Chocolate Cream Pudding Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
With a super easy graham cracker crust, this is the perfect chocolate cream pudding pie! Simple, decadent, delicious!
Whenever you decide simple and delicious chocolate cream pudding pie needs to be in your life (like, yesterday, hello), this is the one.
This pie is 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 it’s easy enough for bakers of all 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.
FAQs for Chocolate Cream Pudding Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
You want the plastic wrap to lay directly on the surface of the pudding so it doesn’t form a skin on top.
It can be made 1-2 days in advance (the crust will soften the longer it’s refrigerated). I like to add the whipped cream right before serving so it doesn’t get weepy/liquidy
Chocolate Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups (150 g) graham cracker crumbs, about 13 rectangle graham crackers
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) salted butter, melted (add a pinch of salt to the mixture if using unsalted butter)
- 3 tablespoons (21 g) cocoa powder
- ¾ cup (159 g) brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (50 g) cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups milk (see note)
- 1 cup (170 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ounces (85 g) cream cheese, softened
- ⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup (29 g) powdered sugar
Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup (29 g) powdered sugar
- Chocolate curls, sprinkled toffee bits, dusting of cocoa powder, etc.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (pudding adapted from one of my favorite chocolate pudding recipes)
134 Comments on “Chocolate Cream Pudding Pie with Graham Cracker Crust”
Pudding never set, crust was disgusting. Worst recipe of the season that we’ve tried
Made this recipe on thxgiving came out amazing .
Made it again today and when I folded the cream cheese mixture into pudding I had white lumps in the mixture that wouldn’t mix in
Also the ingredients for the topping is not accurate as both times I had to use much more confectioners sugar with the heavy cream to get it thick
Pretty rich, but delicious! I just had to comment on the white chunks other commenters complained about. I think it’s from not softening the cream cheese enough. I sifted my powdered sugar, but got lazy with the cream cheese and it wasn’t exactly softened. My cream mixture was chunky. I had extra ingredients on hand, so I thought I’d retry. With well-softened cream cheese, there were no chunks!
It made a lot of crust. I only used about half. But the filling is amazing!
Hi! Cant wait to try this recipe:) How far in advance can you make this pie?
The crust softens a bit if it’s refrigerated longer than 12-18 hours, but it’s still yummy.
Could I double the recipe and put it in a 9×13 pan, instead of making 2 pies.
The recipe sounds like a winner…Thanks!!!
I haven’t tried that, but it sounds like a good idea!
Does the cream cheese flavor come through at all in this recipe? I don’t like cream cheese frostings, flavorings, etc. so I just want to make sure.
I’d say you get a very slight flavor of cream cheese, but it isn’t overpowering. It’s mostly there to help with texture (so the pie filling is thick and creamy),
Can you use baker’s choclate instead of chocoalte chips?
If my husband wants more of a milk chocolate pie do you think I could use milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet or should I cut back on the cocoa or semi sweet chips?? Thanks!!
Yes, you can use milk chocolate in place of the semisweet.
I made it exactly like you said (unusual for me, lol) It came out perfect. I was out of semi sweet chocolate chips and used white chips instead, but it worked fine.
I thought this was good but a little heavy -thick/dense. Maybe I should add more cream cheese or?? I am aging myself but always loved the French silk pies at Bakers Square when I was little. It was lighter (i am sure not calorie-wise!!)
I think cream cheese will make it thicker – you can try more milk in the pudding mixture if it’s too dense.
This is one of our family favorites and I always get asked for the recipe. This Christmas we experimented and made this into a Chocolate Peppermint Pie and it was amazing. All I changed was adding peppermint extract instead of vanilla and using an Oreo crust. If you use an Oreo crust, I’d lower the brown sugar to 2T as the Oreo crust makes it pretty sweet otherwise. Then we topped it with a crushed candy cane. (Add it right before serving otherwise the red will bleed on the whipping cream.) It was perfection and sooo delicious!!
One question, my pudding doesn’t seem to firm up so a piece maintains its cut shape. I’ve let it setup for a day and still can’t get it to firm up completely. I’ve made this pie at least 10 times now. Obviously, it’s still delicious and we don’t mind , but any tips?
Thanks for the details on the peppermint version – yum!! What type of milk are you using? Skim, 1%, 2%? Higher fat milk will help, but you could also cut the milk down to 2 1/2 cups and see if that helps.
I typically use whole milk. Next time I’ll try cutting back and see if that helps. Thank you!
Well, followed the recipe exactly and my pie did not set up at all, it was a runny mess. Still tasted great though!
I’m an avid fan! Thank you for sharing your time, talents and resources with all of us. You have made such a difference in so many lives!
Wondering if you have a preference over the chocolate pretzel pie or chocolate cream pudding pie? Thanks Mel!
