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This decadent Chocolate Cream Pie recipe uses an easy technique for creating a perfect chocolate custard with far less effort than other methods. A great dessert choice for a special occasion or anytime a chocolate craving strikes!
If you are a true chocolate lover, you are in the right place. This luscious but easy Chocolate Cream Pie is one of the most comforting, satisfying desserts in existence. It’s a great choice whether you’re looking for the perfect way to say Happy Valentine’s Day or want to add some chocolate to a Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert menu.
But, really, who needs a special occasion? I am of the belief that chocolate can make a not so great day 100% better. A slice of Chocolate Cream Pie any day is a sure-fire mood booster.
I first shared my shortcut custard technique with my Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie recipe. This same method creates a perfectly smooth, fabulously creamy, from scratch chocolate custard for this pie with far less effort than other recipes. No tempering, no straining, and totally foolproof. This method is a game changer!
The resulting custard is so irresistible you’ll want to eat it with a spoon before you even pour it into the crust. And, honestly, that’s not such a bad idea!
Chocolate Cream Pie Ingredients
- You’ll need a 4 ounce bar of unsweetened baking chocolate, like Baker’s brand.
- You can use either whole or 2% milk for this custard. I’ve done this pie with both with a great result but whole milk will give you a slightly richer result.
- To richen the custard even further, you’ll need to separate the eggs and use just the egg yolks.
Make Ahead Method
This is a recipe that requires a little advance planning. The custard is prepared and the pie is mostly assembled a day in advance and chilled overnight. The pie pastry can be made and refrigerated for up to 2 or 3 days before you are ready to assemble the pie.
How to Make the Chocolate Custard
- Place the sugar, cornstarch, and salt into a medium sized saucepan.
- Whisk together the egg yolks and milk in a separate bowl until fully combined, and then slowly pour the mixture into the sugar mixture in the saucepan (off the heat), whisking constantly while pouring, until completely smooth.
- Turn the heat under the saucepan to medium, and cook the custard mixture, whisking frequently, until it is thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. As soon as you see it beginning to thicken, whisk vigorously and constantly for about 1 minute and then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chopped chocolate and butter with a wooden spoon, stirring vigorously until the chocolate and butter have melted.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the custard into the baked and cooled pie crust, smoothing the top with a spoon. Allow it to rest and cool just slightly for about 5 minutes.
- Press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the still warm custard to prevent a film from forming. Immediately transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
How to Top a Chocolate Cream Pie
- Beat the heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Spread over the chilled chocolate custard. To emphasize the chocolate flavor, I garnish my Chocolate Cream Pie with shaved chocolate just before serving. Run a vegetable peeler down the edge of a semisweet or bittersweet chocolate baking bar to create the chocolate shavings.
The Best Pie Crust for Cream Pies
Since cream pies don’t go in the oven, you’ll need a fully baked pie crust as a base. I’ve included the directions to blind bake my Easy Food Processor Pie Crust recipe on the recipe card below. A simple, traditional pie crust that doesn’t compete with the flavor of the chocolate custard is my favorite for this pie.
To make this recipe even easier, feel free to pick up a store bought pie crust. If it is refrigerated or frozen, follow the package directions to pre-bake or blind bake the crust.
The easiest option of all is to pick up a ready made graham cracker or Oreo pie crust from the baking section of the grocery store. These are ready to fill with no advance baking.
More Chocolate Love!
- Molten Chocolate Cakes with Sugared Raspberries
- One Bowl Chocolate Cake
- Chewy Chocolate Dipped Oatmeal Cookies
- Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
Chocolate Cream Pie
Easy Chocolate Custard
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups milk whole or 2%
- 4 large egg yolks
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate roughly chopped (like Baker's brand)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- milk, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate shavings from a chocolate baking bar
9-inch Single Crust Pie Pastry
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup unsalted butter very cold
- 3 tablespoons shortening regular or butter flavored very cold
- 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
For the Easy Chocolate Custard
- Place the sugar, cornstarch, and salt into a medium sized saucepan. Whisk together egg yolks and milk in a separate bowl until fully combined, and then slowly pour the mixture into the sugar mixture in the saucepan (off the heat), whisking while pouring, until no lumps remain.
- Turn the heat under saucepan to MEDIUM, and cook the custard mixture, whisking frequently, until it is thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. It will seem as if it isn't going to thicken but once it starts, it happens quickly so be ready for it. As soon as you see it beginning to thicken, whisk vigorously and constantly for about 1 minute and then remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the chocolate and butter with a wooden spoon, stirring vigorously until the chocolate and butter have melted. Stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the custard into a baked and cooled pie crust (see directions below for a home baked pie crust), smoothing the top with a spoon. Allow it to rest and cool just slightly for about 5 minutes. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the still warm custard to prevent a film from forming. Immediately transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Whipped Cream and Chocolate Shavings
- Beat the heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over chilled chocolate custard.
- Run a vegetable peeler down the edge of a milk, semisweet, or bittersweet chocolate baking bar to create the chocolate shavings.
- Can be served immediately but I find it slices a bit better if chilled, uncovered, for an hour or two before serving.
For the Pie Crust
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. and pulse 4 or 5 times until combined.
- Cut butter and shortening into small pieces. Add to the flour and process about 20 seconds or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water and pulse about 6 times. Add additional water a little at a time and pulse until mixture begins to hold together. You may not need to use all the water.
- Remove pastry from the food processor bowl, form into a ball and place it on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten the ball slightly with your hand and wrap the flattened pie pastry in the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to two days.
- When ready to roll out, remove the pastry from the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter for about 10 to 15 minutes. Lightly flour a large board and using a rolling pin, roll the pastry out in a circle about 1/8-inch thick until it is large enough to fit your pie plate, with about 1-inch of pastry going beyond the rim of the plate. Press the pastry gently down into the plate and then evenly trim the edges to about 1/2-inch of the edge of the pan with a sharp knife. Tuck the top edge of crust over and under and crimp or flute the edges.
- Transfer the pie plate to the freezer for 30 minutes (no more) while you preheat the oven.
Blind Bake the Crust
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place your oven rack in the center of the oven.
- Line the crust with foil (I like to use regular thickness foil because it is more pliable than parchment and easier to shape into the unbaked pie crust without ruining the fluted edge). Press the foil down lightly and right up to the edges of the crust. Fill the foil-lined crust with pie weights (I use a mixture of dry beans that I keep on hand for this purpose) and bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are light golden brown. Remove the dish from the oven and carefully remove pie weights and foil. Use a fork to prick the bottom surface of the crust all over. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F, place the pie plate back into the oven, and continue baking an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until entire crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.