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Chocolate Cream Pie

A chocolate cream pie with whipped cream being served.
Photo by Joseph De Leo, Food Styling by Kaitlin Wayne
  • Active Time

    45 minutes

  • Total Time

    8 hours (includes cooling and chilling)

This crowd-pleasing chocolate cream pie recipe yields a rich dessert that’s deeply chocolaty—and a touch nostalgic if you grew up frequenting old-school American diners.

For a balanced chocolate pie filling, the recipe calls for two types of chocolate (unsweetened and semi- or bittersweet). You can use a bar or chocolate chips, but look for high-quality chocolate like Guittard or Scharffenberger for the best chocolate flavor. If you can’t get your hands on quality unsweetened chocolate, substitute 6 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2 Tbsp. refined coconut oil (which is solid at room temperature and won’t compromise the pie’s creamy chocolate texture). Once you start making the chocolate custard, don’t walk away—things will move quickly when it begins to thicken. For a lump-free filling, whisk constantly, scraping into the corners of your saucepan so no dry bits go unincorporated.

The chocolate crust recipe was developed with Nabisco’s Famous Chocolate Wafers. Unfortunately, the cookies have been discontinued, so you’ll need an alternative. Oreos scraped of their cream work (Nabisco also sells ready-to-use Oreo cookie crumbs), as would chocolate graham crackers or Goya’s Chocolate Maria Cookies. Or you can always pick up a store-bought Oreo crust if you want to skip the homemade pie shell.

We prefer a whipped cream topping for this chocolate pie recipe, but you will have leftover egg whites if you’d like to make a meringue. The pie can be made a day ahead of time, but hold off on the topping until you’re ready to serve. Feeling fancy? Garnish your pie with a few chocolate shavings or more crushed chocolate cookies. For the true diner experience, serve alongside coffee (or espresso) or a tall glass of milk.


8–10 servings

Chocolate Pie Crust

1⅓ cups (161 g) chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¼ (50 g) cup granulated sugar

Chocolate Pie Filling

⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (28 g) cornstarch
½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt
4 large egg yolks
3 cups whole milk, room temperature
5 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate, melted
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract


¾ cup chilled heavy cream
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  1. Chocolate Pie Crust

    Step 1

    Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°F.

    Step 2

    Stir together 1⅓ cups (161 g) chocolate wafer cookie crumbs, 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, and ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Press on bottom and up sides of a 9” pie plate (1-qt. capacity). Bake crust until crisp, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

  2. Chocolate Pie Filling

    Step 3

    Whisk ⅔ cup (133 g) granulated sugar, ¼ cup (28 g) cornstarch, ½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt, and 4 large egg yolks in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan until combined well, then add 3 cups whole milk, room temperature, in a stream, whisking. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking, about 1 minute (filling will be thick).

    Step 4

    Strain filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, then whisk in 5 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), melted, 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted, 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Cover surface of filling with plastic wrap or a buttered round of parchment or wax paper and let cool completely, about 2 hours.

    Step 5

    Spoon filling into crust and chill pie, loosely covered, at least 6 hours.

  3. Topping

    Step 6

    Just before serving, beat ¾ cup chilled heavy cream with 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar in a medium bowl using an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks, then spoon on top of pie.

    Do Ahead: Pie (without topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.

    Editor's note: This easy dessert recipe was first printed in the February 2004 issue of ‘Gourmet.’ Head this way for a peanut butter pie with graham cracker crust (in case you want two dessert options) and more of our favorite pie recipes

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Reviews (152)

Back to TopTriangle
  • this pie is awesome been making it for for alsmost 20 years

    • Dawn

    • Coral Springs, FL

    • 5/4/2023

  • To increase the flavor I put a coat of raspberry jam on the crust before I put in the filling and some fresh raspberries on top. Added a dribble of grand marnier (should have been framboise). To me it still needs something - it’s pretty bland despite quantities of excellent chocolate. I don’t want to fool around with the filling ratios too much for fear that it won’t set properly. 🤔 Still tweaking this one.

