Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

Chocolate Chess Pie is seriously one of the best things ever created – especially if you love chocolate like I do.


Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe | ©


Creamy, custardy, and oh so chocolatey on the inside, chocolate chess pies is also crowned with the signature crunchy top crust that you’ll find in really good chess pie recipes.

And really, the simplicity of a chess pie just makes it even more special.


Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe | ©


See the inside of that pie?

Oh my goodness!!!



Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe | ©

You’ll love it.


Here’s my recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie. Add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream to take it over. the. top!

4.8 from 12 reviews
Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chocolate Chess Pie is a quintessential Southern chocolate pie. Get this family favorite chocolate chess pie recipe.
Serves: 8
  • 1¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 5 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Whisk sugar, cocoa, and espresso powder (if using) and salt together. Pour butter and evaporated milk into sugar and cocoa mixture and beat on high speed. Add vanilla and eggs. With mixer speed on high speed, mix for approximately 2-3 minutes to lighten.
  3. Pour mixture into 9 inch unbaked pie shell and bake for 35-40 minutes. The center of the pie will be a bit soft. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing. The pie will continue to set as it cools.

Robyn xo

60 comments on “Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe”

  1. Oh this is amazing! So my kind of pie. I love chocolate and fruit pies just do not do it for me. This looks so incredible!

  2. I’ve heard about chess pies for like….forever, but have never tried one! Your pictures of this one are so perfect, I’m definitely saving this recipe!

  3. The instructions in #2 just don’t make sense to me – please clarify. This looks so delicious, I really want to try it. Thanks!

  4. Seriously just pass me a slice! 🙂

  5. are you joking?! I NEED THIS!!

  6. I agree chocolate chess pie is seriously the best out there.

  7. I am obsessed with all things chocolate, and who doesn’t love pie?! This is gorgeous! I’ve been drooling over that first picture for the last 3 minutes!

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever had chess pie — must be a Southern thing? Looks delicious though!

  9. I’m still confused by instructions in # 2. What are you “whisking together with a fork and pouring into sugar, cocoa and butter mixture?

  10. I seriously CANNOT wait to make this! That chocolate filling is killing me!

  11. Do you think I could double the recipe and pour into a deep dish pie crust and it would turn out good?

  12. Robyn,
    I’ve never had chess pie but it looks so good. I pinned, so I can give it a try later.

  13. This looks so good, Robyn! Do you know why they call it Chess Pie?

  14. True story – I’ve never had a Chess Pie – let alone a gorgeous Chocolate one!! Look at that beaut!

  15. I need to get in the kitchen and make this right now! Just gorgeous!

  16. I started seeing Chess pies at church functions when we moved to Virginia. I had never heard of them before. I’ve always wanted to make one. This looks so delicious and easy!

  17. My sister in law loves chess pie- chocolate is a whole new level

  18. This pie looks absolutely beautiful. I’m so hungry right now, I want to eat the whole thing. I love Southerners!

  19. They are called Chess Pie because a non-Southerner could not believe it was called “Just Pie”. I just used this recipe but did not use an electric mixer and I added one teaspoon of flour. It was perfect!

  20. After letting the chocolate chess pie cool should I store it in tbe fridge for the next day or leave it out. Thanks for your response.

  21. Pingback: Pumpkin Tart | Pumpkin Chess Pie | Eat the Love

  22. I doubled this to make two and cooked it 37 min (in between 35-40 as indicated)
    It had a hard crust and then once cut, about 1/8 inch below the crust began the gooey inside- like an uncooked brownie. It sat a good while, too, so I’m hoping by tomorrow it won’t be as gooey/runny? Definitely doesn’t look like the picture 🙁

    • Hi Katie,
      The pie continues to set as it cools. Hope everyone loves it.

      Robyn xo

    • Mine just did the same thing. I used an electric mixer and did everything as discribed; however, it almost has like a hard shell ontop instead of crunchy goodness of a chess pie/square… Any suggestions?

  23. Tried this for Thanksgiving — tasted delicious! Unfortunately mine collapsed to a meager 1cm in depth, so am trying to figure out where I went wrong! (Did I not whisk the eggs enough? Or maybe my mixer speed wasn’t fast enough?) I’m not too brilliant when it comes to the science behind cooking, so if anyone has any advice, please chime in =]

  24. Hey can i make this using a graham cracker crust instead of a pie crust?

  25. hi dear robyn, i can`t write English very good, sorry. I always read your extraordinary and lovely website and do your recipes.
    My husband and friends love them.
    Today i make this pie but because in my city don`t find vegetable shortening, i use butter. Crust was so good but filling don`t puff out, why?
    thank you

  26. If I had evaporated milk to your recipe. What sort of result would that give me? I’m in the process of making your recipe right now.

  27. Unfortunately, my pie did not turn out well…hard top crust, chocolate filling was maybe 1/4 inch thick and was detached from the top crust. I bake often and followed recipe exactly.

