Crack Pie Bars

Milk Bar's Famous Crack Pie made into bars

These irresistible little Crack Pie Bars are based on the famous Milk Bar Crack Pie ~ but mine are so much quicker and easier to make. And don’t worry, they’re equally as addictive!

Crack Pie Bars, modeled after the famous Milk Bar Crack Pie, only soooo much easier!

Crack Pie Bars are utterly irresistible

They’re inspired by NYC eatery Milk Bar’s famous Crack Pie, which caused quite a stir when it debuted several years ago. I’ve made that pie and I can tell you that the recipe is almost absurdly complicated, so even though the restaurant posts it on their website, you hardly ever see it done.

I’ve winnowed it down to a more manageable process for you, without losing any of that infamous charm. If you’ve never had it, it’s a little tough to describe…the experience is chewy, toffee-sweet, wet-moist…sticky, silky, and yes, addictive. To be honest I wouldn’t recommend making the pie, it’s more trouble than it’s worth, but these pie bars are a solid go for it, if only to see the look on your family’s/friends’/guests’ faces when you tell them what’s for dessert.

Crack Pie Bars are patterend after Milk Bar's famous Crack Pie --- only they're so much easier to make!

what makes these crack pie bars so darned amazing? 

Well, they’re a perfect storm of buttery sweet taste and sensuous ‘mouth feel’, for one thing. It’s what we’re all programmed to crave, it’s in our dna, so no use resisting. They’re a little different than your ordinary sweet dessert, too. None of the usual suspects…no chocolate, or caramel, or marshmallow — they’re kind of a hipster version of chess pie, and chess pie, if you’re not familiar, is a kind of pecan-less pecan pie. Only the crust in this case is  made from crushed oatmeal cookies. I told you it was tough to describe, you’ll just have to whip up a batch to see for yourself.

A stack of irresistible Crack Pie Bars!

I can attest that these truly are impossible to resist, I just ate 3 full squares, one quarter inch sliver at a time…at least I got my exercise going back and forth from the kitchen.

An easier version of Milk Bar's famous Crack Pie

If you try these, let me know what you think — do they live up to the hype?

Crack Pie Bars are utterly addictive

“Thank you SO SO SO much for this recipe. I LOVE crack pie but hate the hassle of making it. This recipe is not only easier but way more reliably turns out well — plus, everything tastes better in bar form anyway. I’ve made it several times and everyone always loves them!

~ darcy
An easier version of Milk Bar's famous Crack Pie
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3.22 from 147 votes

Crack Pie Bars

These innocent little Crack Pie Bars are based on the famous Milk Bar Crack Pie ~ they’re much easier to make, but equally as addictive!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Author Sue Moran

Ingredients

crust

  • 15 plain oatmeal cookies (to make 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar do not pack
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks, well broken up with a fork

garnish

  • powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Set oven to 350F
  • Lightly spray a 9×9 square baking pan. You can line it with parchment for easy removal later for cutting, but this is optional.
  • First make the crust. I crushed my cookies in my food processor. I wanted them to be super fine. You can do them any way you like, as long as you end up with 1 1/2 cups finely crushed cookies.
  • Mix the crumbs with the melted butter and sugar and blend well. I do this right in the processor.
  • Pat the crust firmly into the bottom of your pan.
  • To make the filling,, cream the butter and sugars together until well combined. Work out any lumps in the brown sugar as you go.
  • Blend in the rest of the ingredients and mix until everything is well incorporated.
  • Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325F and open the door until it gets there.
  • Close the oven door again and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the filling is golden and no longer very jiggly. (It can be a little jiggly in the center, but not all over)
  • Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until completely chilled. Dust with powdered sugar, slice into small squares and enjoy.

Cook’s notes

*Recipe adapted from Milk Bar
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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72 Comments

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  • Reply
    Suzanne
    April 6, 2020 at 11:40 am

    These look delicious, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    Timberly Edmonds
    March 12, 2020 at 4:42 am

    Making this now powder milk is $10 at the store near me i found coconut powder milk for 99¢ going to try to double it let u know hoe it goes

  • Reply
    cynthia
    December 18, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Can’t wait to try this, but wasn’t able to find oatmeal cookies without raisins at the store. I’ll try ordering online but was wondering if you suggest iced or not, and crunchy or soft? Some name brands would also be helpful for my search. Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 18, 2019 at 4:32 pm

      The ideal cookies would be crunchy Cynthia, and not iced. But I say use what you can find, even if they have raisins.

      • Reply
        Cynthia
        December 21, 2019 at 12:10 am

        Awesome, thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Ellise Peake
    August 27, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Sue,
    Love your comments… hilarious! I’m a long time baker and look forward to trying these. They remind me of shoo fly pie without the molasses. I will let you know how it works out.

    • Reply
      Sue
      August 28, 2019 at 6:13 am

      Have fun Ellise!

  • Reply
    Charlene
    August 22, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Do you put all the cookie mixture on the bottom? Will it bake up through the liquid to form a top crust?
    Charli

  • Reply
    Amie Powers
    January 30, 2019 at 1:30 am

    I’m curious if anyone has tried to double the recipe? The small pan disappears so fast at my house, haha!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 30, 2019 at 6:53 am

      I haven’t tried Amie, I’ve always found this amount to be all I can take!

  • Reply
    Amie Powers
    January 26, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Hi! Tonight I made this recipe for the second time in a week because my family loved them, but when I made the filling it was thick, almost like cookie dough minus the flour. I noticed you said “pour the filling”, I had to spoon it out and spread it. Also, my final product didn’t quite have the layering yours does and it came out of the oven very runny , any thoughts on why it could be different? It still tasted amazing and I will continue to make it, the first batch was gone in one day! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Brenda L Baker
    December 23, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Both you and Christina Tosi put a tiny amount of milk powder in your respective recipes. I don’t want to spend $10 on a small box, just for a couple of TB here and there. What does the milk powder accomplish, and can something else be substituted? Thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 23, 2018 at 4:01 pm

      I would just leave it out if you don’t already have it Brenda.

    • Reply
      Carrol
      August 18, 2019 at 4:04 pm

      Hello Brenda. I grab a pouch of powdered milk at the Dollar Tree rather than buying the big box at the Kroger or Aldi. I believe it’s Carnation brand.

  • Reply
    Amy
    November 17, 2018 at 9:57 am

    What brand of milk powder did you use?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 17, 2018 at 10:27 am

      I probably used Carnation, that’s what’s generally available here.

  • Reply
    Laurie
    May 27, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    These turned out great, except the sides came out very high. Any tips on how to prevent that in the future?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 27, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      It’s hard to say, Laurie, but my bars were a little higher on the side, too. Maybe you whipped more air into the batter than I did? Possibly your oven ran a little hot, so it rose quicker on the sides, not sure. Also glass and dark aluminum pans tend to cook more quickly and could be the problem.

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