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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.

A Classic Dessert

Chocolate Pie sliced and on a plate.

Chocolate pie 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.

Two slices of chocolate pie on white plates.

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.

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, as well as 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 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 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.

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

More Delicious Pie Recipes

Two slices of chocolate pie on white plates next to the pie.

Chocolate Pie Recipe

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.

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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

Rick

Thursday 19th of May 2022

This chocolate cream pie is awesome. My first ever chocolate pie and it turned out great. Easy to make. The only caution I would add is to be careful when cooking the pie filling, it thickens up fast.

Julie Pollitt

Friday 20th of May 2022

Hi Rick,

Thanks so much for sharing that! I went in and made a note in the recipe card about it thickening fast. Thanks you!

Allie D

Sunday 8th of May 2022

I have tried numerous times to make this chocolate meringue style pie! So many recipes and every time it would not work. The pudding wouldn’t sit right or it would be grainy, eggy. The meringue would fall and I’d be devastated This Mother’s Day I decided to try again I made the pie crust by hand then I followed this recipe to a T and I am so pleased to say I’ll never have to try another again! It was silky, luscious, smooth. Absolutely everything you’d ever want in a rich decadent chocolate pie. The meringue instructions were simple and it came out glossy and thick and browned the most perfect shade without burning! Thank you so much for such a wonderful gift ! Take care!

Julie Pollitt

Sunday 8th of May 2022

Hi Allie D!

Thank you so much. What a huge compliment! My grandmother would've been so happy to hear this, as I learned it from her! Have a wonderful day!

Charlotte Abdul-jabbar

Monday 18th of April 2022

If you dont want the meringue do you still need to back the pie for 10-15 mins? I’m a whip cream person lol 😂 sorry to be difficult

Julie Pollitt

Monday 18th of April 2022

Hi Charlotte, you're not difficult at all! You don't have to bake the pie if you don't add the meringue. We will make the chocolate filling and eat it as pudding. And, you can add all the whipped cream you'd like!

Jan Smith

Thursday 7th of April 2022

Hi! Thanks for sharing! This looks great! Can you make the chocolate & pie crust, refrigerate & make the meringue & bake the next day? I haven't tried this...any advice?

Julie Pollitt

Friday 8th of April 2022

Hi Jan, You can do that! I will taste a little fresher if you can do it the same day, but this will work, too. Enjoy!

Christina Taylor-Barreto

Monday 14th of March 2022

On one section of this recipe it says to bake meringue pie at 325⁰. Another section says to bake meringue pie at 350⁰. The printable recipe card doesn't have an oven temperature at all.

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 15th of March 2022

Hi Christina,

Sorry about that. You should cook it at 350-degrees. I will go fix that!

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