Chocolate Cream Pie

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Yield: 9" pie, 12 servings

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A true diner classic, Chocolate Cream Pie is a head-turning treat, and just the thing for lovers of both chocolate and pie. The crust is blind-baked, then filled with a cooked, cooled chocolate filling. Topped with lightly sweetened whipped cream, it's the perfect combination of crispy crust, dense chocolatey filling, and ethereal cream garnish. This is a tall pie with a generous amount of filling. You can customize the chocolate flavor to your taste, by using bittersweet, semisweet, milk chocolate, or any combination of these that you like.

Our guarantee: This pie will slice cleanly, have a flaky crust, dense chocolate filling, and lightly sweetened whipped cream on top.

Chocolate Cream Pie

star rating (126) rate this recipe »
KAF guaranteed
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 9" pie, 12 servings
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Crust

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for richer choclate flavor
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 2 cups milk

Topping

Tips from our bakers

  • The filling needs to be strained while still quite warm. You can use the back of a ladle, a flexible spatula, or a wooden spoon to stir it through the strainer. Scrape the underside of the strainer once in a while with a clean spatula to help the process along.
  • A shallow metal bowl with more surface area will chill the filling most quickly.
  • The closer to serving time you assemble the pie, the crispier the crust will be.
  • For best slicing, refrigerate the pie overnight before serving.
  • For a tropical version, add 1/4 cup of coconut milk powder to the confectioners' sugar and sift them both together before adding to the whipped cream; beat in 1/4 teaspoon of coconut flavoring in addition to the vanilla extract.

Directions

see this recipe's blog »

Crust
1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, and salt.

2) Cut in the shortening until it's in lumps the size of small peas.

3) Dice the butter into 1/2" pieces, and cut into the mixture until you have flakes of butter the size of your fingernail.

4) Add the water, two tablespoons at a time, mixing with a fork as you sprinkle the water into the dough.

5) When the dough is moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it, transfer it to a piece of wax or parchment paper. It's ok if there are dry spots in the pile. Use a spray bottle of water to lightly spritz these places; that way you'll add just enough water to bring the dough together without adding too much or creating a wet spot.

6) Fold it over on itself three or four times to bring it together, then pat it into a disk 3/4" thick

7) Roll the disk on its edge, like a wheel, to smooth out the edges. This step will ensure your dough will roll out evenly, without a lot of cracks and splits at the edges later. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.

8) To blind bake the crust: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 9" pie pan that's at least 2" deep. This will make serving the pie easier after it's finished.

9) Roll out the pastry for the pie to a 13" circle. Transfer it to the prepared pan, and trim the edges so they overlap the edge by an inch all the way around. Tuck the edges up and under, and flute them. Put the lined pie pan in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.

10) Line the crust with foil or parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and gently remove foil or parchment with the weights or beans. Return the crust to the oven for 10 to 20 more minutes, until it's golden brown all over. If the edges of the crust start becoming too brown, cover them with a pie shield, or strips of aluminum foil. Remove the crust from the oven and cool completely.

Filling
1) Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla extract in a 2-quart mixing bowl; set aside.

2) In a medium saucepan away from heat, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of cold heavy cream until the mixture is smooth, with no lumps. Repeat with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Whisk in the egg yolks.

3) Place the saucepan over medium heat, and gradually whisk in the remaining cream and milk.

4) Bring to a boil, whisking constantly as the mixture thickens; boil for 1 minute.

5) Remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture over the reserved chocolate and butter.

6) Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

7) Pass the filling through a strainer into a bowl to remove any lumps.

8. Place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and chill thoroughly.

Topping
1) Place the heavy cream in a chilled mixing bowl.

2) Whip until the whisk begins to leave tracks in the bowl.

3) Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until the cream holds a medium peak.

Assembly
1) Transfer the cooled filling to the cooled, baked pie crust. Level the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula.

2) Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top.

3) Chill the pie until ready to serve. Note: If you're not planning on serving the entire pie at once, top individual slices with a dollop of whipped cream just before serving.

