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Crack Pie recipe is a LIE

Now I know that many cookbook authors/chefs "fudge" (read: LIE about) their recipes a little so they don't give away their most prized secrets, but this is ridiculous. I have tried to make the Crack Pie recipe in the "Milk" cookbook several times (with detailed precision and strict adherence to the recipe) and it never comes out with the texture of the REAL Crack Pie.

I have scoured the Internet and read every comment of anyone who has posted to websites and claimed they have tried this recipe. Most of the bakers say it has to bake at least twice as long as the recipe says, it needs this, it needs that. Basically that the recipe is a lie. The people who say the recipe does work, well, I don't know how many of these people have actually tasted the REAL Crack Pie, but the real pie is NOT LIKE PECAN PIE, NOT GOOEY, NOT CARAMELLY, NOT RUNNY, NEVER LIKE CUSTARD. It is served in chilled wedges and is extremely dense, which means it has the texture of a chilled blondie (minus the chocolate) or maybe even chilled fudge. It is so dense that you could drop the wedge of pie on the floor and it would stay nearly intact.

Has anyone here made the cookbook recipe or any other CP recipe and achieved the same result as what Milk Bar sells?

Next I am thinking of adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour to the filling to see whether that is what Christina Tosi lied about.

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  1. my "freeze dried corn" is still on order...(can I substitute fritos?!)...haven't made it yet. I am not surprised chefs leave stuff out, or are casual about weights/measures. I gotta believe that commercial equipment plays a bit of a role too. Christina Tosi, do you care to comment?!!

    1. Did you really find the real thing worth replicating? I lived next to the Milk bar for several years and still don't get all the fuss. I had one good soft serve but tried a least 10 that weren't so hot. Never went for the pie, though. Is it the one thing that makes the place noteworthy?

      1 Reply
      1. re: chinaplate

        I am so with you! I absolutely do NOT get the fuss! Crack pie and compost cookies just leave me shaking my head in wonder. If you want to replicate something why not work on the Levain CCC, or something from Baked? I know “different strokes" but the Milk Bar sweets/desserts ? I don't get it ;-)

      2. When is the last time you sampled the crack pie?

        I noticed a lot of the Milk Bar products changed around the time of the cookbook, and manufacturing move to Brooklyn so that their baked goods taste more "standard". Prior to that, there was a fair amount of fluctuation in what the shop sold from visit to visit. They're using less sugar and salt, perhaps listening to common complaints. Even the cookies are more cookie like, and they've done away with the lump in the center. The pies no longer look dense with that cookie/blondie texture, but they shouldn't be runny or caramel/mollases in style either. I don't know the recipe (and honestly, I fall into the camp that can't imagine wanting to replicate it at home) but cutting the eggs so it's less custardy, and wet ingredients, then adding sugar would be my wild first guess.

        1. There's a recent discussion of the Crack Pie recipe right here on home cooking, with 137 replies. Perhaps it will offer some enlightenment, here's the link:


          1 Reply
          1. re: janniecooks

            Yeah I am aware of that discussion and it seems like no one's been able to replicate it/fix the inaccurate recipe.

            I was in NYC in December and had the pie then.

          2. Wow! Didn't know a recipe could foment such hostility!

            Is the recipe you're using the same as this?
            Perhaps it is a different quality or brand of ingredients? Professional oven or refrigerator temperature? Baking experience? Subtle difference in technique?

            I can use my step mom's Hollandaise sauce to the letter and hers turns out way better than mine, every single time. Just one of those things. Perhaps you need to only eat the pie in NYC?

            1 Reply
            1. re: gourmanda

              also wouldn't be the first time there were errors and/or poor editing in a cookbook.

            2. I don't live anywhere near NY, so I haven't tried the authentic goods, but I've tried the Crack Pie and Blueberry Cream Cookies recipes and wasn't impressed with either. The pie was like others have described, tasting much like pecan pie without the nuts. The cookies were super dense and heavy. Don't know about the rest of the recipes, but I didn't think it was worth the extra effort to make the cookie crust for the pie and the milk crumbs for the cookies. I love to bake and share treats with friends and family, but these weren't worth sharing, they went in the trash.

              5 Replies
              1. re: gmm

                Those blueberry cookies were a ton of work for less than zero reward!

                1. re: gmm

                  The real cookies aren't what I'd call dense. They're fairly thin, and have some chew, kind of like a softer sugar cookie.

