Chocolate Midnight Pie

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 9" pie, 8 to 12 servings

Recipe photo

Are you looking for a deep, dark, dense chocolate pie, one whose filling is so moist it glistens, one which that makes its own light, crisp-crackly topping? Voilà — you've found it. The complementary coffee-flavored crust is icing on the cake... er, pie!

Chocolate Midnight Pie

star rating (12) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: 9" pie, 8 to 12 servings
Published: 01/23/2012




  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur* (e.g., Kahlua), or substitute strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon cold milk or cream (half and half, light, heavy, or whipping)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional; for depth of flavor
  • 2 tablespoons yellow or white cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • *Frangelico (hazelnut), Amaretto (almond), Grand Marnier (orange), or Framboise (raspberry) are all wonderful, in place of the coffee liqueur.

Tips from our bakers

  • This pie is disturbingly liquid when you pull it out of the oven, but don't panic; an overnight rest in the refrigerator solidifies it and gives all the flavors a chance to mellow.


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1) To make the crust: Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt.

2) Work the butter into the dry ingredients (using your fingers, a pastry blender or fork, or a mixer) until the dough is unevenly crumbly.

3) Dissolve the espresso powder in 1 tablespoon of the milk. Sprinkle up to 5 tablespoons (or more, if necessary) of the milk into the dry ingredients (beginning with the tablespoon of espresso milk), continuing to mix until the dough is cohesive. Grab a handful; if it holds together willingly, and doesn't seem at all dry or crumbly, you've added enough liquid.

4) Shape the dough into a disk. Roll its edges along a floured work surface (as though the disk were a wheel), in order to smooth them out. Pat the disk until it's about 1" thick, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

5) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Allow it to warm a bit and become flexible, 15 to 30 minutes

6) Flour your work surface, and roll the dough into a 12" circle. Transfer the dough to a regular (not deep-dish) 9" pie pan that's at least 1 ¼" deep. Trim and crimp the edges. Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill, while you're preparing the filling.

7) Beat together the butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.

8) Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly but thoroughly after each addition; you want to combine them with the butter and sugar, but not beat in a lot of air.

9) Stir in the cocoa, liqueur, milk, and vanilla.

10) Use a food processor (mini, if you have one) to grind together the espresso powder, cornmeal, and chocolate chips. Add to the batter. Pour the batter into the crust.

11) Bake the pie for 45 minutes, adding a crust shield after 20 minutes. The middle may look pretty soft; so long as the temperature has reached 165°F right in the center, the pie is done.

12) Remove the pie from the oven, cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight before serving.

13) Serve each slice topped with a layer of whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate curls, if desired.

Yield: 1 pie, 10 servings.


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  • 08/06/2013
  • Sara from PA
  • Does this need to be served cold? I am just wondering because I would like to take it to my grandparents who live two hours away. I would refrigerate it overnight of course, but I am just worried about the transit time.
    The pie is best served cold, but it will be fine for a two hour transit- just be sure to put it back into the fridge when you arrive before serving. ~Amy
  • star rating 12/19/2012
  • Jacqueline from Louisville, KY
  • A perfect receipe! Always remember, that in "The South"... the land of pies,,, the very sweet pies (chess, lemon chess, run for the roses, (aka, derby pie)) are always serves in a sliver with UNsweetened whipped cream to cut the sweeetness. Take a bite and slowly savor the melt in the mouth. Bon appetit!
  • star rating 07/13/2012
  • Sue from Seattle, WA
  • this pie was awesome. i loved the way it tasted, even after a couple of days in the fridge. i was out of cornmeal, so i subbed flour and it came out great. i think this pie would make a great addition to the thanksgiving spread! def. a keeper!
  • star rating 05/29/2012
  • ladyepanda from KAF Community
  • This pie is delicious. My only complaint is that it is SO RICH that you can only have a very small piece.
  • star rating 05/18/2012
  • tht523 from KAF Community
  • Made this pie for a family gathering, as I have a lot of chocolate lovers to please. It was very easy to make. The filling was delicious. The crust, I felt, was rather hard and not very tasty or flakey. I would make this again with a different crust.
  • star rating 05/08/2012
  • maryasheville from KAF Community
  • I had to make the pie before the reply below came and followed the recipe exactly. It was rich and delicious! I didn't get the chocolate chips to grind up completely in the mini-food processor, so it was sort of a chocolate-chunk pie - I can't decide if I like it that way or not. It is, however, very sweet, so I wish there was a way to tone down the sweetness a bit and retain that yummy almost-gooeyness......
    You're so right chocolate baker - this recipe is not for the faint (or not-so-sweet) of heart! Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF
  • 05/05/2012
  • maryasheville from KAF Community
  • Can't rate yet, since I'm getting ready to make this for the first time for "company". I'm wondering, since this crowd isn't big on VERY sweet things, can the amount of sugar in the filling can be cut back (say to 1 cup) without affecting the texture and "set" of the finished product?
    Any changes to the recipe ingredients or amounts will definitely affect the finished pie. If this "company" event is important, now is not the time to experiment - go with a tried and true recipe! Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 04/13/2012
  • paulhop from KAF Community
  • Had this for Easter dessert! Tasty recipe, very easy and can make ahead! The espresso powder adds a whole other dimension- try not to leave it out!
  • star rating 03/29/2012
  • Equisetophyta from KAF Community
  • I've never had or really heard of a chess pie before (being a California girl) so I can't compare it to others of the type, but it was certainly tasty! Very very sweet and rich; this is not a light dessert, though I don't think that's going to surprise anyone who looks at the ingredients. Or picture. Or name. The "topping" was unexpected, being an interesting sort of crumbly layer that's difficult to describe, though it looks like it's a chess pie thing. Off topic: I also love whoever actually used "complementary" instead of "complimentary" up in the description -- that was almost as sweet as the pie. I have not been nearly so nice in my review here!
  • star rating 03/26/2012
  • Leslie from IL
  • The first word that came to mind after my first bite was: obscene. Decadent just really doesn't do this pie justice. Aside from the pictures, I didn't know what to expect. The blog's runny pie slice picture sold me, but I'd never had chocolate pie before. This is basically a rich chocolate pastry basking in it's own rich chocolate sauce. The crust is excellent. I used the espresso powder and Kahlua as recommended. Next time I will try Frangelico. It doesn't need whipped cream, but I thought it added an extra-nice touch. Overall, I thought it was very good.
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