A classic Chocolate Pie made with a buttery, flaky crust, real chocolate pudding, and fresh whipped cream. This recipe is entirely homemade and takes only 30 minutes to prep before chilling. This recipe includes a how-to video–keep scrolling to watch!
Classic Chocolate Pie–No Box Mix Necessary!
A true classic, chocolate pie is often overshadowed by more well-known pies, like pumpkin pie and key lime pie. It’s decadent and rich, essentially thickened chocolate pudding over pie crust, and it’s a refreshing alternative to other chocolate desserts. In fact, it’s my personal favorite pie on the blog!
My version of this chocolate pie recipe requires absolutely no box mixes or pre-made ingredients. You’re going to make everything from scratch, from the (super easy!) pie crust to the filling, and when it’s done chilling, I suggest you serve it with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
I initially shared this chocolate pudding pie recipe a few years ago and it’s been one of my most popular recipes ever since, for good reason. I thought it was about due for a refresh with new photos and a video tutorial (in the recipe card!). Try it out for yourself this pie season and let me know what you think!
What You Need
Today’s ingredients are pretty standard, but let’s go over a few of them.
- Sugar. Granulated sugar not only serves as a sweetener, but it also melts as the pudding filling cooks and helps ultimately thicken the pie and contributes to its silky smooth texture.
- Cornstarch. Many recipes call for flour to thicken their chocolate pie, but I prefer to use cornstarch, which results in a smoother mouthfeel and better consistency overall.
- Eggs. You’ll need five egg yolks for this recipe. If you’d rather not toss out your egg whites, save them to make my meringues, Oreo cake, or put them towards an angel food cake!
- Milk & Heavy Cream. A blend of whole milk and richer, thicker cream results is another contributor to a silky smooth yet sturdy pie. Stick with whole milk and heavy cream, double cream, or heavy whipping cream for this recipe. My original chocolate pie recipe called for slightly less cream and slightly more milk, but I’ve adjusted these amounts slightly for a sturdier, more slice-able pie.
- Chocolate. I prefer to use a 60% cacao dark chocolate baking bar. Semisweet chocolate will also work, but the pie won’t have quite the depth of chocolate flavor. I do not recommend unsweetened chocolate, which will make your chocolate pie too bitter. Many people have asked me if they can use cocoa powder instead of a chocolate bar. I haven’t tried this myself, but I know it would take several other tweaks to work. I suggest you stick with the recipe as written for best results!
- Butter. Use unsalted butter since we add salt in ourselves. The butter is added at the end along with the chocolate and adds the final finishing touch, glossy consistency and smooth texture.
- Vanilla. If you have a batch of your own homemade vanilla extract, now is a great time to use it!
SAM’S TIP: Do yourself a favor and have all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you move over to the stovetop, because things move pretty quickly after cooking. I recommend you chop your chocolate and butter, measure your vanilla, and place your strainer in your heatproof bowl before you even turn on the stove.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Chocolate Pie
- Whisk together dry ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Keep in mind a cheap, thin saucepan can cause your ingredients to cook unevenly and leave you with a runny chocolate pie filling!
- Combine egg yolks, milk, and cream separately and slowly pour into your dry ingredients until you have a smooth, lump-free mixture.
- Whisk frequently while mixture cooks and slowly thickens. Do yourself a favor and have patience and do not crank up the heat!
- Immediately stir in chocolate, butter, and vanilla until you have a smooth, glossy chocolate mixture.
SAM’S TIP: Do not crank up your heat to speed up the cooking process! The sugar needs to melt slowly so that the pie sets properly, and cooking it too fast will end up cooking your eggs (similar to what can happen to pastry cream). Have patience! How long this process takes depends on your particular stove and pan.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl. This will catch any lumps or any teeny tiny bits of egg that might have cooked (if you didn’t get all of the egg white proteins when you divided your whites and yolks, you will catch them here!)and will ensure your chocolate pie is smooth! While you could skip the bowl and pour the filling directly into your pie crust, I find it’s much easier to rest the strainer on the bowl and just do it this way, despite the extra dirty dish!
- Pour chocolate filling into prepared crust and cover with clear wrap, which will keep a skin from forming (and keep any odors from your fridge from getting to your pie!
