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Homemade Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie Recipe

Homemade old fashioned chocolate pie is a creamy, chocolatey, and wonderfully traditional chocolate pudding dessert recipe topped with a light and fluffy meringue. Cream pies are a favorite dessert at potlucks and family gatherings, plus, this one is easy to make and has a rich chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Pie sliced and on a plate.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

  • Sugar
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Flour
  • Cream of tartar (for the meringue)

Wet Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Egg whites (for the meringue)

Crust

  • 9-inch pie crust (frozen, refrigerated, or store-bought)
  • Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions listed at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
Two slices of chocolate pie on white plates.

A Classic Dessert

This chocolate pie recipe has always been a classic dessert all over the country. It’s perfect for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays or for any occasion. As kids, we would travel to Tennessee each summer to stay with my grandparents, and my grandmother would always have a chocolate pie ready for us when we arrived. Of course, we were only allowed to have a slice after we’d eaten our dinner or had something nutritious.

But I can remember sneaking into the kitchen and shaving off little tiny slices to eat, hoping no one would notice. I’m sure that by the time dinner arrived, I’d shaven off about half of the pie because it was just so good and I couldn’t resist. Chocolate pie is not only a classic and traditional pie but one of my favorite things because it sure brings back a lot of memories.

A slice of chocolate pie with meringue on a white plate.

How Do I Make The Homemade Chocolate Pie Recipe?

  1. Bake the pie crust and set aside.
  2. Add the flour, unsweetened cocoa, and sugar to a medium-sized bowl and whisk together. Try to get all of the lumps out of the mixture.
  3. Pour the milk into the bowl, along with the egg yolks (save the whites) and vanilla extract, and mix well with a hand mixer.
  4. Place the butter in a skillet on medium heat and let it start to melt.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture to the saucepan and cook until thick.
  6. Pour the chocolate pie filling back into the bowl and beat if there are any lumps.
  7. Transfer the mixture to the baked pie shell.
  8. For the meringue, add the whites to a large bowl.
  9. Next, add the cream of tartar and beat until fluffy and stiff peaks form.
  10. Pour the sugar into the meringue and beat until shiny.
  11. Spread the meringue over the chocolate filling and smooth it out to the edges.
  12. Bake at 350 degrees until the meringue is golden brown.
  13. Allow the pie to set up for at least one hour before serving.

How To Make Chocolate Pie – Step-By-Step Instructions

Before you get started on the sweet chocolate filling, you must bake the pie crust. You have a few choices of pie crust:

Frozen prepared crust – if you go this route, let the pie crust thaw before placing it in the oven. Then, bake the crust for about 10-15 minutes at 325 degrees.

Refrigerated crust – you can purchase two pie crusts rolled up in a box. You will need to roll one out over a pie pan and bake the pie crust before adding the filling.

Homemade pie crust – you can make the crust at home. I have a delicious flaky pie crust recipe that shows you step-by-step.

Whatever crust you choose, you will need to take a fork and gently add some holes on the bottom and sides of the crust so it doesn’t bubble up while baking. Some people have asked if you can use a graham cracker crust and the answer is yes. You won’t need to bake the graham cracker crust before adding the chocolate filling.

Cocoa, flour, and sugar in a glass bowl.

Combine sugar, unsweetened cocoa, and flour in a medium-sized mixing bowl and whisk, trying to get rid of any lumps.

Pouring milk into a bowl with cocoa, flour, and sugar.

Pour the milk into the bowl.

Ingredients for chocolate pie in a glass bowl.

Next, add the egg yolks and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat. Be sure to save the egg whites in a separate bowl to use for the meringue.

Melting butter in a saucepan.

Add the butter to a large saucepan on medium heat.

Ingredients for chocolate pie in a saucepan.

Next, pour the milk mixture into the saucepan and stir occasionally as it cooks. Cook until thick, stirring often.

TIP: Stay close to the pan because once it starts to thicken, it happens fast.

Chocolate pie filling in a glass bowl.

Pour the chocolate pie filling back into a clean bowl and beat one more time to get rid of any lumps.

Make sure you add it back to a bowl that can handle heat because it’s a very hot mixture.

