Chocolate Cream Pie

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Chocolate Cream Pie

With a cookie crust, silky chocolate pudding center and pillowy whipped cream topping, this pie is a chocolate lover’s dream.

Chocolate Cream Pie

My father is one of those people for whom dessert is not really dessert unless it’s chocolate. Growing up, he used to keep a stash of Hershey’s kisses in the back corner of the freezer, where my sister and I couldn’t reach them. Every night after dinner, he would line exactly six of them up on the arm of the sofa and relish them one by one while he watched TV. We all have our funny food quirks, right?

This chocolate cream pie is my dad’s favorite dessert, and every year before Father’s Day, he starts dropping not-so-subtle hints that I should make it. With a chocolate cookie crust, silky chocolate pudding center, and pillowy whipped cream topping, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream.

Be sure to plan ahead because the filling needs at least eight hours to set up before serving.

What You’ll Need To Make Chocolate Cream Pie

how to make chocolate cream pie

How To Make Chocolate Cream Pie

Begin by making the crust. Combine the chocolate wafers, sugar and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with the blade attachment.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Pulse until the cookies are finely crushed.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Pour the crumbs into a pie pan.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan (spread some of the crumbs up the sides first, making the crust just shy of 1/4-inch thick, then press the remaining crumbs onto the bottom; use a the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to even out, if you like). Bake for 10 minutes until crisp.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Whisk gently until combined.

how to make chocolate cream pie

In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk and egg yolks. Add the mixture to the saucepan in a slow and steady stream, whisking until the mixture is smooth.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, 6-8 minutes. Immediately turn the heat down to a simmer and cook — whisking constantly, especially around the edges — for one more minute until thick. (The constant stirring and low heat prevents the eggs from scrambling. Be sure to scrape the whisk against the bottom and edges of the pan where the mixture is more likely to overheat.)

how to make chocolate cream pie

Turn off the heat, then immediately add the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla extract.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Whisk until smooth.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top. Press a piece of saran wrap directly over surface of the filling to prevent a film from forming; chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Up to three hours before serving, place the heavy cream in chilled mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip on medium-low speed until the whisk or beaters begin to leave tracks in the cream. Add the sugar and whip until the cream holds medium, silky peaks. Go slowly towards the end; if it gets grainy or curdled, you’ve gone too far.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Spoon the whipped cream over the filling.

how to make chocolate cream pie

Spread the whipped cream, leaving some of the chocolate filling showing around the edges. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Photo by Our Salty Kitchen

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Chocolate Cream Pie

With a cookie crust, silky chocolate pudding center and pillowy whipped cream topping, this pie is a chocolate lover’s dream.

Servings: 8-10

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • 28 Nabisco Chocolate Wafers (or 1-1/2 cups finely crushed crumbs)*
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, best quality such as Ghirardelli
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping

  • 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, grated or shaved

Instructions

For the Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine the chocolate wafers, sugar and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until the cookies are finely crushed. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan (spread some of the crumbs up the sides first, making the crust just shy of 1/4-inch thick, then press the remaining crumbs onto the bottom; use a the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to even out, if you like). Bake for 10 minutes until crisp.

For the Filling

  1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Whisk gently until combined.
  2. In a bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the milk and egg yolks. Add the milk mixture to the saucepan in a slow and steady stream, whisking until the mixture is smooth. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking frequently, until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken, 6-8 minutes. Immediately turn the heat down to a simmer and cook -- whisking constantly, especially around the edges -- for one more minute until thick. (The constant stirring and low heat prevents the eggs from scrambling. Be sure to scrape the whisk against the bottom and edges of the pan where the mixture is more likely to overheat.) Off the heat, immediately add the chopped chocolate, butter and vanilla extract; whisk until evenly combined.
  3. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top. Press a piece of saran wrap directly over surface of the filling to prevent a film from forming; chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

For the Topping

  1. (Up to 3 hours before serving) Place the heavy cream in chilled mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip on medium-low speed until the whisk or beaters begin to leave tracks in the cream. Add sugar and whip until the cream holds medium, silky peaks. Go slowly towards the end; if it gets grainy or curdled, you’ve gone too far. Spread the whipped cream over the filling, leaving some of the chocolate filling showing around the edges. Sprinkle with the grated chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. *Nabisco cookies available in the cookie aisle at most major supermarkets. Sometimes they can be hard to spot. At my local Giant, they’re on the top shelf near the Oreos.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 663
  • Fat: 43 g
  • Saturated fat: 24 g
  • Carbohydrates: 67 g
  • Sugar: 49 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Sodium: 367 mg
  • Cholesterol: 172 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • The best chocolate cream pie recipe ever! So easy to make, it’s rich without being sickeningly rich like some chocolate pies. It looks beautiful in the end too. An all time favorite for us.