All that’s left to do now is wait! The pie will need to chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, making this a great dessert for preparing a day in advance.
Frequently Asked Questions
This can happen for several reasons: if the cooking process was rushed, if the filling wasn’t carefully watched and stirred frequently, the filling was overcooked, the stovetop heat was too high, or if the pie isn’t given enough time to chill. Any ingredient substitutions could also result in a runny chocolate pie. To prevent this, make sure you go slow, stir often, keep a watchful eye, and always chill for at least six hours before serving.
Yes! This pie needs to be refrigerated before and after serving. It will last for about a week in the fridge. I recommend covering tightly to keep the pie from absorbing any odors from other foods in your refrigerator.
While I typically serve this pie in a traditional pie crust, it would also be great on my graham cracker crust or my Oreo crust! Simply prepare the crust and let it sit while you make the filling, then follow the recipe as instructed. If you like a crispier crust, you can always bake the crust it and let it cool before filling.
Note that if you are using a store-bought crust, the filling may not all fit in and you may have some filling left over. Just enjoy it with a spoon!
More Recipes You Might Like
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 1 prepared (baked) 9" pie crust click the link for my homemade recipe, see note 1
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar (300g)
- 5 Tablespoons cornstarch (40g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 large egg yolks² (see note 2 for recipes that you can make with your leftover egg whites)
- 2 cups whole milk (473ml)
- 1 cup heavy cream (236ml)
- 6 oz dark chocolate bar³ finely chopped (170g)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces (56.5)
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 batch homemade whipped cream for topping. Optional but recommended. click the link for my recipe
- In a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt.
- In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together egg yolks, milk, and heavy cream until well-combined and egg yolks are well broken up.
- While whisking the dry ingredients, drizzle the egg yolk mixture into the dry ingredients until completely combined.
- Transfer saucepan to stovetop over medium heat and whisk frequently until ingredients begin to thicken⁴ (see note 4, this will take several minutes, do not crank up the heat or your filling may not thicken properly).
- Once mixture has thickened (it should have a pudding-like consistency) whisk constantly, remove from heat and immediately add chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract. Stir until chocolate and butter are completely melted and mixture is smooth.
- Pour pie filling through a fine mesh strainer into a medium-sized heatproof bowl.
- Pour filling over prepared pie crust and place a piece of clear wrap or parchment paper directly against the surface of the chocolate to prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the pie as it cools. Allow to chill in the refrigerator at least 6 hours or overnight before slicing and serving.
- Top with whipped cream just before serving. I like to use an Ateco 848 or Wilton 2D tip to decorate the pie slices in the photo, but a big mound of whipped cream right on top of the pie works just as well!
¹Pie crustThis recipe was written to be made with my prepared (blind-baked) homemade pie crust in a 9 or 9.5″ pie plate. You may instead make this recipe using my graham cracker crust or Oreo crust or use a store-bought crust but keep in mind they are often smaller and may not fit all of the filling. You can pour the excess into mini tart shells or just enjoy as a pudding.
²Recommendations for leftover egg whitesIf you don’t want to waste your egg whites, store them in a clean, completely dry and grease-free container and use them to make meringue cookies, white cake, or coconut macaroons!
³ChocolateA 60 or 70% cacao bar works great and is my preference, I often use Ghirardelli which is available right next to the cocoa powder in the baking section. While chocolate chips will work in a pinch, I really recommend using a quality chocolate bar that you enjoy the taste of. Semisweet chocolate will yield a pie that’s sweeter and not as richly chocolate. I don’t recommend using unsweetened chocolate, which could make the pie too bitter. This recipe has not been tested using cocoa powder instead of chocolate.
⁴Thickening the pie fillingIt’s important that you have patience for this step, slowly thickening over medium heat is key to allow the sugars to melt properly and the filling to thicken properly. The filling should be clearly thickened before moving on to the next step and should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon or spatula. I demonstrate this above in the post and in my video.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This turned out amazing! Only changes: I used a frozen Pillsbury crust to save time and I had only semi-sweet chocolate chips to work with. It set up beautifully and the family devoured it. Thank you for sharing.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Wonderful! We’re happy you enjoyed it so much, Jamie ❤️
The best recipe of chocolate pie ever! Thank you! I only changed half of the chocolate, 1 bar (4 oz) Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet & 1 bar 60% Cacao. So yummy!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Thanks for using our recipe! Enjoy 🥰
Has anyone experienced a bit of grittiness in the consistency of the filling ? I did strain the pudding and noticed it was very greasy. I think it might be the butter that has cooled down as the grit seems to melt away as soon as you start eating it. It is very yummy regardless- I might just try it again with a little less butter.
