Chocolate Cream Pie

$10.57 recipe / $1.32 serving
by Monti - Budget Bytes
4 from 1 vote
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Get the chocolate fix of your dreams with this luscious and easy-to-make Chocolate Cream Pie! What’s not to love about velvety smooth chocolate cream filling encased in a crispy pie dough shell and topped with sweetened whipped cream!?!? P.S. Use store-bought pie crust and whipped cream topping to make this one of the easiest pies ever. Or try our 3-Ingredient Pie Crust and Homemade Whipped Cream for more of a challenge!

Close up overhead view of a chocolate cream pie topped with whipped cream.

What Is Chocolate Cream Pie?

Chocolate cream pie is a chocolate-based custard that’s thickened with eggs. The custard can be layered in a cookie crust (like the one in our Coconut Cream Pie Bars) or a traditional pie crust that’s baked ahead of time to prevent the dreaded soggy bottom. Chocolate Cream Pie is topped with whipped cream or meringue and can be garnished with fresh raspberries, mint, or a sprinkle of chocolate shavings.

Ingredients For Chocolate Cream Pie

  • Pie Crust: Use a store-bought 9-inch pie crust or half a recipe of our 3-Ingredient Pie Crust. Either way, you’ll have to blind-bake it, i.e., thoroughly bake it, before you fill it. Another option is to skip the baking altogether and make a cookie crust, like the one we use in our Coconut Cream Pie Bars.
  • Whole Milk: Milk helps thin out the chocolate and creates a pudding-like consistency. If you are plant-based, substitute with full-fat coconut milk.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the filling. You can substitute with brown sugar for deeper caramel notes.
  • Eggs: Create the custard base. They thicken the filling and give it a luxurious mouthfeel. 
  • Cornstarch: Helps thicken the custard and gives it a glossy finish.
  • Cocoa Powder: Deepens the chocolate notes in the filling. 
  • Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate: This is the flavor base of our chocolate filling. It also helps to thicken the filling. For a pie with less sweetness, use bittersweet chocolate. Milk chocolate is not recommended for this recipe. Do not use chocolate chips, as these are designed not to melt. 
  • Salted Butter: Adds a glossy finish to the filling. If you don’t have salted butter, use unsalted, and add 1/8th teaspoon salt to the filling mixture. If you’re dairy-free, substitute with plant-based butter.
  • Whipped Cream Topping: Use store-bought whipped topping in a pressurized can for a stabilized cream that can take a little heat. Otherwise, make our Homemade Whipped Cream topping.

How To Serve Chocolate Cream Pie

If serving on a hot day, the whipped cream topping tends to melt and pool all over your chocolate custard. At these times, it’s best to top the pie with Meringue or Stabilized Whipped Cream. Whipped cream in a pressurized can holds up well, too. If you’re using Homemade Whipped Cream, top each slice with whipped cream as you serve. Or pipe the cream and freeze the pie. It will thaw quickly as you serve. Shaved chocolate is a wonderful and economical choice for garnish. If it’s in your budget, fresh raspberries and mint also make an incredible garnish. 

How To Store Chocolate Cream Pie

Because this pie refrigerates and freezes beautifully, it’s a perfect make-ahead dessert. Fill the crust with the custard, place plastic wrap or parchment paper directly on the surface, wrap in aluminum, and refrigerate until set. Then, freeze for up to 3 months. If making ahead, it’s best to freeze the pie and thaw just before serving. It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days; then, the crust begins to get soggy.

Side view of a chocolate cream pie with a slice removed.
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Chocolate Cream Pie