    • MJGreen

    • Toronto

    • 5/21/2022

  • I cannot possibly understand how this pie does not have a solid 5 star review. This is the best pie I’ve ever had or made. It is now a holiday must have and several of my kids prefer it to a birthday cake. Great for grown ups too, made it for my sister’s 40th and it was a toss up as to whether she liked seeing Adele in NYC or coming home to this pie. MAKE this pie, EAT this pie, REPEAT as often as necessary. Cheesecloth? Unnecessary.

    • Anonymous

    • San Antonio, TX

    • 3/24/2022

  • Love this recipe - I've made it for years to rave reviews! To lighten it slightly we use vanilla wafers instead of chocolate. There used to be instructions with this recipe on how to turn it into coconut cream pie? Does anyone still have that? Would love to make one of each this year!

    • Karen

    • Rochester, NY

    • 11/19/2021

  • It is a good recipe. I have a couple of gluten free people in my family, so I use an oatmeal crust 1 1/2 cups quick oats 1/4 cup of powdered sugar 1/4 tsp cinnamon 6 tbsp melted butter Mix together and press into pan, bake at 400 for 18 minutes

    • Craig

    • Tampa

    • 11/9/2021

  • I have made this twice and it is a go to recipe. So delicious! I have used the wafers and also Oreo cookies without the crepe in the middle.

    • kim.motes5112

    • Minneapolis, MN

    • 2/14/2021

  • Excellent! Had an abundance of Nestle semisweet morsels and used those, along with Baker's unsweetened. Took the advice from another comment about the crust and used all but a few cookies in the sleeve, a whole stick of butter, only 1 T sugar, added 1/2 t Kosher salt. The crust was awesome. I made the pie Xmas Eve, we ate half of it Xmas day. Today's Boxing Day, and although the crust is much more soaked, it still holds together very well.

    • Anonymous

    • Denver, CO

    • 12/27/2019

  • Delicious!

    • fsilverman

    • Brooklyn, NY

    • 11/24/2019

  • I have been making this pie for Thanksgiving every year since I discovered it. I love it because it isn't overwhelmingly sweet but at the same time has that rich chocolatey goodness you want in a chocolate cream pie. Would make over and over again!

    • kmarkland1768

    • Washington, DC

    • 2/3/2019

  • excellent pie. I used chocolate animal crackers for the crust

    • janec70

    • Boston, MA

    • 11/25/2018

  • I added a TBS of amaretto to one and a TBS of good bourbon (Basil Hayden's) to another awesome!!!!

    • whiterong

    • Fort Worth, TX

    • 4/14/2018

  • I melt chocolate in 2-cup glass measuring cup at 50% power and stir. Works great.

    • dmaxallen

    • Ashburnham, MA

    • 12/31/2017

  • After trying a variety of chocolate cream pie recipes, I've settled on this one as having just the right amount of creamy, chocolatey goodness -- not overpowering. I can't always find the chocolate cookie wafers, so I substitute chocolate grahams, which work great.

    • Anonymous

    • Ashburnham, MA

    • 12/31/2017

  • Easy to make! Be patient with the custard...wait for it to go from white to eggy yellow and presto! It will firm up. I melted the chocolate in the micro on 60% power for 90 second intervals. Helps to have an assistant as stirring and bombing chocolate is hard to manage. It is sweet so I wouldn't and didn't add sugar to the whipping cream. I used chocolate graham crackers for the crust.

    • longbeachtracey

    • Long Beach, CA

    • 9/27/2017

  • I've made this for two Thanksgivings, now, and it's always a hit. Last year I added extra unsweetened chocolate to give it a deep, dark chocolate tang. This year I left the chocolate as is, but reduced the sugar by ~1/5, and used a wand blender to remove the lumps after cooking the custard. The result was "the best chocolate pudding that I have ever tasted." Either way it's a winner, and it's not hard. I think this recipe has too many steps. Cheesecloth? Please, wand blender.

    • cyn20796

    • Portland, Or

    • 11/25/2016

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