This old fashioned chocolate pie is a classic dessert that is perfect for holidays and special occasions. Featuring a rich and creamy chocolate pudding filling, it pairs perfectly with a flaky pie crust and a generous whipped cream topping (which adds a light and fluffy texture to balance out the richness of the chocolate). Made with simple ingredients you have on hand, and minimal effort, it's a quick and easy dessert to whip up.
At every holiday gathering, my Grandma always had a buffet of pies to choose from, and her scrumptious chocolate pie was highly coveted, along with her lemon pie, pumpkin pie, saskatoon berry pie, and apple pie! This Old-fashioned Chocolate Pie is popular all year 'round and pairs perfectly with any holiday or special occasion meal, such as my Picnic Ham with Orange Glaze and Old Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes.
My Grandma's chocolate pie was always one I looked forward to - it's a favorite dessert in our family! It's also an old fashioned recipe that's been around for generations and was popular during the 30s and 40s.
You will likely have everything on hand for this homemade chocolate pie recipe (yay -no running to the grocery store!)
- 9-inch pie crust
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ½ cups white granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
*see recipe card for details
*I used a deep dish store-bought pie shell and pricked the bottom (or use pie weights), then bake for about 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees f (204 c)
Mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks; sugar, vanilla, and salt together in a medium saucepan.
Then add milk gradually, while stirring in a pot over medium heat.
Cook until very thick, beating it smooth with a whisk. *It won't really start to thicken until 14-15 minutes, then cook for 3-4 more minutes, stirring constantly, until it's thick like pudding. *Filling for cream pies takes a while to thicken
Cool for about 10 minutes.
Pour the chocolate pie filling into a prepared crust. Put in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours before adding topping.
Prior to serving, add a generous amount of whipped cream to the top of the pie.
**Or use the leftover egg whites for a fluffy meringue topping, then bake pie.
To make whipped cream:
On high speed, with an electric mixer, beat whipped cream to soft peaks, then add 2 tbsps of sugar and beat to stiff peaks.
Garnish with cocoa sprinkles, chocolate shavings, and pieces of dark chocolate (I used pieces of Lindt dark chocolate bar), as desired.
📖Variations & Substitutions.
- Cornstarch - You can use arrowroot powder instead or flour (but you may need to use extra flour -up to ½ a cup)
- Milk - you could 1%, 2%, or whole milk
- Whipped cream - you could use Cool Whip instead or make a meringue. *Do NOT use spray whipped cream from a can, unless you are just using it on each serving and serving immediately, as it will not hold.
- Pie shell - You could use a store-bought pie shell or a homemade pie crust.
- Lactose-free/Dairy-free - use lactose-free milk or dairy-free milk and non-dairy whipped topping.
- Gluten-free - use a gluten-free pie crust
🥗 Main Dishes
If you're looking for main dishes to serve with this chocolate pie, here are some recommendations:
- Baked Chicken Cacciatore (shown)
- Picnic Ham with Orange Glaze Recipe
- Air Fryer Roast Chicken (with lemon, rosemary and garlic)
- Slow Cooker Beef on a Bun
- Make-Ahead Lasagna (with no boil noodles)
Store leftover Old fashioned chocolate cream pie in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The pie will freeze well, but don't put any topping on it until it's fully thawed and just prior to serving. You can cover it in plastic wrap if you are only storing it overnight.
*If you are using meringue instead of whipped cream, see this post for directions on making meringue. *Do not freeze the pie with meringue on it.
👪 Serving Size
This recipe makes 6 servings. However, you can half, double, or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust. However, you will need additional pie pans if you increase the recipe.
❔ Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can make the chocolate pudding up to 3 days in advance. Keep it in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to use.
Yes, the pie filling needs to cool completely before adding whipped cream. Leave it in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours prior to adding the whipped cream.
This decadent pie is a chocolate lover's dream and one the whole family will love. So, if you're looking for a simple and delicious pie that's easy to make, you'll love this Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie!
📋 Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie Recipe
- 9 inch -pie shell (blind baked) *See NOTES *I used deep dish
- ½ cup cocoa (unsweetened)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 ½ cup white granulated sugar + 2-4 tbsps for whipped cream topping
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk * I use 1% milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups whipping cream (heavy cream 33-35%)
- additional cocoa
- chocolate shavings
- chocolate pieces * I used pieces of lindt dark chocolate bar
NOTE: The instruction images will NOT print by default. If you want them to print, you'll need to check the box beside "images" on the print page
- Prep: Blind bake a pie shell, according to directions of recipe you are using. *You can use a store-bought or homemade pie crust. *See NOTES if you are not sure how to blind bake a pie shell
- Mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks; sugar, vanilla, and salt.Then add milk gradually, while stirring in a pot over medium heat.
- Cook until thick, beating it smooth with a whisk. *It won't really start to thicken until 14-15 minutes, then cook for 3-4 more minutes, stirring constantly, until it's thick like pudding. Cool for about 10 minutes
- Pour into a pre-baked pie shell. Put in the fridge to chill,
- Prior to serving, add whipped cream. *Alternatively, you can beat the 3 egg whites to make meringue (then bake).
- Garnish with sprinkled cocoa, chocolate shavings and chocolate pieces, if desired.