Thank you! I love both pies, but I probably slightly prefer this one.
Wow, made this for Thanksgiving and my daughter and wife each asked if I’d make it for their birthdays. My sister-in-law, a former high-end baker, also asked for the recipe. I subbed in GF graham crackers, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. Well done!
Thank you so much, Tom! Very happy this was a hit!
This pie is delicious! A new Thanksgiving tradition!
After putting the pudding in a bowl to cool, do you place the plastic wrap right on top of the pudding where it’s touching the pudding or just on top of the bowl?
You want the plastic wrap to lay directly on the surface of the pudding so it doesn’t form a skin on top.
yes! i thought it was weird then 3 hours later it peeled right off. cant wait for this one tomorrow!
Hi, I have no cream of tarter, can I use flour to replace it? And the last change I saw for the cocoa powder was .75, is that still correct? Can’t wait to try making this pie, and looking forward to it not being with a box of pudding mix:)) Happy Thanksgiving
There isn’t any cream of tartar in this recipe – did you mean cornstarch?
Oops, sorry, yes I meant cornstarch! Thanks! Is it okay to substitute flour instead?
I haven’t tried that, Elena, but it might work! Sorry I haven’t tried it to know for sure.
So sorry…I read a little more and think my question really is…if I am putting this together in advance could I just mix the pie filling together and keep it for a few days and then put it into the pie crust on the day of the event and then top with the whip cream?
Yes, you can absolutely do that!
How far ahead could I make this pie and how would I store it? Just in the fridge?
Sorry for the delay! It can be made 1-2 days in advance (the crust will soften the longer it’s refrigerated). I like to add the whipped cream right before serving so it doesn’t get weepy/liquidy
I just ran across this recipe and it sounds delicious! I’m wondering, can it be frozen? We are going to the beach soon, taking all our own food, and I think it would be easier to take if frozen.
I haven’t tried freezing this so I’m not entirely sure, Joyce, I’m sorry! Worth a try though!
I have made it several times and my family and I love it! Thanks for sharing this recipe!
Wow. This pie is absolutely amazing. I followed the recipe exactly and I was blown away at how incredible it was. I spread the process over 2 days, making the crust and pudding on day 1 and making the cream cheese mixture and whipped cream on day 2. Thank you so much for this awesome recipe, definitely a keeper
Is this supposed to be pudding like when done?
The pudding will set up as it cools.
I made this pie today but have to admit I tweaked it just a little bit ( I do that a lot)
I just added a little cocoa powder to the graham cracker crust. I also had to substitute flour in place of the cornstarch, I was out… go figure lol. I also added just a bit more heavy whipping cream, 8 oz. Cream cheese instead of 3, and a bit more powder sugar to even it out… I topped it with chopped semi sweet chocolate chips. I cheated and licked the beaters but haven’t tried the pie yet, it’s still chilling… It tasted great so far, as well as looks delicious .. I as well as the family are waiting patiently to dig in..
Most recipes call for 8 or 9 Graham crackers for a pie. This one needs 13. Any particular reason? Thanks.
Mostly because I tend to like a thicker graham cracker crust…you could cut it down if you’d like.
This was a hit at Thanksgiving yesterday!!
I’m a little confused. Do you let the pudding mixture totally cool before you add the cream cheese mixture?
Yes, let the pudding cool completely.
My daughter and I made this for her feast at kindergarten. She tasted the pudding and gave it a thumbs up. “It’s so chocolatey! It’s not as good as real pudding, but it’s #2.” I asked her what real pudding was. “The kind other people make for you.” Sigh…
Could I use bittersweet chocolate instead for more of a dark chocolate flavor?
Someone wanted me to make a chocolate meringue pie for them. After searching recipes, I’ve decided on yours. Do you think the pudding will hold up in the oven for meringue to bake?
I can’t say 100% since I haven’t tried it, but the pudding is pretty sturdy (after refrigerating) so I think it might work.
My pudding didn’t set up, it was in the refrigerator overnight
Have you made this with Dutch Process cocoa? I have both on hand for a change.
I’ve made it with natural unsweetened and Dutch-process and it’s delicious both ways!
This pie was the first pie gone at Thanksgiving! Everyone LOVED it. Thanks Mel, for making me feel like a rock-star when it comes to all things food!
Thanks so much, Emily! It was the first one gone at our Thanksgiving this year, too!
It was very creamy! I had no problem blending the mixture ..there was no white specks in my pie — we loved it and I will l make it again or maybe cut to half for 2 of us as very rich and decadent. I made this for Thanksgiving this year and family while visiting our daughter and family.