Variation: Meringue topping
3 large egg whites (reserved from filling)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) water

1) Place the egg whites in a clean bowl with clean beaters. Add the pinch of salt.
2) In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
3) Whip the egg whites until they turn white and the whisk begins to leave tracks in the bowl. Slowly add the hot sugar syrup, and continue beating until the whites make stiff peaks.
4) Preheat the oven to 400°F.
5) Pipe or spoon the meringue over the top of the filled, chilled pie, making sure you cover the filling completely.
6) Place the pie in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until the top of the meringue is golden brown. Remove from the oven and refrigerate until ready to serve

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice (146g) Servings Per Batch: 12 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 470 Calories from Fat: 280 Total Fat: 31g Saturated Fat: 18g Trans Fat: 0.5g Cholesterol: 120mg Sodium: 160mg Total Carbohydrate: 42g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 27g Protein: 6g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.

Reviews

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  • star rating 03/20/2015
  • Colleen from Orwell, VT
  • star rating 03/17/2015
  • SallieIndi from Indiana
  • I made this chocolate cream pie yesterday for my husbands birthday. It was the best pie I have ever made. I used semisweet chocolate chips, and followed the recipe exactly. Used espresso I had on hand. Will be my go to recipe from now on.
  • star rating 03/15/2015
  • Tim from Reynoldsburg Ohio
  • this is the best chocolate pie ever bar none I've made it 12 times great every time
  • star rating 02/13/2015
  • Jesse from Missouri
  • This is my Dad's and my husband's favorite chocolate cream pie / chocolate pudding recipe. I've made it dozens of times, and they still request it. It's delicious, though I usually leave out the espresso powder.
  • star rating 01/28/2015
  • Sharon from western new york
  • This is this classic "diner " version of chocolate cream pie. Perfect in taste,texture. Very easy to make, directions are right on. Turned out perfectly, serve with fresh vanilla whipped cream!
    Now that's a great "tip" that we didn't need to leave at our place setting once the pie slice was gone;) Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/25/2014
  • Tracie from Connecticut
  • Flavor- phenomenal Consistency- after reading the reviews I doubled cooking time to 2 minutes after it came to a rolling boil. Next time I think I'll try 4 minutes.
  • star rating 12/01/2014
  • Angele from
  • This is my go-to recipe for chocolate cream pie. It is rich but not sickeningly so, perfectly chocolatey, and velvety smooth. Sometimes, to save time (and butter which has gotten so expensive), I put it in an Oreo crust. Wow. Nothing but rave reviews about this one!
  • star rating 11/30/2014
  • Tricia M from Charleston, SC
  • I made this pie for my Mom & my brother's family on Thanksgiving. It was my first opportunity to use lard instead of shortening in the crust. It was flaky, but tasted the same, as far as I could tell. The chocolate I used was Ghirardelli semi-sweet. This filling was delicious and rich. I refrigerated it overnight, and filled the pie shell 2 hours before driving over my brother's house. It cut well, but next time I will dip the knife blade in hot water between each slice. We cut the pie into 16 pieces; it was that rich! A little dab of freshly whipped cream on each slice made a nice contrast in flavor. Next time, I will use the nut crust I usually use for Chocolate Delight pie, you know, the one with instant choc pudding, cream cheese, and cool whip. That will set off the better chocolate flavor of this pie.
  • star rating 11/30/2014
  • Donna from Ontario
  • Great recipe but I had to add more corn starch for the filling to set firmer. I also used a chocolate crumb crust instead of graham wafer....tasted great. Thanks for a great recipe!
  • star rating 11/26/2014
  • Mike from Sandia Prk, NM
  • First time making chocolate pie. Followed the recipe as printed until I got to the chopped chocolate. I didn't have enough so I used a Hersey's Special dark bar and still did not have enough so I used semi-sweet bits usually for cookies. Worked great. It's cooling now but the bowl tasted really good. Thanks KAF from a baking guy.
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