4 from 1 vote
This chocolate cream pie recipe features a silky chocolate cream filling, flakey pie crust, and a fluffy whipped cream topping. 
Overhead view of a chocolate cream pie with whipped cream on top and a slice removed.
Servings 8 slices
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total 5 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk ($0.75)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar ($0.36)
  • 3 large eggs, beaten ($0.40)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch ($0.15)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ($0.38)
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter ($0.37)
  • 2 4oz. bars semi-sweet baking chocolate, finely chopped ($4.98)
  • 1 pie crust ($1.40)
  • 2 cups whipped cream ($0.89)
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven according to the pie crust directions. Poke the bottom of your pie crust a few times with a fork to create steam vents. Add a sheet of parchment paper and weigh down the parchment with about 2 cups of dry beans or pie weights. Cover the edge of the pie crust with foil or pie ring so it doesn't scorch.
  • Follow package directions and bake until crispy and golden. Remove weights and allow the crust to cool.
  • While the crust blind bakes set a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 cups of the milk and the sugar to a saucepot and stir until combined. Bring this mixture slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally so none of the milk scalds.
  • In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup of milk, the beaten eggs, cornstarch, and cocoa powder until smooth.
  • Once the milk boils, take it off the heat. Then add 1/4 cup of the milk mixture to the egg mixture and stir. Add another 1/4 cup of the milk mixture to the egg mixture and stir.
  • Put the milk back on medium heat and add the warm egg mixture to it, whisking non-stop until the mixture thickens into a pudding-like consistency.
  • Once the mixture thickens, take it off the heat and whisk in the finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Add the butter and whisk until smooth. Pass the chocolate filling through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl.
  • Spray a piece of plastic wrap large enough to cover the bowl with cooking spray, then top the surface of the chocolate filling with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or until cool.
  • Once the filling has cooled, remove the plastic wrap and reserve. Pour the chocolate filling into the baked pie shell. Reuse the plastic wrap and place it directly on the surface of the filling. Chill the pie for an additional 3 hours.
  • Top the chocolate cream pie with whipped cream topping, slice, serve, and enjoy.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 552kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 10gFat: 30gSodium: 203mgFiber: 4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Side view of a slice of chocolate cream pie on a plate.

How to Make Chocolate Cream Pie – Step by Step Photos

Pie crust being pricked with a fork.

Preheat the oven according to the pie crust directions. Poke the bottom of a pie crust a few times with a fork to create steam vents. Add a sheet of parchment paper and weigh down the parchment with about 2 cups of dry beans or pie weights. Cover the edge of the pie crust with a foil ring or pie ring so it doesn’t scorch. Follow package directions and bake until crispy and golden. Remove weights and allow the crust to cool.

Milk pouring into a sauce pan with sugar.

While the crust blind bakes set a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 cups milk and 1 cup of sugar and stir until combined. Bring this mixture slowly to a boil, stirring occasionally so none of the milk scalds.

sugar, egg, and chocolate in a bowl.

In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup of milk, 3 large beaten eggs, 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1/3 cup cocoa powder until smooth.

Milk being added to the chocolate mixture.

Once the milk boils, take it off the heat. Then add 1/4 cup of the milk mixture to the egg mixture and stir. Add another 1/4 cup of the milk mixture to the egg mixture and stir. 

Chocolate mixture being poured into hot milk.

Put the milk back on medium heat and add the warm egg mixture to it, whisking non-stop until the mixture thickens into a pudding-like consistency.

Thickened milk chocolate mixture.

The thickened chocolate mixture should look like this.

Chopped chocolate added to the saucepot.

Once the mixture thickens, take it off the heat and whisk in the 2 bars of finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate.

Butter added to the chocolate.

Add 3 tablespoons of butter. Whisk until smooth.

Chocolate being pushed through a sieve.

Pass the chocolate filling through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl.

Chocolate in a bowl with plastic on top.

Spray a piece of plastic wrap large enough to cover the bowl with cooking spray, then top the surface of the chocolate filling with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or until cool. 

Chocolate cream mixture being poured into the pie crust.

Once the filling has cooled, remove the plastic wrap and reserve. Pour the chocolate filling into the baked pie shell. Reuse the plastic wrap and place it directly on the surface of the filling. Chill the pie for an additional 3 hours.

Whipped cream being piped onto the chocolate cream pie.

Top with whipped cream topping, slice into eight pieces, and enjoy!

Finished chocolate cream pie with a piece being lifted out.
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Comments

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  1. Can one substitute 8 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate chips for the two 4-oz. bars of semi-sweet baking chocolate?

    1. Chocolate chips often have a stabilizer added to them so they don’t lose their shape in cookies, so they usually don’t melt smoothly like baking chocolate.

  2. I’m excited to make this soon! Is there a way we can request more slow cooker recipes now that it’s Fall/Winter season? Thank you!

    1. We’re testing some for sure! But it’s tricky because, in general, I don’t think most food is a good fit for the super wet cooking environment of a slow cooker. So there are very few things that I would actually recommend to make in a slow cooker. :P

  3. This reminds me of the frozen pies my parents would buy when I was a kid. They weren’t very big and we would just cut it up into 5 pieces and be done with it.

  4. Monti, could you please proofread this for the sugar amounts. The ingredient list says 1 cup, the directions say 3 cups and the step-by-step says 2 cups.

  5. Question: The recipe uses 3 cups of sugar but the ingredient list says 1 cup of sugar?

    1. If anyone is curious I used 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of sugar (half granulated, half brown). It was plenty sweet.

    2. Sorry about that, it’s fixed now! It’s one cup of sugar, 3 cups of milk. :)