Hi Sandra! It sounds like the mixture may have been heated a bit too quickly, I would just use a lower setting on your stovetop next time and I think it will turn out perfectly. I hope that helps! 🙂
Thanks Sam! I did try heating it slowly as I had read your tips but I will try again with much lower heat to see if that helps. Either way it’s a great recipe! Thank you for doing what you do 🙂
I’m usually pretty good at holding down my consumption of cakes and pies. Been working for watching my weight for a long time. The pie gets raves from friends and family. I make small pies about 4” and the recipe makes enough filling for about 5 pies with a little leftover. I have to plan out who is going to get the pies. Any filling/pudding and pies not given out disappear within 24 hours then I have to go into hard diet mode for about a week. I use the whipped cream recipe and make the crust from scratch. Dangerous recipe
I’m so glad everyone enjoys it so much, Walter! 🙂
Delicious recipe! I used 71% cocoa for my chocolate and it turned out really rich and lovely. I recommend adding a raspberry on top of the whip cream (it compliments it well, and makes you feel fancy 🙂 ).
I absolutely love this pie. It’s always a favorite anytime I make it. I have a question …. Have you ever doubled the recipe? I usually just do the process two times because I wasn’t sure how it would turn out if I doubled it. I sure don’t want to run the risk of having a failed pie 😳. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you ahead of time.
Hi Sara! I have not tried just doubling the recipe, although I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t work here. 🙂
Thanks for responding..I made the pie and it is a beautiful filling I did use only 1C of sugar. Everyone loved it This filling is the perfect texture, it set up beautful and was delicious thank you.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Thanks for letting us know how it turned out for you with less sugar, Carol! Enjoy the pie 🙂
I did not heed the warnings and used semisweet chocolate and no surprise it’s too sweet. However that is my error and the recipe is well written and easy to follow, It had a perfect consistency and I can’t wait to try it again
Hi I was wondering if you have to use so much sugar could you use less like 3/4 or 1 cup thank you
Hi Carol! I haven’t tried it myself, but if you do let me know how it turns out. 🙂
katherine dela cruz
Hi! Can I omit the sugar and use milk chocolate chips instead? Thanks!
Hi Katherine! I’m not sure exactly how it would turn out, but I wouldn’t recommend it. 🙁
I made this delicious Chocolate Chess Pie for Thanksgiving. It was extremely easy to prepare without any problems (just follow the directions). My family devoured the pie so terribly fast and only left me crumbs. For Christmas I plan to bake at least two of them if not more.
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it so much! 🙂
I love this pie so much that I come back to it every Thanksgiving to take to our family’s meal! <3
This pie is amazing and addicting! I cannot stop eating it lol another fantastic recipe by Sam 🙂
Made this recipe on Thursday, finally got to serve it on Saturday—huge success!!!! Pie tasted delicious and held up really well. I made a graham cracker crust instead and used 1 cup of heavy cream instead of 3/4 cup for the whipped cream and spread it over the whole pie. My family loved it—my dad said it’s the best chocolate pudding pie he ever tasted and my mom loved it as well (and she has very high standards for chocolate pudding pie). Recipe was easy to follow and directions were clear. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and for always getting back so quickly with answers to questions. I know I will definitely be making this recipe again.
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it so much, Marcy! 🙂
Hey Sam, have a few more questions regarding storing this pie. After the 6 hours, does the pie still need to have the plastic wrap or can it be stored in the refrigerator without it? And how do I store chocolate pudding pie once the whipped cream is on it (does it still need to be covered with plastic wrap or aluminum foil)?
Hi Marcy! I typically store mine in the refrigerator without the plastic wrap after those 6 hours have passed. I do the same once adding the whipped cream, but of course I hope everyone enjoys it so much you don’t have to store it long. 🙂