    • — Char on September 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    Can this be made in a 9”x13” pan for a crowd.

    • — Carla jourdan on September 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Carla, I wouldn’t recommend it. Due to the texture, I think it would be challenging to serve. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • I love this recipe. I used one package of “Honey Maid” chocolate graham crackers and it was delicious. It was easier to find than chocolate wafers. This is just the right sweetness with the bitter/unsweetened chocolate and only a little sugar. I love sweets and this really was perfect as is. I’ve made this several times with other chocolate I had in the cupboard like semi-sweet etc, and the flavor wasn’t too different. I like the original blend best though. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • — Michele H on August 30, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi!
    If I wanted to make a vanilla pudding, would this recipe work with just omitting the chocolate pieces?

    Thanks,
    Jan

    • — Jan on August 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Unfortunately, not, You’d need to make too many other tweaks to the recipe to make it work. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is a really good pie. I was surprised that without sweetened chocolate the flavor was so delicious. I’ve made it several times. Yum!

    • — Michele on August 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • The filling is creamy, chocolatey, delicious but a little too rich for us.
    And sadly my crust didn’t turn out well. I couldn’t find Nabisco wafers but I found brownie thin wafers at Whole Foods. Thought it could work but it didn’t.

    • — Noele on July 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • For those having trouble finding the chocolate wafers….I recently moved to a new state with new stores….I was in a panic until I found the chocolate wafers in the baking aisle, not the cookie aisle! So, making it again with no substitutions. Best chocolate pie ever!

    • — Kathy on June 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • What store had them in the baking aisle?? I just cannot find them anywhere. Jenn, could I use Oreo’s and take out the creme? I really need to figure this out, having a dinner party and my guests are in love with this pie. I hate to disappoint them.

      • — Constance A Ferraro on July 13, 2021
      • Reply
      • No need to disappoint your guests. 🙂 You can use Oreos and remove the cream.

        • — Jenn on July 13, 2021
        • Reply
  • I ended up with two smaller pies because I reused aluminum pie tins. What are your thoughts on freezing one of them without the whipping cream?

    • — Kristen on June 21, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kristen, Unfortunately, this pie doesn’t freeze well — sorry!

      • — Jenn on June 22, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi jenn
    Is there a non dairy alternative I could use instead of the milk?

    • — Chaya Kurz on June 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Chaya, I haven’t tried this with a non-dairy alternative. There’s a lot of milk in the recipe, so I’d be a little concerned about the results. I would suggest looking for a tried and true chocolate pudding recipe made with a non-dairy alternative. You can use that as the filling.

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn

    This is my second time making this pie and it was incredible. The texture of the filling is PERFECT. I was wondering if I could take the custard part of the recipe and make it butterscotch? Do you think I could use butterscotch chips and decrease the sugar? Thoughts and thanks again!

    Jennifer

    • — Jennifer Patzer on June 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked it! Unfortunately, I don’t think it will translate well to a butterscotch pudding without a lot of tweaks. I’d suggest looking specifically for a butterscotch pudding recipe.

      • — Jenn on June 8, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, how are you?

    I use many of your recipes and they are always perfect. I have made this pie before and as always, it is excellent!
    I want to make it again today but realize I only have unsweetened cocoa bars and unsweetened cocoa powder. Is it possible to use only unsweetened cocoa and add more sugar?
    Thank you for your time. Hope all is well.
    Stay safe, Kelly

    • — Kelly on May 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, So glad you like the recipes! I wouldn’t recommend the changes you’re suggesting for this one — sorry!

      • — Jenn on May 25, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this pie for my fiancée’s birthday and it was amazing! He is a super chocolate lover. I couldn’t find the Nabisco wafers (tried three stores! haha) so I had to substitute for 28 oreos, but that was the only change. I’m sure I’ll be getting requests for this one again!

    • — Ashley Falgout on May 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • We all loved this pie! I used a nut crust and sugar substitute in the whipped cream and made the custard exactly as printed. I was wondering if using a sugar sub like powdered Swerve or xilytol in the custard would destroy the taste or texture. We have to watch our sugars here but would love to enjoy this pie more often.

    • — Jude on April 9, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wow! Perfect chocolate cream pie…..ditto to all the previous comments, not to sweet, the blend of chocolate is just right. Thank you!

    • — Mary Pat on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • Making this tomorrow and wondered if I use Oreos instead how many cookies do I use (top and bottom parts w/out the cream)? I see 28 cookies are required but didn’t know if that was a total of 28 parts or 56 parts using both top and bottom of the Oreo cookie. Thanks!

    • — Kevan on April 2, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Kevan, You’ll need 28 parts. Hope that clarifies and you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2021
      • Reply
  • This is some excellent chocolate cream pie. Good quality and delicious! I’ve made it several times and it always comes out terrific. I’ve tried different kinds of chocolate, but the bittersweet is a must. Not too sweet and very good. Thanks for the recipe!