                  1. re: sugartoof

                    Mine didn't turn out anything like that. The milk crumbs were indistinguishable from the rest of the cookie, and they were more like scones/paperweights. Plus, I had to go to two different specialty stores to locate the dried blueberries and the glucose. Complete waste of time and ingredients.

                    1. re: gmm

                      It sounds like a ridiculous exercise, and I can tell you the cookies aren't nearly that exotic in the final product to warrant all that.

                      Not that you're going to bother again, but the originals are typically underbaked. They're usually soft enough that you could curl/roll them.

                  2. re: gmm

                    Well I tried the blueberry cream cookies in NYC in October and threw it straight in the bin after tasting one bite!


                  3. We made the compost cookies and they turned out fantastic. You REALLY, REALLY need to mix the dough for a good 10 minutes though. Would I make the crack pie? Nah. The only reason we made the compost cookies was because my daughter saw the recipe on TV--the same show with the Brooklyn Decker chocolate cookies (which we made and are now a staple at home--they were that good). Momofuku is overrated.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: jarona

                      They sell a mix now, so that's probably the better way to go in this case. One site has a photo comparison up, and the mix made versions look superior to the store bought.

                      1. re: sugartoof

                        Here's a site with comparisons:

                        Too bad about the corn cookie mix. I thought that was a great cookie when bought at Milk Bar, but the mail order version was a big let down and sounds similar to the results from the mix.

                      2. re: jarona

                        So the compost recipe calls for glucose....what the heck is that? Corn syrup?

                        1. re: BiscuitBoy

                          No, it is different. I buy mine from craft stores. Wilton makes one.

                          1. re: BiscuitBoy

                            I've made the recipe both with and without glucose and I saw no real difference. In fact, it might have been the novelty, but I liked the cookie better the first time when I didn't have the glucose and subbed (I think) the same amount in corn syrup - whereas in the book I believe she says to use half as much corn syrup if you *must* substitute. I also didn't have the graham crumbs (another recipe from the book) which turned out to be totally lost in the cookie anyway 2nd time around. I also forgot oatmeal the first time! I think this is one recipe that can be interpreted based on what you have on hand and like, which is how she explains the original concept. If you don't want coffee grinds or butterscotch chips or whatever, leave them out.
                            She claims the recipes in the book were all well-tested in a home kitchen. I've never been to Milk Bar but after making 3 recipes I'm kinda over it. Loved the idea more than the real thing. And I agree the blueberry cookies are actually nasty, not even sure why.

                        2. I Haven't had crack pie from momofuku in almost two years... but i remember that when I ate it I was like wow... I know why it's called "crack" pie. I also remember sharing ONE piece among 3 people, something me and my friends certainly never did when dessert was concerned. But I remember each bite being so filling and rich and yummy that it was fine (of course we also shared a compost cookie, some other cookies, and some ice cream!)

                          Anyway, I've made my own version of the compost cookie many times... not trying to replicate it... just the idea of it. But last week I ordered the Milk cookbook and I attempted the crack pie tonight. I think it tasted pretty good. Was it exactly the same? Probably not. Besides the fact that I haven't had it in almost 2 years, I'm sure it will never be exactly the same.

                          It did however have the consistency that made me think it was crack. Maybe it takes more than one time to try making it. You know, play with it a little. Anytime I have a recipe for things I bake, i usually change it a little on the spot by accident anyway, each time I make it.

                          I've been making a copy cat of Panera Bread's potato soup for years, and it used to taste mostly like Panera's... then it just started tasting better to the point where I don't even get it at Panera anymore. But still, it tastes a little different every time because I always use a different amount of love!

                          Be patient guys... recipes are meant as guides. Not the law.

                          Though I did also find I needed to bake it for about twice as long. I really think it depends on your oven. I know that I'm using an oven in my college apartment that probably has seen better days.

                          1. I came across the following video which shows Christina making the CP. It intrigued me enough to start doing research where I came across this thread. Maybe watching her prepare the pie (where she does mention freeze dried corn, which is no where in the recipe) could lend some help in making your own. CHOW.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Gunit

                              Before the book came out the recipe was published elsewhere without the corn. But the book definitely calls for it. I don't think she's ever explained that one so like the OP, I do wonder.

                            2. Are you following the recipe published by 3rd party sites or the official one on momofuku's site? Bc I noticed all the other sites don't list the right ingredients. On the actual momofuku's site it calls for corn powder which is ground freeze dried corn, not easy to find at your avg store. It also has specific instructions on changing the temp mid bake and freezing it overnight before serving it. Which none of the other sites mention either.