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
3.23 from 148 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



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


  • 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


  • powdered sugar


  • 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 tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
    August 23, 2015 at 6:12 am

    Love your description of how you ate the 3 squares. I have been known to “just even up the edge a little bit.”

  • Reply
    Andi @ The Weary Chef
    August 22, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    I haven’t heard of or tried the pie, but I love that you made a simplified version. These bars look so good!!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Dear Sue, these bars look and sound like a magnificent treat. Next time I indulge, I’m making these bars. xo, Catherine

  • Reply
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen
    August 22, 2015 at 8:32 am

    I think it’s time for me to bake something with the word crack in it. I might as well start with these scrumptious bars!

    • Reply
      August 22, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      🙂 Makes sense to me!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    August 21, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    These are my dream bars, those layers are perfection!

  • Reply
    victoria mcauliffe
    August 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Oh boy,got this while at work showed the guys. Sue they love it when they see me checking one of your recipes all 63 of them know the next day will be great!! You’ve got them spoiled and I have to work with them…but they did enjoy the pumpkin bread with maple frosting the other day. Thanks for keeping my guys happy makes work so much easier. Ya know I guess that old saying “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” it works cause they keep work for me!!Thanks

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Wow, that’s hysterical! Say hi to ‘the guys’ for me 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    August 21, 2015 at 11:38 am

    These bars look incredibly moist and delicious!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2015 at 11:32 am

    This looks waaaaaaay more reasonable than the long recipe in the book. I, too, have some freeze dried corn purchased for recipes in that book and might sub it in as well. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe!

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      Let me know what you think, I’ve tried both and these have the same flavor, just a little bit easier to make! I’m curious about the dried corn, one of you readers will have to try it and let me know!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Oh. My.

    These sound fantastic! I think I’ll give them a whirl this weekend. Thanks!

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Let me know what you think…

  • Reply
    August 21, 2015 at 8:39 am

    oh, you are tempting me…

    you know, I even bought the dried corn kernels to use in the pie recipe, but so far haven’t mastered the courage to go for it, it is a convoluted recipe indeed.

    I see you did not use the corn addition in the bars… they look amazing!

    one other question, what kind of oatmeal cookie did you use, any favorite brand I should look for?

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 8:54 am

      I substituted cornstarch, I figured it would work, and it does. What the heck is up with the dried corn kernels anyway? I used Mother’s brand cookies, they were the only plain oatmeal cookies in my store. Let me know what you think, Sally!

      • Reply
        August 21, 2015 at 10:13 am

        THanks, Sue!

        I might come up with an adaptation using the silly dried corn, as now the bag is staring at me from the pantry… 😉

        • Reply
          August 21, 2015 at 10:15 am

          Haha, can’t wait to see!

          • SallyBR
            August 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm

            Well, I am in trouble. Searched two grocery stores, and can you believe there are NO plain oatmeal cookies? Only those with raisins or icing. Interesting, because I had never even paid attention to grocery store cookies until now to get them for the recipe

            I was hoping to make this tomorrow – I might have to improvise. There is one more grocery store I can try tomorrow morning…fingers crossed…

        • Reply
          Teresa Davis
          August 21, 2015 at 11:35 am

          Dried corn kernels make a nice topping for the salad you’re going to have to make up for these delicious cookies!

          • SallyBR
            August 23, 2015 at 8:02 am


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