    • — Michele on March 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this last night for a family dinner and it was a huge hit! I could not find the 100% Cacao chocolate, so I bought 2 bars of the Ghirardelli 72% Cacao. The instructions for the filling and whipped cream were very good – I normally don’t make deserts and was afraid that I would screw up the filling, but it turned out perfectly! Thank you so much for this recipe – it’s a keeper!

    • — Margot Bradley on March 15, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have 2% milk. Will that work here?

    • — Sarah on February 27, 2021
    • Reply
    • I don’t recommend it, Sarah. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on February 27, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this on Saturday for Valentine’s day on Sunday and it was wonderful. My husband still is talking about the pie.
    I followed the directions but had to add some additional wafers and butter to make a little more crust. I think my pie pan may have been a little larger.

    How many days can you keep the pie in the refrigerator?

    • — Nancy M Gottesfeld on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad it was a hit! It should keep nicely in the fridge for up to about 4 days.

      • — Jenn on February 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • We made this for St Valentine’s Day! It looked just like your picture, Jenn! I was so relieved and impressed! My family LOVED it and my husband said it was my best dessert ever! Wow! I still can’t believe you have taught me how to make choc “custard” from scratch, Jenn! I’ve never in my life been able to do it! This will be a repeat!

    • — StephDownUnder on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
  • I halved this recipe and filled 6 mini graham cracker pie crusts. Halving the chocolate was easy with a digital kitchen scale, the pudding thickened in about 6 minutes and the hardest part is waiting the 8 hours/overnight for it to set. I’ve always been hesitant to use cornstarch, afraid of picking up the taste in the final product but it worked out great, no trace of chalkiness which just means I used it incorrectly in the past. The good part was licking the pot and the spoon – using good quality chocolate really takes this up a notch giving the pudding a deep chocolaty flavor without being overly sweet. No doubt this will be most excellent with fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate but on its own it is pretty awesome.

    • — Marilyn Segal on February 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • This looks incredible but I need to make it 100% gluten-free. Do you have a substitute cookie I can use for the crust that will taste as good?

    • — Stefany on February 5, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Stefany, I’m not familiar with these cookies, but another reader commented “I used one box of Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Jo Jo’s chocolate sandwich cookies. Since they tend to be crispier and more dry, I used two tablespoons more of butter when I made the crust.” Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on February 7, 2021
      • Reply
      • Jenn, I’ve made your pie a few times now but I’ve always used Graham crackers for the crust. Today I plan to make it but I only have Oreo cookies. I plan to add just a bit of peppermint extract to the crust (over the holidays I found a premade crust with peppermint and nuts and used this pie filling. It was to die for, lol). If I use oreos can I leave the filling in and just omit the sugar? I would hate to waste all of that oreo filling. Please reply as soon as possible as I plan to get started in about 2 hrs time. Thanks!

        • — Tammie on February 12, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Tammie, Oreos would be fine here, but for the most predictable results, I’d remove the filling and use the sugar called for in the recipe. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

          • — Jenn on February 12, 2021
          • Reply
          • Thanks so much for replying so quickly. Okay I’ll put in the extra work and save the filling for a side treat for my son, lol. All the best to you and yours….

            • — Tammie on February 12, 2021
  • Absolutely love this recipe so decadent and delicious!! This is my go to recipe for holiday dessert! My family and I love chocolate and this recipe!! 5 stars perfection!!

    • — Mary Dickinson on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
  • This recipe was intimidating to me the first time I made it, but I followed the recipe exactly and it was actually easy to do! The step by step photos are really helpful. Even the stated timing on cooking the milk and egg mixture was spot on. This pie is a family favorite now!

    • — Carin on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • THE BEST! This is our favorite summer potluck dessert and it’s always a big hit. I cheat and use the Oreo crust that’s already done and it’s still amazing.

    • — Jill DeMichiel on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have become a pie baker over the last ten years or so and have tried lots of recipes for various pies. This is my go to chocolate cream pie. On more than one occasion, I have received the response that it was the “best custard pie I have ever eaten”. The photo of your Dad accompanying the recipe is a very nice touch and adds flavor to the pie even before it is made.
    Ron

    • — Ron Pimmel on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I have never liked chocolate pie until I tried this recipe. It is delicious. The chocolate is very rich and not too sweet. I use a traditional pie crust instead of the chocolate crust. (Just personal preference.) So good!

    • — Kim on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This chocolate cream pie is probably one of the best desserts I’ve ever made. It has become a family tradition for Thanksgiving & Christmas for my family. The chocolate pudding filling is so decadent and delicious.

