Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie

I hate to admit it, but I’ve actually been sitting on this recipe for two years, which teaches us two important lessons:
a) I often don’t know a good thing when it hits me (seriously, I’m always the last to get on board with new trends or ideas – ask me sometime about skinny jeans) and
b) I really do keep the recipes you send me (even if it seems like I’m not trying them, trust me, getting recipes from all of you is like Christmas morning every day of my life, and while I don’t have time to try them all immediately, trust you me, I try to!)

If you need one, fabulous, make-you-look-awesome recipe for Thanksgiving or Christmas or for next Tuesday night (you little overachiever you), this is the one. Take classic pecan pie and kick it up like a hundred notches. That’s what adding a decadent chocolate cream cheese layer and a rich caramel layer does.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie

The winning news about this pie is that I realized (you know, from firsthand quality control taste testing experience) that it actually tastes better the second day which is a huge score for you when it comes to prepping for holiday meals ahead of time. A quick little warm up in the oven or microwave and topped with a smidgeon of whipped cream and you have a ridiculously amazing pie.

I’m not normally a huge nuts-in-pies-or-anything-else-for-that-matter person but lemmetellyou, chocolate caramel pecan pie has completely won my heart.

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie

One Year Ago: Black Bean Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread with Vanilla Glaze
Three Years Ago: Monster Cookies

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie

Yield: Serves 8

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie

The original recipe calls for a 10-inch tart or pie pan. That may not be a common pan size/type to keep on hand (let's disregard the fact that I actually had one) so if you don't have one, I think this could be made in a deep dish 9.5-inch pie plate. It definitely won't fit in a standard 9-inch so go for a deeper, larger pie plate. It does bubble up while cooking so if you are worried about it spilling over if using a 9.5-inch deep pie plate, consider cutting the chocolate layer down just a bit (use 3/4 the ingredients: 3/4 cup chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons cream, 6 ounces cream cheese, 3 tablespoons sugar, egg yolk instead of the whole egg). My aunt actually made this before I posted it and divided the full amount of chocolate and caramel filling into two small 7 1/2- to 8-inch pie plates - worked great.

This pie actuality tastes better the second day, in my opinion, so consider making it ahead. It's also delightful slightly warmed (not hot, just a bit warm so the caramel layer softens).

Ingredients

    Pie Crust:
  • Single pie crust to fit 9.5- or 10-inch pan (my favorite recipe is here; a single batch rolled thin works great)
  • Chocolate Layer:
  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Caramel Pecan Layer:
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 28 caramels, unwrapped (or about 1 1/2 cups homemade caramel)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the pie crust and gently place it in a 10-inch tart or pie plate (see note above). Trim and flute the edges (see tutorial here). Refrigerate or freeze the crust until very cold. Line the crust with foil and weigh down with pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes or so until the crust edges are lightly golden and the bottom is no longer doughy. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  2. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. For the chocolate layer, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and cream for one minute. Stir until melted and combined (microwave for short spurts if more time is needed).
  4. In a large bowl (or in a blender), beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and combined. Add the egg and mix until just blended. Scrape in the chocolate mixture and mix until smooth.
  5. Spread the chocolate mixture evenly in the cooled crust.
  6. For the caramel pecan layer, lightly toast the pecans in an even layer on a baking sheet in the preheated oven for just a few minutes until fragrant (watch closely so they don't burn).
  7. In a medium bowl, combine the caramels, cream and butter. Microwave at 1-minute intervals, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until melted and smooth. Watch carefully so the caramels don't overcook (this can happen more easily with store-bought caramels). Let the mixture cool slightly.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar. Quickly whisk this mixture into the caramel mixture. Stir in the pecans.
  9. Pour the caramel mixture over the chocolate layer. Place the pie plate on a foil-lined baking sheet (just in case of any spillovers or splatters) and bake for 45-50 minutes until the center is almost set (it's ok if it jiggles slightly). Cover the edges of the pie crust part way through baking if it is becoming overly browned.
  10. Let the pie cool for a couple of hours. Serve with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream, if desired. This pie actuality tastes better the second day, in my opinion, so consider making it ahead. It's also delightful slightly warmed (not hot, just a bit warm so the caramel layer softens).
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/chocolate-caramel-pecan-pie/

Recipe Source: adapted a bit from a recipe Teresa R. sent me two years ago (originally from Southern Living Magazine, I believe) – thanks, Teresa!

