Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe (Easy & Rustic)

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This easy and rustic chocolate cream pie is the best recipe for the beginner baker. The from-scratch pudding filling comes together quickly and can be paired with a pre-made crust (either homemade or store-bought) for an impressive dessert that offers a satisfying finish to almost any meal.

Cocoa cream pie with a slice removed.

Why I Love This Recipe

Before we talk about how delicious and easy this recipe is, we need to talk about who I am as a pie maker. I make ugly pies!

I’m good at a lot of things and I have a lot of strengths, but making pretty pies is just not one of them. I've just learned to call them “rustic” and now pretend they're ugly on purpose.

My friend, Abby Jo Vanhoutan, published a cookbook titled, Cozy Christmas Baking, and she asked me to collaborate with her and help her promote her book by making some of the recipes and sharing the results with my friends and followers.

I, of course, was excited to help her out! This chocolate cream pie grabbed my attention, and I was not disappointed with the results!

What I love about this chocolate cream pie recipe is that whether it's beautiful or “rustic”, the flavor is out of this world, and it's a fairly simple pie recipe to throw together for a get-together, potluck, housewarming gift, or to bring to dinner at someone's house.

Because this recipe needs to be refrigerated, you can make it ahead of time and forget about it until ready to serve.

Pie crust rolled out on a floured surface with a rolling pin.

Ingredients

There's nothing that makes me happier than when great recipes call for basic ingredients that I already have on hand in my kitchen! This pie definitely fits in that category.

  • Pie Crust – If you're short on time or new to baking, a store-bought pie crust will work just fine. Pro Tip: To save time, I batch make pie crusts, and keep them in my freezer for a quick and economical option to store-bought. If you prefer, a pre-baked graham cracker crust can also be used.
  • Cocoa Powder – Dutch-processed, natural cocoa powder, or dark chocolate cocoa powder all work in this recipe. Feel free to use what you have on hand.
  • Corn Starch – Without cornstarch, you will have runny chocolate pudding as opposed to pie. It is critical if you want your pie to set up properly.
  • Egg Yolks – The egg whites can be reserved to make a meringue topping if you'd prefer that to whipped cream.
  • Sugar– Abby Jo notes that the original recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of sugar, but she scaled it back to 1 cup to balance the sweet to the chocolate. I have a sweet tooth, but the chocolate lover that I am, prefers the chocolate flavor over super sweet, so I agree 1 cup is sufficient.
  • Salt – Any salt will do, use what you have on hand.
  • Milk – I suggest using whole milk. Skim or 2% won’t give you the same rich texture and flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract – A must, don't skip this!

Supplies Needed

  • Pie Plate – A deep-dish pie plate works best for this recipe to allow plenty of room for the whipped cream topping.
  • Dry Beans – These are used in place of ceramic pie weights. If you have pie weights, use those! I've just always used dry beans.
  • Parchment Paper – This keeps the beans from sticking to the pie crust as it bakes.
  • Heavy Bottom Sauce Pan – My Dutch oven was a perfect size.
  • Whisk – this keeps the pudding from getting lumpy as you stir.
Chocolate pudding being whisked in a pot.

How To Make Cocoa Cream Pie

  1. Start with blind baking your pie crust. (Blind baking is pre-baking the pie crust in the pie plate without other ingredients added.)
  2. Preheat the oven to 375.
  3. Roll out and place the pie crust in the pie plate. Crimp edges if so desired.
  4. To prevent the pie shell from shrinking inward as it bakes, line it with parchment paper and fill the inside with dry beans.
  5. Bake the pie crust for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove pie shell from the oven, and take out the beans and parchment paper.
  7. Poke holes in the crust with a fork and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden brown.
  8. While the crust is baking, start assembling the pie filling.
  9. Into a heavy bottom pot add cocoa powder, corn starch, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Stir this together until blended.
  10. Turn the burner to medium heat and continue to stir.
  11. Gradually add in milk.
  12. Whisk constantly, and cook until thickened. This can take approximately 10 minutes. My advice is to brew a cup of coffee! If you’re going to be standing at the stove for 10 minutes, there should definitely be coffee!
  13. Remove from heat and add vanilla, stirring until incorporated.
  14. Allow the pudding to cool slightly and pour into the crust.
  15. Cool completely by chilling in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving (no one wants a room temperature or runny pie).
A slice of cocoa cream pie on a plate with a fork.