My grandpa is 87 yrs old and loves chocolate. I made him this for his birthday in June, and now, he requests it for every occasion. I am so glad he loves it, and the rest of the family loves it too! Thank you for sharing!
That’s awesome, thanks Brooke!
Could you make everything in advance and just not assemble till the day of?
Yes, I think that would work!
I just noticed that there are no eggs in this pudding recipe, I’ve never made a cooked homemade pudding without eggs. I was thinking of making this for thanksgiving this year. I was also looking at and comparing the chocolate pretzel pie. I like the idea of putting ganache on the crust before the filling.
Can I make this in mini Tarlet format? Or will unmolding be an issue? Has anyone tried it?
a deep, full-bodied, rich chocolate pudding recipe that is by far the best I have ever tasted. Followed the directions exactly and the result was beautiful. Made this for my son-in-laws birthday. He said it was the best he had to ever had and told me to not lose the recipe.
Could you use bittersweet chocolate in place of the semisweet chocolate? If so would the sugar need to be altered. I love chocolate so…..
Yes, bittersweet chocolate works great! I don’t mind the dark richness, but you can bump up the sugar 1/4 cup if you would like.
Could regular sugar be substituted for the brown sugar?
That would probably work ok.
Plan on making this very soon.
I may or may not have had this for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. Great recipe!!
Why have I not made this sooner? This will be staple at our Thanksgiving dinner from now on. My husband hasn’t tasted the final pie yet, just the pudding mixture and says it is a contender for his new birthday pie. Seriously to die for! Thanks, Mel, for always providing the best recipes that make me look good.
Thank YOU, Cicily. 🙂
Can I modify. I am a diabetic. It’s a little to sweet for me.
You can definitely experiment!
I’d like to lodge an official complaint. Last year I decided to try this for Thanksgiving even though I usually only make 3 pies none of them chocolate (and the family wouldn’t let me drop one of the other pies). So, everyone loved this one so much that they are requiring it every year now. Plus, on Pi Day at school, my son convinced me to make this for his class. Apparently only 1 kid brought in a homemade pie and the rest were store bought! And it wasn’t until afterward that I realized that for a 5th grade class I probably could have used a box of pudding. Oh well. It is delicous.
Haha, sorry?? 🙂 And I love you for introducing those 5th graders to a from-scratch pie. That is the best thing ever.
Came out great!!! I only refrigerated for 2hrs and it was still a bit warm next time I’ll probably put it in a longer container to cool down faster as to not cook the cream cheese mixture and cause clumps(:
How long, should i wait to make this and put together? If’d like to bring it to a Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow evening?
Whoops *IF I’D*
You could make this a day ahead of time.
Yes, this can be made ahead of time.
Can I make the filling a few days in advance and then assemble day of?
Sure! The filling will set up and be more firm, but with a little work, you could still spread it in the pie crust.
Can I sub anything for the cream cheese?
You could try mascarpone cheese.
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?
Can you blend the entire mixture to see if it can even out the lumps?
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.
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.
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!
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
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!!!
Hi Sara, try cooking the pudding mixture a bit longer, that should definitely help.
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!
Lets just say, this made my thanksgiving everything!!
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!
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?
Did you use light cream cheese, Amanda? Sometimes that can make it grainy, otherwise I’m not sure to be honest.
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? 🙂
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!
Will it hold in fridge…with all layers…for a day or so?
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!
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! 🙂
Ugh, I hate to send you to the store but half and half won’t whip up like luxurious cream. Sorry!
Love this perfect to sit around and make fun family memories
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 🙂
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?
Both are delicious – the pretzel pie has a bit richer, thicker pudding layer whereas this one is a bit lighter and creamier.
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. 🙂
I love chocolate cream pies, but have never actually made one before on my own. Your recipe looks pretty simple and delicious though!
We always make your banoffee pie for Thanksgiving. This might have to share a place with that. Yum!
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!
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.
How about changing the crust on this one to the pretzel crust but keeping everything else the same. Thoughts?
Yes! Do it. 🙂
I was going to ask the exact same thing!! Thanks for reading my mind! And Mel, you are just the best. Thank you for keeping my pudding loving heart happy! 🙂
Well thank goodness my husband’s birthday is tomorrow and I have a reason to make this before next week! 🙂
This is exactly what I need to bring to Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing!!
This pie looks amazing! And I LOVE the fact that the pudding layer is all homemade! 🙂
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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!!
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.
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!
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).
thanks girlfriend! wink wink
thank you!! been looking for a chocolate pudding pie that doesn’t incorporate a packet of pudding (+all the associated preservatives!), Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂
Do you think this would keep for 24 hours in the fridge?
Step #6 says it will keep 1-2 days in the frig.
Sorry I should have verified. I meant with the final layer added. 🙂
Why can’t I find the receipe?