56 Responses to Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie

  1. Soonhee says:

    Oh, Mel, you’re changing our dessert plans for Thanksgiving! First the pumpkin cheesecake and now this. They look so delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Teresa R. says:

    I’m so glad you like this. I look forward to making this every year for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Try whipping the cream with a little cinnamon.

  3. Whoa, what a beauty!! This pie is going right to the top of my “must make noooooooow” list. So good.

  4. mia says:

    You are evil! I am dying to try this (LOVE pecan pie and I am also not a nut lover) but afraid to make it and wreck my health by eating the whole thing. And you know I would!

  5. Marta says:

    Can I use walnuts instead of pecans? Pecans are quite expensive here where I live.

  6. sarah says:

    Mel! I just went out and bought the ingredients for the pumpkin white choc mouse pie…Now what am I supposed to do?!?!? I guess I will have to make 2 pies and probably gain a few PRE-holiday pounds 🙂

    Side note: I’m making your maple glazed pork tenderloin, with the melt in your mouth potatoes and pumpkin white choc mouse for my parents 40th anniversary. I told my mom I was making a couple new recipes and she said you never know with new recipes…I told her “Mom, it’s Mel, it’s going to be FABULOUS!” Let’s just hope my execution goes well!

    • Mel says:

      Love this, Sarah! Good luck with the anniversary dinner! Let me know how it all turns out (all those recipes are FABULOUS!).

      • sarah says:

        The anniversary dinner turned out fabulous! My dad I think actually licked his plate 🙂 The meal was being talked about a day later, so it was a winner! Thanks a bunch!

  7. Kim in MD says:

    That is one GORGEOUS piece of pie, Mel! In general, I’m not a huge pie lover, but I’m adding this to my Thanksgiving dessert list. Yum!

  8. You know, I’ve always thought that pecan pie was missing the chocolate! This looks incredible.

  9. It’s like millionaire’s shortbread meets pecan pie. I’m already doing the math on how soon I can make it!

  10. dispack says:

    Did this pie take forever to make?

  11. Hilery says:

    Hi Mel. Just made this pie but wasn’t sure what temperature to bake the entire pie at for 45 minutes. We did 400 degrees but it looks completely burnt on top. Hoping it tastes ok after it cools.

    • Mel says:

      Oh, Hilery – I’m so sorry! I just reread the recipe and forgot to include turning the oven down to 350 degrees after prebaking the pie crust. I feel terrible. I’m sorry! I just edited the recipe (crossing my fingers your pie still tastes great!).

  12. Oh my! Chocolate, caramel and pecans?? Like a slice of heaven! I must try.

  13. Jules says:

    Hi Mel, I would love to make this for Thanksgiving. I do have a 10 inch tart pan but I’m not sure how to flute the edge on a tart pan? Usually when you lay the crust in the pan the edges naturally cut the dough off. Do you go back and build it up with extra dough? Looking for a good tip.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jules, you can just trim the dough off to the top edge of the tart pan, like you would do with other kinds of tarts. My 10-inch tart pan has a ledge around it so I was able to flute it just a bit but if it didn’t, I would have trimmed it off even with the top of the pan. Hope that helps!

  14. Shay B. says:

    If you are using homemade caramel do you still mix in the butter and cream with the caramel sauce? Thanks!

  15. Carol Waltman says:

    That was the best Chocolate Carmel Pecan pie we’ve ever had. Yes, I wish we’d thought to warm it and put a little cream on it but it was delicious. Thank you for the great Shrimp/Crab dinner too it tasted perfect to both of us. We also love all five of your darling children!

  16. Jen says:

    Mel – I already have your Easy 10-Minute Caramel Sauce in the fridge. What are your thoughts on using it in this pie?

  17. Angela says:

    Looks like a great recipe! If I wait to eat this pie on the 2nd day, should I keep out in the fridge or out?

  18. Nia says:

    I’ve made this every holiday season for the past few years and it’s so amaze balls. I don’t even like pie but this one??? Yes please!

  19. Terri says:

    This looks SO good. Are you ok if I feature this recipe in a round-up on my blog? I’d give you credit of course 🙂

  20. What would you think about making this in a 9 inch square pan? It has just a bit larger surface area (81 compared with 78.5 sq in for a 10 in pie pan, I think). It wouldn’t look like a pie but it could be served in rectangles and should taste just as yummy…

  21. Ashlee says:

    This made its way to the top of my thanksgiving list as soon as you posted it. When I went on Amazon to look at 10″ tart pans, I came up with ones with removable bottoms, like a cheesecake pan. Would that work?

