This decadent chocolate cream pie is super easy to make. Just 12 no-fuss ingredients are needed to make this creamy, flaky, and chocolaty treat. This recipe is a crowd-pleaser and always highly requested by everyone. By the way, have you tried my banana cream pie?
Why this recipe works:
- It's simple to make, and it doesn't matter if you have been cooking and baking for years or just starting out.
- You only need 12 ingredients, and you probably already have them in your home.
- The filling is rich, creamy, and decadent.
- It's perfect for barbecues, potlucks, and picnics.
Put flour, salt, sugar, and butter in the food processor and pulse a few times. Then add 1 tablespoon of water at a time, and pulse 1-2 times after each tablespoon. When the dough begins clumping and pea-sized butter flakes are still visible stop pulsing.
Transfer the dough clumps to a piece of plastic wrap and form into a 1 - 1.5-inch thick disk without kneading. Wrap the dough tightly and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Remove the crust from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it out until you have an 11-12 inch circle. Then carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie pan.
Gently press the crust against the bottom and the sides of the baking pan evenly. Shape the pie crust to form edges around the entire pie. I used my knuckle to create the design. Place the pie crust in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Remove the chilled crust from the freezer and line with parchment paper. It's essential to cover the edges with parchment paper as well, so the crust doesn't brown too quickly.
Fill with baking beans or uncooked rice evenly that it also pushes slightly against the sides of the crust to prevent the sides from shrinking too much. Bake for 25 minutes and remove the beans and parchment paper. Bake for an additional 5 minutes and allow it to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Prepare the filling by whisking egg yolks and cornstarch in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
Over medium-high heat, bring milk and sugar to a simmer. After it begins to simmer, turn the heat down to low and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Be sure to whisk continuously to prevent it from burning or sticking.
Whisk about ¼ - ½ cup of the hot milk into the egg yolks mixture so it can be slowly warmed. Then pour the egg mixture very slowly into the saucepan while whisking continuously. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the filling is thick. Stir constantly.
Before you remove the saucepan from the heat it should look like in the picture below.
Place a mesh strainer on top of a large heat-proof mixing bowl, and carefully pour the filling into the strainer and into the bowl.
Add and whisk in the chocolate and vanilla for approximately 1-2 minutes until it is smooth.
Toss in the butter and whisk to combine.
Pour the filling into the baked crust and spread evenly. Place it into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Top tips for success
- Tempering the egg mixture slowly ensures that the eggs don't get too hot too quickly and you don't end up with a scrambled egg mixture.
- Whisking the cooking filling continuously will ensure that it doesn't burn.
- Pouring the cooked filling through a mesh strainer removes possible lumps and makes sure it's smooth and creamy.
- Allowing the filling to set overnight will give you an even better experience.
Substitutions and variations
While I prefer the richness and how easy it is to make the filling from scratch, you can certainly use instant pudding if you wanted to.
Simply make the pudding as directed on the package and pour it into the baked crust. You will still need to refrigerate it for 4 hours before serving to allow it to set up correctly.
If you aren't able to use cornstarch, then you can substitute it for something else 1:1. Some good choices to try are arrowroot, tapioca starch, rice flour, and potato starch.
Whether you want to sprinkle on top or fold into the filling when it's finished, you could add the following ingredients:
- ¼ cup (32grams) chocolate shavings
- ½ cup (64 grams) mini chocolate chips
- ¼ cup (32 grams) toasted coconut
You can use this recipe to make mini pies as well. The difference is that you need to bake the crust in mini pans, muffin pans, or ramekins instead of a regular-sized pie dish. Use my mini apple pie recipe as a guide. Then pour in the filling and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I don't recommend storing it at room temperature.
After chilling in the fridge, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in freezer bags or a freezer-safe storage container. It freezes well for up to 1 month. To thaw, remove it from the plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
More pie recipes to try
You love pie as much as we do? Then check out these delicious recipes as well.
- Apple Pie
- Pumpkin Pie
- Custard Pie
- Rhubarb Pie
- Blueberry Pie
- Strawberry Chocolate Pop Tarts (with pie crust)
Chocolate Cream Pie
- ½ cup cold unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 4-6 tablespoon cold water
- 6 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 ½ cups milk
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 2 vanilla beans*)
- 1 ⅛ cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped (7oz)
- Make it with a food processor: Place flour, salt, sugar, and butter in a food processor and pulse 4-5 times. Pea-sized butter flakes should still be visible. Add one tablespoon water at the time and pulse 1-2 times after every tablespoon. Stop adding water when the dough starts to clump. Depending on the humidity and climate you will need 4-6 tbsp. Watch the video and photos to see the required consistency.
- If you don't have a food processor, then make it with a pastry cutter or two forks instead: In this case mix together flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Then add butter and cut it into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal with pea-sized butter flakes. Then add water little by little until the texture starts to clump.
- Transfer the dough to a plastic wrap and form a 1- 1.5-inch thick disk without kneading. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough disk into an 11 - 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie dish.
- Press the pie crust against the bottom and the sides of your baking dish evenly and flute the edges. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and press it against the bottom and the sides of the crust. Make sure that the parchment paper covers the edges as well to prevent it from getting to brown. Then heavy it down with baking beans, uncooked rice, or uncooked beans evenly. Press the baking beans against the sides as well to prevent them from sinking down too much. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove weights and paper and bake another 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.
- Whisk egg yolks and cornstarch in a heatproof bowl until smooth and combined. Set aside.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, over medium-high heat, bring milk and sugar to a simmer. Once, it has reached a simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 2 minutes. Whisk continuously.
- Stir about ½ cup of the hot milk into the egg yolks to slowly warm it. Then pour warmed egg mixture slowly into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook until filling is thick, for about 1-2 minutes. Whisk continuously.
- Remove from heat and pour through a mesh strainer into a large heat-proof mixing bowl. Whisk in chocolate and vanilla* until smooth and fully combined for about 1-2 minutes. Add butter and stir to combine.
You can find the video in the post above. If you don't see a video, please check your browser settings.