Crack Pie

If you haven’t tried Crack Pie you haven’t lived. This insanely tasty pie is a gooey, rich, buttery slice of heaven. Baked in an oaty crust that packs a punch in itself, you’ll be coming back for your second slice before you’ve even finished your first.

Crack Pie is the brain child of Christina Tosi, pastry chef at the famous Momofuku Milk Bar in Manhattan and boy oh boy do I want to shake her hand. Reminiscent of a Chess Pie (check out my fave Salty Honey Chess Pie here) a Crack Pie starts off with an oat cookie crust. Sounds simple right, well no, because Christina insists you bake the cookie yourself. Now, the lazy girl in me wanted to just sack this step off and pulverise a packet of Hob Nobs in the food processor but a little voice in my head told me to sack up and do it properly. I’m glad I listened.

First of all you have to whip up an oaty cookie dough, spread that sticky goodness on a lined baking tray and bake until golden brown. Then, you smash it to smithereens with a rolling pin, or blitz it in a food processor if you’re feeling less violent. Mix it together with even more butter and sugar before finding its final form as a delicious pie crust, pressed into place with your greedy fingers.

Next up is the ooey, gooey, buttery filling. This is a rich sucker but damn, is it addictive. Melted butter is mixed with sugar, egg yolks, double cream, milk powder and corn flour (the original recipe calls for Corn Powder ((not polenta, this is too course)) which I could not find for love nor money so I’ve made it easy for us Brits and gone with good old fashioned corn four.) before being poured into the crust and baked until jiggly. Yum!

Once cool the hard part comes, leaving it in the fridge until set. That means over night! I know, I know, you gotta try to resist.

There you have it, a simplified version of Milk Bars famous Crack Pie. If you ever find yourself in New York (or any of their other locations, I’m sure there’s loads!) you just gotta try the real thing. And don’t forget to grab some cereal milk on the side!

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Crack Pie

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Units Scale

For the Cookie Crust:

  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 75g brown sugar, divided
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 1 large, free range egg
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4tsp fine salt

For the Filling:

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1tbsp skimmed milk powder
  • 25g cornflour
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 4 large, free range egg yolks
  • 1tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 175°c. Line 13×9″ baking tray with parchment.  Combine 85g of the butter, 60g brown sugar, and the caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the speed on medium low beat the mixture until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.  Add the egg and beat until pale and fluffy. Add in the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well incorporated.  Turn the cookie dough out onto the prepared baking tray and press out evenly to edges of the pan. Bake until golden, around 20 minutes. Cool completely

Crumble the cooled cookie into the bowl of a food processor, add the remaining 40g butter and 15g brown sugar and pulse until the mixture sticks together in your fingers. Turn the dough out into a 9″ pie plate and press it evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of the plate. It’s almost impossible to make this look neat so don’t worry if it looks a bit rustic.

To make the filling mix the sugars, cornflour and milk powder together in a medium bowl until well blended. Add the melted butter, whipping cream, egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix until there are no lumps and the filling is smooth. 

Place the pie crust onto a baking tray and pour the filling into the crust. Bake the pie for 30 minutes at 175°c then reduce the temperature to 125°c and bake for a further 20 minutes.  You want the filling to be just about set round the edges but still jiggles in the centre. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge to chill overnight.

To serve dust the top of the pie with icing sugar. 


If your pie isn’t quite set after the 20 minutes at 125°c just keep checking on it every 5 minutes until it’s ready. Mine took around 30 minutes extra but every oven is different.

This pie keeps well covered in the fridge for up to 5 days, if it lasts that long!


  1. Paul Austin
    January 31, 2021 / 5:30 pm

    “Corn powder” is Easy to find! It’s called cornmeal here in the uk! Just make sure you get the fine ground variety!

    • February 1, 2021 / 11:19 am

      Oh, I’ve never seen it in the shops. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

      • Annmartina
        February 5, 2021 / 9:13 pm

        No it’s not cornmeal. It is freeze-dried corn that has been whizzed in a blender until very fine.

        Milk Bar has changed the name of this pie to milk Bar pie.

      • Mel Mackie
        April 5, 2021 / 6:47 pm

        Sainsbo sells it in the world food aisle, very cheap

  2. Darinda
    February 1, 2021 / 11:16 am

    Hi this sounds delicious! Will be making this very soon! You mention the issue with substituting cornflour,but the ingredients list doesn’t include any – how much do you add please? Thanks 😀

    • February 1, 2021 / 11:21 am

      Haha, oh my!! Proof reading missed that one! It’s 25g added with the dry ingredients. I’ve amended the recipe, thanks for the heads up 🙂

      Katie xoxo

  3. Yvonne
    February 1, 2021 / 6:53 pm

    Polenta is corn meal, I use fine polenta for gluten free cake

    • February 2, 2021 / 6:52 am

      Hi Yvonne, even the fine ground polenta is too course for this recipe. You’d have to use Polenta flour to get the same result. I often use Polenta to make GF cakes, it’s delicious.

  4. Michele
    February 4, 2021 / 3:13 pm

    Very unhealthy stuff. There’s so much obesity in the USA, not good

    • February 4, 2021 / 3:50 pm

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for the constructive criticism, I’ll be sure to pass your observations onto Milk Bar, haha. Nobody is suggesting you eat something this decadent everyday but a balanced diet is just that, balanced. You can’t have balance without a treat every now and again.

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