TIP: The chocolate pie filling actually makes delicious pudding, as well. You can forgo the pie crust and scoop the pudding into a pudding cup, and top it with some whipped cream for another delicious dessert.

Chocolate pie filling inside of a cooked pie shell.

Pour the creamy chocolate filling into the baked pie shell and set aside while you prepare the meringue.

How To Make Homemade Meringue

When making meringue, make sure the bowl is good and dry and that the beaters are dry, as well. If you have any water or a touch of egg yolk in the bowl, the meringue won’t fluff up like it’s supposed to.

Egg whites and cream of tartar in a glass bowl.

The first step is to take the egg whites that you set aside earlier and add one more egg white to the bowl. Sprinkle the cream of tartar into the bowl and beat egg whites on high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Cream of tartar is not required, but it will help to get a little more oomph out of your meringue.

Meringue with sugar on top, in a glass bowl.

Once you get stiff peaks, add the sugar and beat again until the meringue is shiny.

Chocolate pie with meringue in a pie dish sitting on the counter

Spread the meringue on the top and bake the pie in a 350 degree oven for 10-to 15 minutes or until it is golden brown. Allow the pie to set up for at least one hour before serving.

Be sure to refrigerate the pie in an airtight container. I would not cover it with plastic wrap because it will ruin the meringue. I use a pie carrier, and that way, the pie won’t get squished in the fridge.

Don’t be too intimidated by the meringue. As kids, our first attempt at meringue turned out like styrofoam! But if you follow the steps outlined, you should be just fine.

Why Was My Chocolate Pie Runny?

You most likely didn’t cook the pie long enough. Make sure you measure the correct amount of flour to add to the pie, as well.

How To Know When Chocolate Pie Is Done

Chocolate pie will be done when the filling begins to thicken in the pan. Once it starts to thicken, let it cook a little more, and then remove it from the pan. It will thicken a little more as it cools.

A slice of chocolate pie with meringue on a white plate.

Variations for Chocolate Pie

  • Pie Crust Variations: While a traditional pastry crust is common, try using a cookie crumb crust (like Oreo crust with crushed Oreo cookies and butter or graham cracker crumbs) for a different taste and texture.
  • Texture Variations: You can add some texture to your pie by adding some ingredients like toasted nuts, coconut, chocolate shavings, chocolate curls, or even caramel drizzles.
  • Flavor Variations: Try adding a hint of orange zest, a splash of coffee or espresso, or a pinch of sea salt to elevate the chocolate flavor. The flavor combos are amazing!

More Delicious Pie Recipes

  • Chocolate pecan pie – with the addition of chocolate chips, this is one amazingly delicious pie. You can also use dark chocolate chips for an even deeper flavor.
  • Butterscotch pie – don’t wait for special occasions to make this pie, it’s great year-round.
  • French silk pie from Cooking With Carlee
  • Eggnog pie recipe – this is such an easy pie with a traditional pie crust and some simple ingredients.
  • Chocolate chess pie – this old-fashioned recipe has been around a long time and is a favorite chocolate dessert.
  • Pumpkin pie – all you need is a basic pie crust, pumpkin, evaporated milk, and a few seasonings and you’ve got one great pie.
  • No bake easy chocolate pie – this is more of a chocolate cream pie recipe.
  • Key lime pie – this is a treasure here in Florida. It’s so easy to make and turns out delicious every time.
Two slices of chocolate pie on white plates next to the pie.

Chocolate Pie Recipe

The hardest part about this chocolate pie recipe is waiting for it to be done. My grandma’s chocolate pie is hands-down one of the best pies out there. If my family would let me, I would eat that entire pie all on my own. It’s that good! It’s such a simple recipe, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Check out the recipe card below, grab those ingredients at home or the grocery store, and start cooking! I love this recipe, and I think you’ll love this one, too. Then, share your comments below and share a picture of your chocolate pie recipe on the Pinterest Pin!  If you made any changes or added something different, be sure to share it with us.

Chocolate Pie sliced and on a plate.

