Baking | Momofuku Milk Bar’s (in)famous Crack Pie … how the cookie crumbled with the Daring Bakers

“It could be argued that there is an element of entertainment in every pie, as every pie is inherently a surprise by virtue of its crust.”
Janet Clarkson

Crack Pies MomofukuCrack Pie … sweet indulgence. This is Momofukus trademark pie, a classic as craveable as the name implies, one that guarantees an instant sugar high. For once, this is just pure decadence in a sweet sort of way. Nothing healthy about it other than the oats in the base maybe. Yet it’s a pie you have to try. It’s one I watched bloggers make and celebrate ecstatically when Momofuku’s Milk came out in 2011.

Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie!

I had the book on my wish list back then. Somehow never bought it. Had this pie bookmarked. For some reason never made it. Life took over and I forgot about it. Much water flowed under the bridge. Then came this challenge. I was ecstatic when I read  “Life of Pie” . What’s not to love?

I made a delicious Strawberry Pie some time back using a pie bird. That was around the time Life of Pi was winning Oscars galore. I really enjoyed making that, yet I enjoyed this challenge more. More so after my recent bout of Smoothie madness, Crack Pie indulgence felt well deserved!

Crack Pies MomofukuSuch an unassuming sweet pie to make. With a name like this, Crack Pie seems enticing. Interpret the name as you like, but the result is the same … an all time delicious sugar high! In the best meaning possible way, {crack adjective. first-rate, splendid} this very rich, chewy, sweet-salty crack pie in an oat cookie crust fits right in!

Crack Pies Momofuku 5

 Bon Appetit says about Crack Pie, “Anyone who has taken a bite of this Milk Bar best seller immediately knows the reason for the sassy name. Once you start eating this rich, salty-sweet pie with its oat cookie crust, you won’t be able to stop.” A thick, chewy crust filled with an outrageously sweet gooey filling, it’s a wicked sugar-rush. You’ll want small servings!

Crack Pies Momofuku 6I bookmarked this the minute I saw the DB challenge. I just knew I would make mini crack pies. I had to! But I procrastinated. So much continues to happen and I finally got my oat crust going on the 26th! Of course I didn’t take into account that the pie needs an overnight rest. That might explain this slightly delayed posting, but I loved making it.Crack Pies Momofuku Crack Pies Momofuku

The idea of baking a huge giant sized oat cookie for the crust was entirely charming. It seemed like such fun though I was a bit unsure of a crisp cookie as my cookie batter was a bit soft. Happily enough, it baked up a yummy giant crisp cookie. A little nibble and I knew it should be crumbled asap. So addictive that it might not have lasted otherwise.

Crack Pies Momofuku Most pictures of the pie online are like ugly duckling pies so I knew there was nothing fancy in the looks department. I did manage to make rustic little versions though. I loved them … plain, simple, whimsical, sweet, chewy, quintessentially Momofuku.

The pie i

Crack Pies Momofuku It’s a simple pie. A little mix here and there and it’s ready for the oven. A few changes? Yes of course. I didn’t have milk powder so added a spoon of cocoa instead. Also a scraped vanilla bean because I feared eggy aromas from the 4 yolks. And as always, low fat cream instead of whipping cream. Everything worked beautifully!

Crack Pies Momofuku I wasn’t sure the little pies would leave the tins happily the next day, but they obliged sweetly after a little prodding. So here are my little crack pies, ones I absolutely loved making. I waited for the babies to be ‘delivered‘ with a baited breath. This was one of my more fun DB challenges as I had dreamt of making Crack Pie for long. I wish I had more time, but then I’ve made many pies before.

Pies Some of my favourites pies on PAB are Cherry Phyllo Pie {with home made phyllo}, Mixed Berry & Cherry Pie, Mango Quark Cheesecake Pie, Perfect Pumpkin Pie, Tropical Cream Pie, Fresh Cherry Quark Cheesecake Pie, Christmas Fruit Mince Pies and Apple Brown Sugar Meringue Pies.

Thank you Rachael for offering us the delicious Life of Pie. I loved the challenge, especially that you chose Crack Pie as one of the four. Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here to dig into more sweet pies!

[print_this]Recipe: Crack Pie
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Summary: Crack Pie … sweet indulgence. This is Momofukus trademark pie, a classic as craveable as the name implies, one that guarantees an instant sugar high. For once, this is just pure decadence in a sweet sort of way.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes {plus an overnight chill}

  • Oat Cookie Crust
  • 9 tablespoons (125g) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided (6 & 3 tbsp; 85gm & 40gm)
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons (70 gm) (packed) light brown sugar, divided (50 gm & 20 gm)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 gm) white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 gm) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (70 gm) all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Filling
  • 3/4 cup (170 gm) white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) (100 gm) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (8 gm) cocoa {or dry milk powder}
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115gm) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • 6 1/2 tablespoons (100ml) low fat cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean scraped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Oat Cookie Crust
  2. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to moderate 180°C. Line a 13x9x2 inch/33x22x5cm metal baking pan with parchment (baking) paper. Lightly spray or butter 8 3″ mini removable base pie dishes {or a 9 inch/22cm diameter glass or ceramic pie dish}.
  3. Combine 6 tablespoons (85 gm) of the softened butter, 4 tablespoons (50 gm) of the brown sugar and the white sugar in medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add egg and beat until pale and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  5. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute.
  6. Dump oat mixture into prepared baking pan and press out evenly to edges of pan.
  7. Bake until light golden, 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to wire rack and cool cookie completely, about an hour.
  8. Using your fingertips, crumble the cookie a into large bowl – there should be no identifiable pieces of cookie remaining. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons (45 gm) butter and 1-1/2 tablespoons (20 gm) brown sugar. Rub in with your fingertips until the mixture is moist and sticks together when pressed between your fingers.
  9. Transfer cookie crust mixture to pie dish. Using your fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish (about 1 inch/2.5cm up the sides if your pie dish is deep). If your pie dish is shallow, place it on a baking sheet in case of overflow.
  10. Filling
  11. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to moderate 180°C. If possible, use bottom-only heat, or the filling may brown too quickly.
  12. Whisk both sugars, cocoa {or milk powder if using}, and salt together in a medium bowl.
  13. Add melted butter and whisk until blended.
  14. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended.
  15. Pour filling into crust.
  16. Bake 20 minutes {30 for 1 big pie}. (filling may begin to bubble up). Reduce oven temperature to 160°C. Continue to bake until filling is brown on top and set around edges but center still jiggles slightly, about 20 minutes longer.
  17. Cool pie completely in pie dish on wire rack. Chill uncovered overnight.
  18. Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into thin wedges and serve cold.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


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