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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3.23 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

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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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Beth M
    January 4, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    These are good enough, but not “crack”-level great. Very heavy flavor of brown sugar. If you are familiar with the St Louis “gooey butter bars,” these taste somewhat like brown sugar versions of those with a cookie crust. They are VERY rich. I wanted to drink about 3 glasses of milk after one small bar. I had to bake longer than directions stated. I found the requirement to reduce temp from 350 to 325 while baking a bit of trouble, as my oven doesn’t measure those type of reductions that quickly. My crust came out very crunchy and high to the sides, and the finished product didn’t look quite like pictured. Overall, these are about 3.5 stars in my book. People like the gooey bars better.

    • Reply
      Beth M
      January 4, 2018 at 9:50 pm

      P.S. I used Archway soft oatmeal cookies, which seemed to work pretty well for crust

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 5, 2018 at 4:14 am

      I haven’t had the St Louis bars, but they sound like something fun to do for the blog, thanks Beth!

      • Reply
        Beth M
        January 5, 2018 at 6:03 am

        The gooey butter bars are also easy to make. Most recipes, like Paula Dean’s, use cake mixes. I make a lemon version with lemon cake mix, a bit of extra zest and extract in filling layer, and mix in powdered lemon juice with powdered sugar to give the coating extra tang and tartness. People really REALLY like them. I think these crack bars were just a bit too rich for me. I prefer tart/sweet things. Glad I found your site.

        • Reply
          Sue
          January 5, 2018 at 10:54 am

          Oh, I forgot Paula Dean was famous for gooey bars, they do sound good!

  • Reply
    Reena
    December 8, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I don’t know what happened but mines turned out so runny and I did everything exactly as the recipe stated. Trying to bake it a bit longer to see if that helps

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 8, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Could your oven be slightly off temperature, Reena? It’s super common for ovens to run hotter or colder than the gauge says.

  • Reply
    Helen
    November 29, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Hi Sue,
    Love these bars really easy to make i subbed the oatmeal cookies for shortbread cookie crust instead, just a simple easy recipe worked out quite well. Thanks for the Recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 29, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks Helen, it’s good to know about the shortbread crust 🙂

  • Reply
    Mary
    December 7, 2016 at 5:20 am

    What is milk powder?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 7, 2016 at 8:21 am

      Powdered milk is just dehydrated milk, Mary ~ all supermarkets carry it.

  • Reply
    Darcy
    October 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    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! Thank you again for making it way easier/I may even say yummier to get my crack pie fix 🙂

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 25, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Yay! I’m thrilled to hear this Darcy!

  • Reply
    Ranee
    May 31, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Just tried this recipe. Used Dad’s oatmeal cookies so we will see how this works….just wondering, how runny should the filling be? Mine wasn’t runny at all so I just added more cream to thin out.

  • Reply
    liz
    November 16, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    I’ve got my first batch in the oven …made the crust with vanilla, oat almond granola that tastes like oatmeal cookies ..Hope it works…Will let you know

  • Reply
    Foodiewife
    September 13, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    I remember the Crack Pie sensation, and promised myself I’d make it. Obviously, I never got around to it. Thank you for making this much simpler. Crust made from oatmeal cookie? I’m in! This looks ooey gooey– and that is something I absolutely love. I’m not sure if I should thank you, but thank you anyway!

  • Reply
    Monique
    September 3, 2015 at 8:15 am

    My daughter and son-in-law order crack pie at a local resto all the time..bet they would love these!

  • Reply
    Julie Blanner
    August 25, 2015 at 4:22 am

    I love crack pie, but I think everything is better in a bar. I can’t wait to try these!

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