  22. Rachael says:

    Do you think I could make this in a 12 inch tart pan?

    • Mel says:

      That’s quite a bit bigger than the one listed in the recipe so you might have to make more crust and expect that the layers will be thinner (maybe increase each of the layers by a third?).

  23. Sally H. says:

    Hi Mel! Just wondering how long you think this pie would be okay for in the refrigerator? We are traveling all day Tuesday (Indiana to North Carolina) so I’d like to make it tomorrow/Monday to serve on Thursday mid-day. Or is that too long? Should I just make it on Wednesday? Thank you!

  24. Jamie says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’m a newlywed and your site has provided many a weeknight meal for us – so thank you!! I’m planning to make this for Thanksgiving and have a question – would you say that you could skip blind baking the pie crust (I am using a different pie crust recipe I’ve been wanting to try), or is that non-negotiable? Many thanks! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jamie – I probably wouldn’t skip the blind baking – mostly because it may make the crust much soggier than if it is prebaked. Happy Thanksgiving!

  25. Ann says:

    I made this pie about a month ago and had family taste it before changing our traditional pumpkin pie dessert for the big Turkey Day! It was unanimous! Make the chocolate caramel pecan pie!!! Thanks Mel for changing our tradition! Happy Thanksgiving!

  26. Shannon says:

    Yes! Thank you, thank you for posting this recipe. I’m southeastern raised and I married into a northwestern family. There’s been A LOT of cross-cultural miscommunication through the years, but food always finds a way to bridge the gap… I’m really hoping this recipe can convert them into pecan pie loving fiends, such as myself.

  27. Carlie says:

    I just finished making this. I only had an 11 inch or 14 inch pie plate so I used the 11 inch. I baked this for 65 minutes and the middle is still very jiggly. I finally had to give up and take it out. Hopefully it sets while it’s cooling? What happened?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Carlie – did the pie work out? Mine is set on the sides and fairly jiggly in the center, too, so I think it should be ok.

      • Carlie says:

        It got a bit overdone but was actually still pretty good. That topping tastes like the nuts at the mall. Next time I know to take it out sooner and it will set as it cools. Thank you!

  28. Sarah says:

    My sister made this pie for a Christmas dinner at my recommendation and I have to say it was amazing! Keep up the great work.

  29. Keri says:

    Hi, I really want to make this it looks soo good. I was wondering if I used a ready made pie crust would I need to place it in a pie plate? Or would it be okay to place it on a tray? Because I don’t own a pie plate
    Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      I’m not completely sure what you are asking but if you’re talking about a crust that’s already been baked – I believe those come in a tin pie plate already, don’t they (I’ve never bought one so I’m not sure). If it’s an unbaked pie crust, then it definitely needs to go in a pie plate or it won’t hold its shape.

  30. Cora says:

    I used two of the store bought 9″ pie crusts and the filling fit perfectly between the two! Hope everyone at our church dinner likes them! Thanks for the awesome recipe!

  31. Sarah says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’m going to use store bought caramels and melt them. I was thinking of weathers originals, but not sure if I should get the soft ones or the hard ones. Do you have a recommendation of what would be a good brand to use?

  32. melissa lewis says:

    Made this and it was ridiculously delicious – the proportions will actually perfectly make two 9″ pies if you just increase the pecans by 1/2 C.

  33. Aimee G. says:

    Hey Mel! I was thinking about making this for Thanksgiving this year. If I made the homemade caramel instead of buying it would I half the caramel recipe and use it all in this pie? I know you said 1 1/2 cups but I’m thinking it might be hard to measure?

    • Mel says:

      The homemade caramel recipe makes about 5 1/2 cups or so of homemade caramel so if you wanted to use it in this recipe, I’d halve the caramel recipe and then use slightly more than half of it…does that makes sense or help at all?

  34. Megan G says:

    You mentioned this is better on the second day– do you think two days ahead (i.e., making it tonight) would be OK? It looks so good, I don’t want to risk messing it up.

  35. Dolita M says:

    I was wondering if you ever tried adding bourbon to this recipe? If so, which layer do you think I should add it to? I’m thinking the chocolate layer.

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