Black Bottom Pudding Pie

*Just a heads up that I’ve updated three of my (ok, on the blog) with new pictures, details and lots of love:
Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars
Slow Cooker Italian Beef

You might be looking at this pie thinking, “Eh, just looks like your average, everyday pudding pie to me.” Let me assure you that it is anything but that. What is absolutely magical about this pie is how the layers start decadent and rich and gradually build in lightness to end in an ethereal topping of rum and vanilla flavored whipped cream.

The first layer is a classic, sweet chocolate crumb crust. Delicious. While the crust is baking and chilling, a vanilla custard is whipped up and divided. A portion of the warm custard gets a rich addition of dark chocolate and this concoction forms a fudgey, dense layer of chocolate custard over the crumb crust. The lighter, creamy vanilla custard tops the chocolate layer and is dolloped with an airy whipped cream layer that ends the pie in utter angelic lightness.

Black Bottom Pudding Pie

So, uh, no, this isn’t your average, everyday pudding pie. It’s glorious and everything but average. It makes the perfect dessert for those that can’t tolerate through-and-through rich desserts (like this bittersweet chocolate pudding pie) but still enjoy a healthy amount of sweetness and decadence. That would be my husband. I wasn’t born or blessed with a “rich factor” meaning I don’t think the words “this is too rich for me” have ever come out of my mouth. But Brian…well, he gets burned out of (and will actually stop eating…the horror!) really rich desserts, which is why he absolutely adored this tasty pudding pie. Sweet and indulgent without being complete over-the-top.

Black Bottom Pudding Pie

One Year Ago: Caramel Brownies
Two Years Ago: {No-Bake} Oreo Cheesecake
Three Years Ago: Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Crescent Braid

Black Bottom Pudding Pie

Yield: Serves 8

Black Bottom Pudding Pie

Note: the rum extract is optional but adds a delicious depth of flavor to the pie. If you aren't sure about using it or don't want a strong rum flavor, start with just a few drops of the extract and go up from there if you want a more pronounced flavor.


    For the crust:
  • 6 ounces chocolate cookies
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • For the custard:
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, optional
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • For the topping:
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon rum extract, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Natural unsweetened cocoa powder


  1. Preheat oven to 350ยฐ F. Pulse cookies in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Drizzle in butter and cream; pulse until well blended. Pour into prepared dish. Use the bottom and sides of a measuring cup to pack crumbs onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake until crust is set, 12โ€“15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack; set aside.
  2. For the custard, in a small bowl, pour 2 tablespoons water and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let the mixture stand until the gelatin softens, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk and cream in a large saucepan over medium heat until mixture just comes to a simmer.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, rum extract (if using), cornstarch, vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Whisking vigorously, pour 1/2 cup or so of the hot milk into the egg mixture and rapidly combine. Pour the tempered egg mixture into the pot of hot milk, whisking quickly the entire time. Whisk in the softened gelatin. Place the pan over medium-low heat and whisk the mixture constantly until thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the vanilla custard from the heat and stir in the mascarpone (if desired, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps or cooked bits of egg). Measure out 1 cup of the custard and place it in a medium bowl. Add the chopped chocolate and lightly stir. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes then stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate custard into the cooled crust; smooth the top. Chill the pie until set, about 30 minutes, while letting the vanilla custard stand at room temperature. If the vanilla custard starts to form a skin, lightly press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface.
  5. Gently pour the remaining vanilla custard over the chilled chocolate layer. Pour slowly so the chocolate layer doesn't get messed up. Smooth the top; chill until set, about 1 hour, or keep covered up to 1 day.
  6. When ready to serve, use an electric mixer at medium speed and beat the cream and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until the cream begins to thicken. Add the rum extract and vanilla; increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over custard. Dust with cocoa powder. Cut into slices and serve (the topped pie can be made 4 hours ahead - chill uncovered).

Recipe Source: adapted from Bon Appetit

35 Responses to Black Bottom Pudding Pie

  1. Danielle says:

    I love this recipe! I couldn’t figure out how many cookies to use but I perfected it and used 1 1/2 cups of vanilla wafers. I found that a chocolate crust was too chocolatey. I also cut out the rum in the whipped topping- it was too much and seemed to take away the rest of the pie. Other than that this was perfect!

  2. Julie says:

    Can you please tell me how much gelatin is in a packet. I only have powder (Australian)

    • Mel says:

      I think one packet is about 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 teaspoons.

      • Julie says:

        Just having a look at conversions and it says an envelope of gelatin is equal to a tablespoon. Will it be too stiff if I use the tablespoon. – Four teaspoons (5 mL) equals 1 metric tablespoon

        • Mel says:

          I’m not really sure since I’ve always just used the packet. I’ve always used the 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon conversion so I guess you’ll have to experiment. I’d suggest using somewhere between 2 and 3 teaspoons.

  3. Sheila H. says:

    I don’t make desert that often but your recipes woo me. My kids picked this for Valentines and WOW! I used Annie’s Bunny Grahams for the crust, coconut milk for the filling and the whipped cream, and Bernard Jensen gelatin and it was sooooo good. At Christmas, the bliss bars were a hit and now these–you make my family happy.