  28. Tried this tonight on a whim, and it was wonderful! I have made several chocolate chess pies and this is by far the best, and soooo easy. Especially with an 18m old crying at your feet! Lol! Mine did have a hard shell on top, and it did collapse like the other reviews said but it tasted perfect, and the hard crunchy top was the best part. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. I did add a tiny pinch if salt to
    the batter, and I topped with some homemade salted caramel sauce I had left over from ice cream. My husband actually ate his with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream. He LOVES it! Thanks for the great recipe!

  29. My pie was still a bit runny in the middle, even after letting it set for an hour. Does that just mean I need it to set longer next time? Thank you so much! :o)

  30. This is really, really delicious. Hard shell, gooey chocolate inside. I’ll be making this one on the regular. Thanks.

  31. will this pie freeze well to make ahead for Thanksgiving or will that possibly change it?

  32. The first time I ate Chocolate Chess Pie was at a local restaurant just a couple of years ago. I fell in love with it. This looks delicious. I’m going to try this recipe for Thanksgiving. I’m thinking this is going to be a staple of my dinner from here on out.

    • Isn’t is fabulous. I definitely always go for the chocolate chess pie if it’s being served. No second guessing there! 🙂 Hope you enjoy it and Happy Thanksgiving!

  33. This looks wonderful– could I substitute cream or half and half for evaporated milk?

  34. I doubled this recipe for Thanksgiving and used the filling to fill 3 regular pie crusts. I only baked for about 30 minutes and the pies were perfect. Thank you for the recipe. I will certainly use it again.

  35. I have made your pie 3 times, and each time I let it cook for 40 minutes the inside is so runny that I cook it more. It is as it is not cooked at all. If I cook for 40 min and then let it set will the inside set? I love taste.

    • Hi Linda,
      Yes, the recipe instructions include for you to place the pie, once baked, onto a wire rack to cool for an hour. It will continue to set as it cools. I hope that helps!

  36. Looks indeed like a delicious pie, but this souther girl says what sets a chess pie apart from others is the cornmeal in it. I did look around on the net a bit to confirm my suspictions.
    As a fudge pie though I believe you’ve nailed it – and there’s nothing wrong with a fudge pie!

  37. I’ve made this pie a few months ago for a birthday. It turned out perfect. I gave it two hrs to cool and it set just fine. It is milky runny out of the oven and pudding like after it cools. People need to give it time to cool and cook a day ahead if needed.

  38. I ordered the “espresso” because of you. I am anxious to use it! This pie looks amazing.

  39. I baked this as my second attempt ever at a pie. Instructions are easy enough, and the pie was delicious! I added 1/2 of finely chopped walnuts to my batter. I want to try hazelnuts next time. Such a great pie!

  40. I have these pies in the oven for the second time this month! It was a hit- I did not have espresso powder and they still turned out delicious. Going to try espresso powder next time! Thanks for this recipe! Easy and really delicious.

  41. Please tell me what I did wrong. I followed the recipe, but the inside is as runny and liquidy as it was when I put it in the oven except with a somewhat crusty top layer. The picture does not indicate this at all. I baked it for 38 minutes, let it cool for several hours, baked it again for another 20 minutes, let it cool, and it never set. What is the secret? No surprise pie for my family this Christmas!

    • I know that I’m late but try adding a tablespoon of corn meal to your mix to firm it up. ALL chess pie recipes should call for that and vinegar.

  42. Made this recipe yesterday for the 1st time. Was the most amazing Chocolate Chess pie I have ever eaten. Used the exact recipe. My boyfriend is impressed and doesn’t realize how incredibly easy it was:) Will continue to use this recipe every time we crave a chocolaty dessert.

  43. I put a tablespoon of flour in it. Cook it about an hr on 400. The first time I made it was a flop. It turned out more like chocolate milk after following the recipe.

  44. Loved this pie! It turned out perfect! It did crack a bit on top but it tasted amazing and set up fairly quickly. I cooked it for about 1 hour at 350°. I made it almost exactly as the recipe states except I didn’t have any evaporated milk, so I had to sub that. I just cooked some regular 2% milk down a bit and used that. Also, I heated my butter for only about 20 seconds in the microwave and while it was still warm, I whisked my eggs and vanilla in with it. When I mixed my egg/butter mixture with the dry ingredients I let them mix on medium speed in my mixer for a good bit until it was smooth and silky. Since my milk was already hot that may have caused it to set up better too.

  45. This was nothing like pudding pie! And while the texture wasnt exactly like my chess pie, it was similar & very good. Turned out fine.

  46. Pie tasted great! Everything about it was perfect except the top was a bit greasy. Does anyone know what causes that or how to prevent it?

  47. Can I substitute regular coffee for espresso?

    • Hi Sabina,
      I’ve never used regular coffee in this pie – I use espresso powder. It is optional, so if you don’t have espresso powder on hand, it will still be delicious. Do try sometime with espresso powder if you can – it really enhances the chocolate! Thanks so much! xo

  48. Do you need to make any adjustments for high altitude baking?

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