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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  • Reply
    Justine | Cooking and Beer
    August 24, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Oh my goodness, I am obsessed with crack pie! Love the idea of transforming it into a bar!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire
    August 24, 2015 at 6:31 am

    i love crack pie, but never really emanated the hassle of making it. Turning it into bar form really makes it so much easier to throw together and grab a slice and go!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2015 at 6:11 am

    while i’ve neither made nor eaten the pie, i never thought it looked particularly incredible. these look absolutely scrumptious, though, so i definitely think i’d prefer to take this route!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    August 24, 2015 at 5:49 am

    I have made the famous crack pie several times. It is one of my absolute favourite sweet treats 🙂 That said, it is a process, so I’m loving your scaled back process for these bars. Will definitely be trying these!

  • Reply
    August 24, 2015 at 4:35 am

    I agree with you—I’ve made crack pie, and though tasty, it’s a heck of a lot of work! Your bars look outstanding AND much easier 🙂

  • Reply
    Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen
    August 23, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Well, I’m sold. I need to try these. I love the idea of making a crust with crushed oatmeal cookies. So simple but, I bet, totally delicious!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Sorry but I’m having a heck of a time reading the recipe and the comments.
    On my tablet the Target band is blocking places but scrolling up/down doesn’t move it to read. Step 2 was blocked then suddenky it jumped to blocking step 6.

    Very Very Frustrating!

    • Reply
      August 23, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      SO sorry, I’m trying to work with my ad company to minimize problems, but it’s not easy, I can imagine how frustrating it is having an ad jumping in front of you when you’re just trying to get the recipe — calling my company now!

  • Reply
    August 23, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Found the cookies! Pie is in the oven…… well, I should say “bars” – I used the recipe from Momofuku for the filling, and your crust method

    we shall see…

    • Reply
      August 23, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Good compromise!

      • Reply
        August 23, 2015 at 9:18 am

        Sue, I got a big, big disaster…. 🙁 not sure what went wrong, but instead of two nice layers, everything baked into a single, very oily and dark golden thing. I am afraid the cookies I used were probably not appropriate

        I will have to revisit this recipe either trying to find the cookies you used or going from scratch – I thought the cookies I got were a bit on the dark side, but it said plain oatmeal so… I thought it would work

        oh, well – I am not giving up, will see if I can repeat it sometime later this week

        will report back….

        • Reply
          August 23, 2015 at 2:12 pm

          Ok, some of it was operator error… I had two screens open in the computer and did not pay attention to the amount of cookie crumb, wrote down in my draft piece of paper 1 cup instead of 1.5 cups… 🙁 That probably did not help at all! Plus, the fact that my cookies from the store were also different explains the problem…..

          hey, there is always next time – I considered re-doing it today but ran out of energy 😉

        • Reply
          August 23, 2015 at 3:11 pm

          I wonder if the cornstarch works better than the dried corn stuff??

          • SallyBR
            August 23, 2015 at 4:30 pm

            I did not think about that point… You are right, probably better to stick with cornstarch.

            I was talking to Phil and he remembers Mother’s Cookies from many years ago when he had his kids living with him – he says the cookies I used are totally different. So putting it all together, I think it explains my problems.

            no big deal – I am very curious about this recipe and will try it again….

            thanks for all your help! Sorry I’m filling your comments with my replies… 😉

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    August 23, 2015 at 7:46 am

    These do look dangerous, in a good way! I’ve never made ‘crack’ of any sort and appreciated your tips on the oh-so-popular pie. A great treat to usher in fall.

  • Reply
    Trici @ Saving room for dessert
    August 23, 2015 at 6:55 am

    These sound dangerous and delicious Sue! You do bars so well! That oatmeal cookie crust sounds wonderful!

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