixture into a pie plate. 
  4. Make the pie filling. Whisk together the filling ingredients. Pour into the prepared pie shell. 
  5. Bake the pie. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes, then open the oven door and reduce the baking temperature to 325F (leave the pie in the oven while you do this). When the oven temperature reads 325°, close the door and finish baking the pies for 5 minutes.
  6. Let the pie cool. Let the crack pie cool completely before slicing (otherwise it’ll be too runny and won’t slice well). 

slice of crack pie on a white plate

Do I Have to Use Corn Powder? 

Because I was halving the Momofuku crack pie recipe, 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.

How to Store Crack Pie

This Momofuku crack pie should be stored in the fridge. It will last up to 5 days. You can also wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 3 months. To thaw, set in the fridge overnight. 

slice of crack pie on a white plate

Tips for Making Crack Pie

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.

slice of crack pie on a white plate

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.

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.

Crack Pie — This 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, but I promise the effort is worth it! 

Crack Pie — This 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, but I promise the effort is worth it! 

Crack Pie
Yield: 20

Crack Pie

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Total Time 5 hours

This 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, but I promise the effort is worth it! 

Ingredients

Pie

  • 1/4 cup 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

Instructions

Oat Cookie Crust:

  1. 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.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula. On a lower speed, add the egg to incorporate.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake the oat cookie for 15 minutes. Cool completely before using in the crack pie recipe.

Pie Filling:

  1. 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.
  2. Add the melted butter to the mixer and paddle until all the dry ingredients are moist.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Assemble the Pies:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. Divide the oat crust evenly over two 10-inch pie tins.
  4. 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.
  5. 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°F for 15 minutes. During this time, the crack pie will still be very jiggly, but should become golden brown on top.
  6. At 15 minutes, open the oven door and reduce the baking temperature to 325°F. 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°F, close the door and finish baking the pies for 5 minutes.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Just before serving, finish with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
  10. Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 780Total Fat: 47gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 313mgSodium: 663mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 1gSugar: 69gProtein: 10g

More Homemade Pie Recipes: 

Crustless Fresh Strawberry Pie — FAST, super EASY, no-mixer dessert that’s perfect for summer entertaining, picnics, or potlucks!! Somewhere in between pie, cake, and blondies is what you get with this FABULOUS recipe!

The Best French Silk Pie — This French silk pie is made with an Oreo cookie crust. The filling is a cross between chocolate mousse and chocolate cheesecake, and it’s so addicting!

Sugar Cream Pie — This sugar cream pie reminds me a bit of crème brûlée. The filling is custard-like, and when topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon it’s irresistable! 

Crustless Cranberry Pie —A FAST, super EASY, no-mixer dessert that’s perfect for holiday entertaining!! Somewhere in between pie, cake, and blondies is what you get with this FESTIVE recipe! Take advantage of those fresh cranberries!!

Caramel Apple Crumble Pie — Apple pie meets apple crumble in this easy caramel apple crumble pie recipe. This apple pie is dense, rich, and is packed with caramel apple flavor!

Coconut Custard Magic Pie — A one-bowl, no-mixer pie with a short ingredients list that is SO easy to make and forms three different LAYERS while it bakes!! Mindlessly easy, goofproof, and coconut lovers will go crazy for this MAGIC pie!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie — The filling tastes like the center of an underbaked chocolate chip COOKIE!! Gooey perfection! Easy, rich, decadent, extremely CHOCOLATY and you can use a frozen pie crust!!

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