Serving Suggestions

This pie can easily be served just as it is, but it’s fun to add some toppings too! If you have time, whip up the egg whites and make a meringue.

Alternately you can top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with cocoa powder, chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, chocolate shavings, berries, or chopped nuts.

Storage

I’m not sure if there will actually be any left-overs to merit mentioning storage, but if this need arises, you can store it in the refrigerator. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Chocolate pudding being poured into a pie crust.

FAQ's

Why is my chocolate cream pie runny?

As mentioned before, cornstarch is critical for this recipe. Do not be tempted to rely only on the egg yolks to thicken your pudding.

Additionally, cornstarch needs to reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit in order to thicken properly. Make sure the pie filling cooks for the full ten minutes even if it appears that it is thick enough.

Lastly, keep in mind that the pie continues to set up as it chills. Chilling for less than 4 hours before serving can yield a lukewarm runny pie.

How long can chocolate cream pie sit out?

Chocolate cream pie is always at its peak flavor and texture when served freshly chilled. If you find yourself in a situation where you are not able to keep it constantly chilled, it can safely be at room temperature for up to two hours.

Is chocolate cream pie the same as Boston cream pie?

No. While the names are similar, they are very different desserts. Boston cream pie is actually classified as a cake with cream filling and covered with a chocolate glaze.

What are the four types of pies?

Pies are classified as cream (think banana, coconut, or chocolate cream), fruit (think apple or cherry), custard (think pumpkin), and savory (think quiche).

Learn how savory pies can make quick, easy, and affordable meals using my quick & easy farmhouse quiche recipe.

More Recipes You May Like

A slice of cocoa cream pie on a plate with a fork.

Chocolate Cream Pie Recipe (Easy & Rustic)

This easy and rustic chocolate cream pie is the best recipe for a beginner baker. An impressive dessert that pairs well with almost any meal.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Cream Pie, Cocoa Cream Pie, Cream Pie
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 8 Slices
Calories: 281kcal
Author: Jessica Sowards

Equipment

  • Pie Plate
  • Dry Beans Rice or Ceramic Pie Weights
  • Parchment Paper
  • Heavy Bottom Sauce Pan
  • Whisk

Ingredients

  • Pie Crust
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Corn Starch
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Instructions

For the Crust

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Roll out and place the pie crust in the pie plate. Crimp edges if so desired.
  • To prevent the pie shell from shrinking inward as it bakes, line it with parchment paper and fill the inside with dry beans.
  • Bake the pie crust for 20 minutes.
  • Remove pie shell from the oven, and take out the beans and parchment paper.
  • Poke holes in the crust with a fork and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the crust is nice and golden brown.

For the Filling

  • While the crust is baking, start assembling the pie filling.
  • Into a heavy bottom pot add cocoa powder, corn starch, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Stir this together until blended.
  • Turn the burner to medium heat and continue to stir.
  • Gradually add in milk.
  • Whisk constantly, and cook until thickened. This can take approximately 10 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla, stirring until incorporated.
  • Allow the pudding to cool slightly and pour into the crust.
  • Cool completely by chilling in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.

Notes

  • Dry beans are fantastic for blind baking the pie crust.
  • This recipe is perfect to make a day ahead!
  • Can use dark or regular cocoa powder. 

Nutrition

Serving: 8Slices | Calories: 281kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 188mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 196IU | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg
I want to share this beautiful life with others and teach them the lessons we've learned along the way. Welcome to Roots and Refuge, friend. I am so glad you're here.

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