Chocolate Pie Recipe

Yield: 8 pieces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Chocolate pie is a creamy, chocolatey, and wonderfully traditional dessert topped with a light and fluffy meringue.

Ingredients

Pie Crust

  • 9" pie crust store-bought or homemade

Pie filling

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour, heaping
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, heaping
  • 1-1/4 cups milk (2-percent or whole milk)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Meringue

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Instructions

Pie Filling

  1. Bake the pie crust until lightly golden brown.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl add the sugar, flour, and unsweetened cocoa and whisk together.
  3. Pour in the milk, vanilla extract, and egg yolks (save the whites in another bowl). Beat with a hand mixer until well combined.
  4. Add the butter to a skillet on medium heat.
  5. Next, pour the chocolate pie filling into the pan and cook until thick.
  6. Pour the pie filling back into a clean (and heat-safe) bowl and beat again to get rid of any lumps.
  7. Pour the filling into the cooked pie shell.


Meringue

  1. Grab the bowl with the whites and add one more egg white.
  2. Add the cream of tartar to the bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.
  3. Pour the sugar into the bowl and beat again until the meringue is shiny.
  4. Spread the meringue over the pie. Bake at 350-degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.
  5. Allow the pie to set up for at least one hour before serving.

Notes

TIP: Make sure the bowl and beaters are dry before beating the egg whites. If you have any water or egg yolks in the bowl or on the beaters the meringue will not fluff up.

TIP: The chocolate filling will thicken fast when cooking, so don't go to far.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1397Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 904mgCarbohydrates: 212gFiber: 6gSugar: 114gProtein: 19g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Margaret

Sunday 19th of May 2024

A tip from my mom: She always replaced a part of the fresh milk in any custard pie with evaporated milk. I start with a full size can of evaporated milk and add fresh milk to finish out the amount called for.

A tip from my Aunt Sue: She makes her custards and lemon curd in the microwave. I make mine in a clear glass bowl. When I see the outer edge darken I take it out and whisk it briefly. It only took me 7 minutes to cook the chocolate pie filling including stir time. Try it once and you will never go back.

A tip from me: My kids never liked meringue nor the wetness it leaves behind when you scrape it off. To prevent a skin from forming on your pie filling or any custard sprinkle it with regular granulated sugar I keep a salt shaker full of sugar. Sprinkle the sugar like you would sprinkle salt on a slice of tomato. It will melt and prevent a crust front forming. It is not noticeable on the pie when it melts. Sprinkle it on as soon as you put the filling in the pie crust.

Hope you try these tips. The first one has been used for 70 years. The third one for 40 years

Julie Pollitt

Monday 20th of May 2024

Hi Margaret! Thank you so much for the tips. I love these and will try them!

Patty C.

Saturday 28th of October 2023

I have made 6 pies thus far. I use powdered dry milk, it gives it even more of a Grandma's old timey taste. It is absolutely a family favorite and I give some away as well, everyone loves this pie, thanks for sharing.

Julie Pollitt

Saturday 28th of October 2023

I'll have to try it with powdered milk. Thanks for sharing!

Mona

Monday 18th of September 2023

Think this is probably the first time I have ever posted a comment after trying a recipe and I’m only doing it now because the pie was perfect! It is just like the chocolate pie my mom used to make and it was wonderful. Made it multiple times and it is consistently delicious. A few times when I didn’t have time to make a crust - I have put the filling in a coffee mug and topped with the meringue and it makes a cute quick and easy dessert. Serves 3 in a coffee mug.

Julie Pollitt

Wednesday 20th of September 2023

Hi Mona! I am so glad you came by to share. I love it when recipes remind people of loved ones. I have had the pie as pudding, but never put it in a mug. Such a great idea! We will try that soon.

Cardona Nancy

Saturday 2nd of September 2023

Do you refrigerate this if you make it the night before?

Julie Pollitt

Monday 4th of September 2023

I usually do refrigerate it if I make it the night before. You can set it on the counter an hour or so before serving it.

Sheila

Friday 21st of July 2023

I dont see the amounts for each ingredient

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 23rd of July 2023

Hi Sheila,

Did you scroll to the bottom of the post? There is a recipe card there and it has all of the information you will need.

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