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    Homemade Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

    Published May 17, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe is a simple Southern dessert with delicious fudgy flavors for an amazing treat to serve all year long. My family is obsessed with this pie, and the best part is that it comes together in one hour.

    Whether it’s for a holiday or just an after-dinner dessert, this house has a serious sweet tooth.  If you’re a sweets fanatic, then definitely check out my apple galette or banana pudding.

    chocolate chess pie in a cast iron pan


     

    Chocolate Chess Pie

    Chocolate chess pie is a centuries-old dessert from classic chess pie, which is said to have been created in Alabama. It has a unique texture as it greatly puffs up in the oven but settles back down after removing it to create a firmer creme-brulee-like surface.

    The most popular ways to serve it are at room temperature, chilled in the refrigerator until cold, with whipped cream and powdered sugar sprinkled on top, or alongside fresh berries.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    • Pie Crust – You can use a pre-made or a homemade pie crust.
    • Sugar – I used a combination of light brown and granulated sugar. You can use one or the other or both, as I did. Dark brown sugar can also be used.
    • Cocoa – Regular cocoa powder is what’s needed.
    • Corn Starch – This is used to help thicken the batter so that it sets properly.
    • Salt – I always use coarse salt in my cooking or baking.
    • Milk — This pie requires evaporated milk. If you are using regular whole milk, you’ll need 8 ounces.
    • Eggs – Room temperature or chilled eggs will work.
    • Butter – I always use unsalted butter in my cooking and baking to control the sodium content.
    • Vanilla – Any good vanilla extract will work. You can use the seeds from one fresh vanilla pod.
    • Whipped Cream – This is a classic topping to serve on this pie.

    How to Make Chocolate Chess Pie

    Form your homemade pie crust in a pie pan or, in my case, a cast iron skillet with a fluted edge.

    forming a pie crust to a cast iron skillet

    Whisk together all of the filling ingredients until completely combined.

    whisking a chocolate batter in a bowl

    Transfer the batter to the pan and pour it into the pie dough shell.

    pouring a chocolate batter into a pie shell

    Bake in the oven at 350° for 45 minutes or until the filling has set and is firm.

    baking a pie in an oven

    Serve at room temperature or cool before serving. Garnish with whipped cream.

    adding whipped cream to a pie

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can serve this pie just an hour after removing it from the oven, or you can make it up to 2 days ahead of time.

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  This will freeze well and be covered for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef notes + tips

    • If you like a thicker pie, you can double the filling recipe, set it in a deep-fluted pie pan, and bake for an additional 45-60 minutes.
    • You do not have to use a cast-iron skillet like I did. You can use a standard 9” pie pan.

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    Homemade Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

    5 from 11 votes
    This Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe is a simple Southern dessert with delicious fudgy flavors for an amazing treat to serve all year long.
    Servings: 10
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour

    Ingredients 

    • 1 pre-made pie crust
    • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 3 tablespoons corn starch
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 5 ounces evaporated milk
    • 3 large eggs
    • 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • whipped cream

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 350°.
    • Form the pie crust into a 9” pie pan, or a 10” cast-iron skillet and set in the refrigerator until ready to use.
    • In a large bowl whisk together the sugars, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt until combined.
    • Next, mix in the milk and then the eggs 1 at a time until mixed in.
    • Finish by whisking in the melted butter and vanilla until completely combined and smooth.
    • Transfer the batter to the pie shell and pour it in. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until the pie has become firm with a slight jiggle in the center.
    • Remove the pie and cool to room temperature.
    • Serve as is with optional whipped cream or chill it and serve it cold.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: You can serve this pie just an hour after removing it from the oven, or you can make it up to 2 days ahead of time.
    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  This will freeze well and be covered for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving.
    If you like a thicker pie, you can double the filling recipe, set it in a deep-fluted pie pan, and bake for an additional 45-60 minutes.
    You do not have to use a cast-iron skillet like I did. You can use a standard 9” pie pan.
    The most popular ways to serve it are at room temperature, chilled in the refrigerator until cold, with whipped cream, powdered sugar sprinkled on top, or alongside fresh berries.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 315kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 4gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 285mgPotassium: 145mgFiber: 1gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 315IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 67mgIron: 1mg
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American