Chocolate Cream Pie

Wait! Hold on to your Thanksgiving menu planning hats. If you still have room in the lineup, might I encourage you to strongly think about including this chocolate cream pie in the festivities? If you can’t possibly fit it in to next week’s celebration (or if you’ve already celebrated Thanksgiving or don’t plan to), well, this pie would certainly be appropriate now. Or Friday afternoon. Or seriously whenever you decide simple and delicious chocolate cream pudding pie needs to be in your life (like, yesterday, hello).

Perfect for anyone who might not want to mess with a homemade pie crust (interjecting here to say the chocolate filling would be delicious in a prebaked traditional pie shell in case that is your thing) and easy enough for most skill levels, this pudding pie is rich and creamy and deliciously chocolatey.

If you are concerned about the itty bitty amount of cream cheese in the pudding layer, it doesn’t lend a cheesecake vibe to the pie – it just helps sturdy the pie up a bit and intensifies the creaminess which contributes to the ridiculous yumminess. And now, I can rest slightly easier for sharing this. I was a tiny bit stressed that the holiday season might get away from me before I was able to alert you to the necessity of chocolate cream pudding pie. Let’s all be thankful that crisis was averted by today’s unusual Tuesday posting (a rare occurrence around these parts).

Chocolate Cream Pie

Chocolate Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

Yield: Makes a 9-inch pie

Chocolate Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

I've only ever used 2% or whole milk for this recipe. The pudding will be less thick/creamy if using lower fat milk than that. UPDATE: I had the weight of cocoa powder in the recipe incorrect (sorry!); the 3 tablespoons was listed as 1.75 ounces but it should be right around .75 ounces.

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (7 ounces, about 13 rectangle graham crackers)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted (add a pinch of salt to the mixture if using unsalted butter)
  • Pudding Layer:
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (about .75 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (about 5.5 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch (1.75 ounces)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk (see note above)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) powdered sugar
  • Whipped Cream Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) powdered sugar
  • Optional Garnishes:
  • Chocolate curls, sprinkled toffee bits, dusting of cocoa powder, etc.

Directions

  1. For the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter until evenly mixed. Press the mixture in the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. Cover with saran wrap until ready to use (this can be made several days in advance if kept well-covered).
  2. For the pudding layer, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt. Add the milk and whisk to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue to whisk as the mixture comes to a boil and large bubbles break across the surface and the mixture has thickened.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Scrape the pudding into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface. Refrigerate until chilled and set up (2-3 hours).
  5. In a blender or an electric stand mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), whip the 3 ounces cream cheese, 2/3 cup cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar together until thick and creamy. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold this mixture into the chilled chocolate pudding until combined.
  6. Evenly spread the pudding mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust. At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days (the crust will get slightly soft if it's made in advance but it is still delicious) or go ahead and top with the whipped cream mixture and refrigerate for an hour (up to 4 hours) before serving.
  7. For the whipped cream layer, whip the 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar together until soft peaks form. Gently spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie and garnish with chocolate curls, sprinkled toffee bits, a dusting of cocoa powder - or whatever your heart desires. Serve chilled.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/chocolate-cream-pudding-pie-with-graham-cracker-crust/

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (pudding adapted from one of my favorite chocolate pudding recipes)

52 Responses to Chocolate Cream Pudding Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

  1. Katie says:

    Do you think this would keep for 24 hours in the fridge?

  2. Briana says:

    thank you!! been looking for a chocolate pudding pie that doesn’t incorporate a packet of pudding (+all the associated preservatives!), Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

  3. Teri says:

    thanks girlfriend! wink wink

  4. Sarah says:

    Hey Mel, what are the chances, do you think, that this would work with Splenda instead of sugar? My diabetic MIL usually asks for a chocolate cream pie made with sugar free pudding mix, but this looks so much better!

    • Mel says:

      I am completely unexperienced using splenda in cooking/baking, Sarah, but because it isn’t baked, I think it probably stands a good chance of working (you might try googling to see if there are any other similar recipe that use splenda just to see if they work).

  5. Lana says:

    Whew! Thanks for posting this one. I was actually (no lie) daydreaming about a chocolate pudding pie for Thanksgiving and was planning to look through your recipes to get me one. You never fail me…ever.

  6. Tamaira says:

    YUMM! I am so happy to see a made-from-scratch chocolate pie recipe! Takes me back to when my grandmother used to make them. Thank you!!

  7. This pie looks amazing! And I LOVE the fact that the pudding layer is all homemade! 🙂

    Dani | http://www.styledvariety.com

  8. Stephanie says:

    This is exactly what I need to bring to Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing!!

  9. Lisa says:

    Well thank goodness my husband’s birthday is tomorrow and I have a reason to make this before next week! 🙂

  10. Jen says:

    Mel, do you like this chocolate pie or your chocolate pudding pretzel pie better? I’m having a hard time deciding which one to make!

    • Mel says:

      Ah, that’s a tough question! I’d say this one just because it’s new but both are delicious. This chocolate cream pudding pie is a bit creamier and lighter (the pudding layer) – still chocolatey, just not as rich and dense.

  11. Jen T says:

    We always make your banoffee pie for Thanksgiving. This might have to share a place with that. Yum!