    • — Jan on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Followed recipe exactly and read reviews prior to making. Thought 1/2 tsp salt used in filling gave finished pie an overly salty taste. I used regular iodized table salt. Would omit or use 1/8 tsp next time.

    • — Julia Moynihan on January 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • This was a fantastic recipe to make, my question is does it need to chill for 8 hours? Will it (be soupy, if you will) if you cut the pie earlier?

    • — Jen on December 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Jen, It does need 8 hours to set up; it will be difficult to slice if you rush it. Sorry!!

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2020
      • Reply
      • I let the pie sit in the freezer for 90 mins and then 3 hours in the fridge and the pie came out perfect!

        • — Kathy on March 6, 2021
        • Reply
        • So glad it worked out — thanks for reporting back!

          • — Jenn on March 8, 2021
          • Reply
  • Hi Jenn – I made this at thanksgiving and it was a HIT! However, I made it today with 1% milk and it’s a disaster. It looks like hot chocolate. I still poured it in the cookie shell & am hoping it thickens. I checked all the other ingredients and I included all of them. Any idea if this will thicken by tonight? I doubt you can respond since it’s Christmas Eve but – thought I’d try! Love ❤️ all your recipes!

    • — Karen Lynch on December 24, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Karen, The filling should firm up somewhat in the fridge but, unfortunately, low fat milk may cause it to be a bit runny. If it’s too difficult to slice, you could scoop it into pretty glasses and call it something else…it should still taste delicious!

      • — Jenn on December 24, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks! Great idea!!

        • — Karen Lynch on December 24, 2020
        • Reply
  • Can you use almond milk instead of milk?

    • — Cathy on November 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Cathy, I haven’t tried this with almond milk. There’s a lot of milk in the recipe, so I’d be a little concerned about the results. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • How far in advance can I prepare this prior to serving? Can I refrigerate it (without the whip cream topping) for 2 days?

    • — andi on October 28, 2020
    • Reply
    • Sure, Andi, it keeps nicely, so 2 days ahead will work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 29, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, what percent chocolate do you recommend for the bittersweet chocolate? 60%? 70%? And what is your favorite brand to use?

    • — Lynne on September 13, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Lynn, I use 60% for the bittersweet and my favorite brand is Ghiradelli. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious and so easy. What I love about Jenn’s recipes is that I’m not nervous trying them for the first time if having someone over. It gets expensive testing recipes all the time! I trust her instincts and her recipes never disappoint.

    • — Danielle M on September 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • Really want to make this pie. But don’t use cornstarch. Can I substitute tapioca for it.

    • — Carol on August 27, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, I’ve never used tapioca, but from what I read online, it looks like it’s doable but the quantity is a little different. You can read more here. Please keep in mind that I haven’t tried it myself. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 27, 2020
      • Reply
    • Arrowroot is generally a good substitute for cornstarch.

      • — Dani M on September 6, 2020
      • Reply
  • This pie was yummy. My only complaint is that the chocolate crust came out a bit too thick but still tasted good.

    • — Dorothy on August 13, 2020
    • Reply
  • I cooked the milk and egg mixture about 10 minutes because it was not at all thickening, but then I got nervous and decided to stop and add the chocolate. I realized it was still too runny and cooked it a few minutes more. I hope I didn’t ruin the pie. It’s in the fridge chilling. Will it still be edible? I don’t want to make my family sick. I’ve had a lot of success with your recipes!

    • — Anna on August 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Anna, sorry you struggled with this a bit. While the mixture won’t get really thick on the stove, it should thicken up just a bit (enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon if you stick it in there). It does most of the thickening in the fridge. If it didn’t thicken in the fridge, is there a chance you forgot to add the cornstarch? (Regardless, it should not make your family sick.)

      • — Jenn on August 10, 2020
      • Reply
      • The filling did thicken in the fridge. Even though my technique was off, the pie turned out good. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate pie but my daughter says she loves it. We will make again. Thank you!

        • — Anna on August 11, 2020
        • Reply
        • Glad it turned out well!

          • — Jenn on August 11, 2020
          • Reply
  • I normally never make desserts but I decided to try this as I have a lot of leftover chocolate. I modified it slightly in that I added bananas to the bottom of the pie shell before adding the chocolate over it. It was delicious, the chocolate was light not at all sweet and the addition of whipped cream just before serving added the right touch.

    • — Monica on July 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Oooh, you just gave me an idea. I want to use Biscoff cookies for the crust but I also want to add the spread into the pie as well. I thought about doing a few swirls but I can’t remember how quickly this begins to set. I think I’ll add a layer of Biscoff spread after pouring half of the pie filling in then add the rest. I know this pie isn’t as rich as it seems it’s going to be so adding the Biscoff layers will give it a nice balance. At least I’m hoping it will, lol. Thanks for sharing your idea… 👍🏻

      • — Tammie on September 8, 2021
      • Reply

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