  4. Jenn W. says:

    Made this yesterday to enjoy after lunch today. It was delicious. I loved the rum flavoring, and the creamy, thick, custardy layers. I, however, glanced over the recipe and missed that the recipe called for bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate–all I had was milk chocolate chips. It still turned out great, but I think the darker chocolate would have made this a little more decadent. I’ll remember this for next time because it will be made again!!!

    Hope you get settled soon!

  5. Mel says:

    Laura – I would look for chocolate cookies without filling in them (like Nabisco wafers or chocolate teddy grahams – something along those lines).

    Hayley – I assume the leftovers could be eaten over the course of a day or two.

  6. Hayley says:

    Made this today and love it! I’m curious how long it will last on the fridge. You said it can be topped for 4 hours before serving so I’m not sure if the leftovers will be ok?

  7. Laura says:

    Chocolate Cookies —Oreo’s? Or should I look for wafers without the filling?

  8. Amy says:

    I made this, following the recipe..decided not to omit the gelatin, afraid it wouldn’t turn out. It was delicous, everybody loved it! Thank you

  9. Amy Gledhill says:

    I’m going to make this pie this weekend for fathers day, I think my husband would love it. I may try it without the gelatin though.

  10. Debra Kapellakis says:

    Looks VERY yummy! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. There is nothing about this that looks average or everyday!! This actually looks like the perfect dessert for today. I can’t wait to try it!

  12. Mary says:

    Hi Mel, I’m a very newbie blogger with soaking wet feet [just 3 weeks !] and am soo excited to find you ! Your recipes and photographs are awesome and this one is a keeper ! I admire your commitment to your readers, while also taking care of such a beautiful family… you ever sleep ?? I feel like the little engine that could….at the very start of an exciting new adventure ! I’ll certainly be stopping by frequently, knowing that each time, I will find something delicious to try !

  13. grace says:

    good ol’ gelatin. to think that i used to be completely intimidated by the stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Andi says:

    Making this for the Missionaries (and us of course!). Sounds devine. Thanks Mel.

  15. Gosh, I just love your site soo much! I know that anything you say is a ‘favorite’ is going to be delicious! I’m printing the italian beef for the weekend–thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Elizabeth says:

    The layers of this dessert look so delicious!

  17. Mel says:

    Anna – it is about 2 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin powder.

  18. Mel says:

    Rachel B. – the best substitute for mascarpone is usually cream cheese.

  19. I was just thinking about a rum cream cake Iยดve been wanting to make for a while, weird since Iยดm not a cream person. In comes this pie which might just be the perfect way to get my rum cream idea out of my head and combine it with chocolate. Rum and chocolate are so good together! Thanks for another great recipe.

  20. Annette says:

    Can’t wait to try this! I’ve never heard of it until now! I’ve made “Black-bottom Cupcakes” before but never in a pie! Sounds SCRUMPTIOUS! And with MASCARPONE! I use Mascarpone in alot of my recipes! Thanks, Mel!

  21. Rachel B. says:

    Best substitute for the mascarpone? Don’t want to go to the store. Sour cream? Cream Cheese? Ricotta? Thanks!

  22. heather bell says:

    I cannot believe how well you have kept up on everything with a new baby!! You must have been cooking like crazy! I had a baby 2 1/2 months ago and haven’t updated my cooking blog at all and my family blog is looking pretty sad! So, go you!! PS. This looks scrumptious! Might be perfect for our ten year anniversary Friday!

  23. Teresa R. says:

    Can’t wait to try this! I love pies more than I love cakes and cookies.

  24. Lipstick Jane says:

    I *love* this pie & I am not a sweet’s girl. I’ve been making this since 1996 after I checked out the “Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook “ (recipes from the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”) from the library. This is my go to WOW dessert. Interestingly the recipe I use calls for Bourbon not Rum and I’ve made it without the liquor.

    Make this today; it is worth the effort.

  25. Amber says:

    Wow, this would be a great fathers day dessert for next weekend! Thanks for sharing.

  26. Kim in MD says:

    Oh, Mel…this is swoon worthy! I need to find me some rum extract so I can make this a.s.a.p.! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Anna says:

    Oooh that looks amazing and devine!! Just a quick question, how many oz, grams or teaspoons is in the envelope of gelatine? Thanks

  28. My dad is like that with overly sweet or rich desserts. I don’t get it seeing that I will eat just about anything that could be categorized as a dessert. This pie look delicious!!

  29. Oh my gosh, my husband does the exact same thing:-)….I will be happily eating my way through my dessert and he will stop and say he can’t eat anymore because its so rich…sigh…

    This sounds completely amazing and I love all four layers – especially the top layer with the kick!

  30. This looks absolutely fabulous! Awesome idea!

  31. StephenC says:

    I don’t eat desserts very often, but this is the kind of thing I adore. I am bookmarking the recipe. My partner, Peter, is the dessert maven and probably will make this in a heartbeat.

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