  12. Paige says:

    I love chocolate cream pies, but have never actually made one before on my own. Your recipe looks pretty simple and delicious though!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  13. Ki berly says:

    I was all set with the pretzel crust chocolate pie and then this posted! If you had to choose, which should I take to Thanksgiving?

    • Mel says:

      Both are delicious – the pretzel pie has a bit richer, thicker pudding layer whereas this one is a bit lighter and creamier.

      • Kim says:

        Thanks for taking the time to reply, especially when I see above someone asked you the same question! Sorry, I scrolled through them but didn’t see it before. 🙂

  14. Becky says:

    I made this to take to a Thanksgiving service, and it was gone before I could get to it! Each component of the pie was delicious as was the bit of it I scraped from the dish 🙂 I’m going to make it again for Thanksgiving so my family can have some!

    I used chocolate graham crackers, too, because I feel like we can all be thankful for more chocolate 🙂

  15. Erin says:

    Love this perfect to sit around and make fun family memories

  16. Shelley Graham says:

    Hi Mel – I just looked in the fridge and I saw that I accidentally bought half and half instead of cream…any chance I could go with it and avoid yet another trip to the grocery store? If not, I’ll go back…I just want to make sure. 🙂 Thanks! 🙂

  17. Maria says:

    Will it hold in fridge…with all layers…for a day or so?

    Tx!!

    • Mel says:

      Because of the whipped cream layer, I wouldn’t keep it refrigerated fully assembled for longer than 8 hours (whipped cream can get liquidy if left longer). But that’s just me – you could definitely try to refrigerate longer!

  18. Hey Mel! This is chilling in the fridge and I can’t wait to taste it all combined (since I can verify the goodness of that pudding, wowza). I think the oz measurement for the cocoa powder is off, though – maybe more like .5 oz? 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I know, Bet! I’m so sorry. Another reader alerted me to that and I realized I had put an extra 1 in there. It should be more like .75 ounces or thereabouts. I’ve updated the recipe; hope that didn’t cause any problems!

  19. Amanda says:

    For step 5: I mixed the correct amounts listed for cream cheese, powdered sugar, and heavy cream and it turned out kindof grainy. It was thick and looks creamy but it’s like the cream cheese didn’t mix in. Have you ever had this problem? I’m wondering if cheap cream cheese will do this?

    Thank You.

  20. Maryh says:

    Wow!!!! Made this for Thanksgiving and everyone raved about it. So delicious! The only thing I did differently was to use Dream Whip for the topping. I told everyone about your website and how great everything you post is. So yummy. Thank you!

  21. Lana says:

    Lets just say, this made my thanksgiving everything!!

  22. Caroline says:

    Mel! I loved this so, so, so much! oh man. I made 2 pies – shared the 1st and ate the entire 2nd one by myself!! I can’t wait to make it again!

  23. Sara says:

    Hi Mel! The flavor of this pie was absolutely amazing! I’m trying to figure out why it didn’t set up quite right, though. I cut into it and the consistency was too loose to stay together in any sort of pie form. Any ideas? Maybe I didn’t cook the chocolate mixture enough? Definitely a make again if I can figure out what happened. Thanks so much! Your blog (and instagram) are wonderful!!!

  24. Robert Ross says:

    I came across your website fairly recently, and have noticed a number of recipes with Graham cracker crusts. You may not know that you can buy Graham crumbs from Keeblers, for example. Usually, 1-1/2 cups of Graham crackers, 1/2 butter and 1/3 cup of sugar makes a good crust, and be used as is, or baked before using. I have been using for Key Lime or lemon pie for years

  25. Sara T. says:

    This pie is pure heaven! I love everything about it and the taste is perfection. I have made it twice now, and both times there were small balls/specks of cream cheese in my pudding. The first time, I didn’t read thoroughly and didn’t have the cream cheese softened. I thought for sure that was why it wasn’t smooth enough. Well this time, it softened, at room tempeture, and it still happened! I made it in a stand mixer, so it was beat well enough. I used regular cream cheese- not fat free. What am I missing? Thankfully, it doesn’t affect the taste, but I am a little self conscious to serve it and have people see the cream cheese mini chunks.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sara – try whipping the cream cheese on it’s own before adding the cream/sugar and get it light and fluffy and smooth. Then add the cream gradually and then the powdered sugar (you also might try sifting your powdered sugar if it’s lumpy at all). Good luck!

  26. Pam says:

    Hello! Ok, so my cream cheese mixture had little lumps that I didn’t notice until I folded it into the pudding mixture 🙁 It now looks like chocolate pudding with white chunks throughout it. Any advice?

    • Mel says:

      Can you blend the entire mixture to see if it can even out the lumps?

      • Pam says:

        I was thinking about doing that- but was a little nervous it would make the pudding too “whipped”. Although, maybe I’ll try that next time. The pie still turned out great! 🙂 I covered it completely with the whipped cream, so you couldn’t even tell. It got a 10 out of 10 from my very fussy family… even with the little specks.

  27. jojo says:

    Can I sub anything for the cream cheese?

  28. Krysten says:

    Can I make the filling a few days in advance and then assemble day of?

  29. Tania V says:

    How long, should i wait to make this and put together? If’d like to bring it to a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow evening?

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