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This chocolate pie is a dreamy, decadent dessert for any occasion. It's a rich chocolate filling chilled in a golden pie crust, served with whipped cream, and an easy cocoa nib praline. It's simple to make with only real ingredients.
Try our chocolate pumpkin pie for a chocolatey spin on everyone's favorite fall dessert!
Calling all serious chocaholics! This heavenly chocolate pie recipe is for you! While anyone with tastebuds will enjoy a slice of this easy chocolate pie, it really is a dessert for chocolate lovers.
We actually shared this recipe years ago but we've since made some changes to it. It used to be a more involved recipe, but we've simplified it so that it's now quite easy to make.
The texture of the chocolate pie filling is sensationally rich and smooth, almost like chocolate mousse or chocolate pudding, but in pie form. It gets baked in a golden pie crust and we serve it with whipped cream and a homemade cacao nib praline (with bacon)!
This chocolate pie recipe is so easy to make and so decadent. It's perfect for entertaining because it needs to chill in the fridge anyway. It really is the dessert to make for special occasions like birthdays, Valentine's Day, and even Thanksgiving.
What is praline?
For special occasions, we like to top this chocolate pie with pieces of praline. It really makes it feel special and is totally worth the tiny bit of extra effort to make it.
Praline is a type of sugary, nutty candy typically made with sugar, corn syrup, butter, and nuts. While it's common to see praline nuts like pecans or almonds, in this recipe we make it into a thin crispy topping for the pie.
Chocolate pie ingredients
This easy chocolate pie is made from scratch using only real ingredients. You won't find any boxed mixes in this recipe! Here's what you need for the chocolate pie:
- Pie crust – we use our butter and shortening pie crust, but you can use your favorite pie crust recipe, or even a store-bought crust to keep it really simple.
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar – we use both sugars for the best flavor.
- Cornstarch – cornstarch acts as a thickener to give the chocolate filling some structure and form.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – unsweetened cocoa powder gives this pie its distinct chocolatey taste.
- Whole milk – whole milk has a higher fat content than other milks which adds to the overall texture of the filling.
- Egg yolks – egg yolks also act as a thickener, while giving the filling a rich-tasting, velvety texture.
- Bittersweet chocolate – bittersweet chocolate gives the filling an extra deep dark chocolate taste.
- Salted butter – butter is a wonderfully versatile ingredient in baking that adds richness and flavor. If you only have unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
- Vanilla – vanilla extract works well with the chocolate to bring out all the flavors.
Here's everything you need for the cocoa nib praline:
- Light corn syrup – using corn syrup in praline helps prevent it from developing a grainy texture.
- Brown sugar – brown sugar gives the praline a rich caramel taste.
- Salted butter – butter adds totally necessary flavor.
- Sea salt
- Cocoa nibs – cocoa nibs are crumbled bits of dried cacao beans. Unlike chocolate chips, they're not sweet at all. They're slightly bitter like raw cacao powder, and the texture resembles roasted coffee beans.
- Crispy cooked bacon – the bacon is optional but it works really well with the other ingredients in the pie and adds a savory element. Cook it until crispy and then crumble it into tiny pieces.
How to make chocolate pie
This easy chocolate pie recipe is a rich, decadent dessert for dinner parties and special occasions of all kinds. Here's how we make the chocolate pie in a few easy steps:
- Bake the pie crust until it's golden brown.
- While it bakes, make the filling. Start by adding the sugars, cornstarch, and cocoa powder to a pot.
- Next, whisk together the milk and egg yolks in a bowl and then slowly pour them into the pot, whisking until smooth.
- Bring the chocolate mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Once it boils, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate, butter, and vanilla.
- Pour the chocolaty filling into the baked pie shell and then let it cool on the counter before transferring it to your fridge to cool completely.
- Serve your chocolate pie with whipped cream and praline (if using). Shaved chocolate is also a nice touch. Yum!
When to serve chocolate pie
Chocolate pies are the dessert to make for the chocolate lovers in your life. Forget the birthday cake and make them this heavenly chocolate pie. Stick a few candles in it and watch their face light up!
This easy chocolate pie is the perfect make-ahead dessert for a dinner party, holiday dinner, or special celebration. You don't need to wait for a special occasion to make it though, it's totally acceptable to enjoy this chocolate cream pie any day of the week!
Can I use cacao powder instead of cocoa powder?
We don't recommend substituting cacao powder for cocoa powder because, although they're similar, they have different flavor profiles. Cacao powder is more bitter which we haven't accounted for in this recipe.
Can I use a different type of crust?
Of course! An Oreo or graham cracker crust tastes amazing, too. Feel free to use a gluten-free crust if needed.
Can I make the praline ahead of time?
Yes, the praline can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store it in an airtight in a single layer between layers of parchment paper at room temperature.
Do I need to refrigerate the chocolate pie?
Yes, chocolate pie needs to be refrigerated both before and after serving. It will keep for about a week if stored tightly covered.
Can I freeze chocolate pie?
For the best taste and texture, this pie is best enjoyed right away. That said, it can be frozen for up to 3 months if properly stored. Thaw it overnight in the fridge when you're ready to serve it.
Why is my chocolate pie runny?
If your chocolate pie is runny, it could be that the filling wasn't cooked long enough. It's important to bring the filling to a boil. In order for the filling to firm up, the pie also needs to cool completely in the fridge which can take a minimum of 3-4 hours.
- 1 pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
- ½ cup EACH: granulated sugar and brown sugar (packed)
- ¼ cup EACH: cornstarch and unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cocoa Nib Praline
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salted butter (room temperature)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs (can sub minced nuts)
- 1 tablespoon crispy cooked bacon (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork then line the bottom with parchment paper. Place pie weights or dry beans into the bottom of the pie and bake it for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and pie weights then bake the pie for another 10-15 minutes, until it is golden brown.1 pie crust
- While the pie crust bakes, make the filling. Add both the sugars, cornstarch, and cocoa powder to a medium-sized pot.½ cup EACH: granulated sugar and brown sugar, ¼ cup EACH: cornstarch and unsweetened cocoa powder
- Whisk the milk and egg yolks in a bowl and then slowly pour them into the pot, whisking as you pour, until the mixture is smooth.2 ½ cups whole milk, 4 large egg yolks
- Turn the heat to medium and cook the filling, whisking frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and add the chocolate, butter, and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts.4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 2 tablespoons salted butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pour the filling into the pie crust and let it cool for 30 minutes on your counter. Move the pie to your fridge and let it cool completely.
- Serve the chocolate pie with whipped cream, and if using, the praline.
Cocoa Nib Praline
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until mixture spreads and is deep golden brown, about 10 minutes Note: the mixture will flow together into 1 piece on the baking sheet.1 tablespoon light corn syrup, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salted butter, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs, 1 tablespoon crispy cooked bacon
- Remove the praline from the oven and let it cool completely on the baking sheet. Break the praline into irregular pieces or shards. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store airtight in a single layer, or between layers of parchment paper, at room temperature.)
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.