This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Chocolate Chess Pie is a classic Southern chocolate pie with a creamy middle topped with a crisp topping. Chess pie is easy and so delicious!

Closeup photograph of slice of chocolate chess pie topped with whipped cream. //
Sign up for email updates
Get Free Recipes to Your Inbox Enter your email to get the latest recipes, how-to’s in our weekly newsletter.

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

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. Topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, this pie is always a favorite.

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

Easy Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

Photograph of slice of chocolate pie topped with whipped cream and full pie in the background. //

See the inside of that pie?

Oh my goodness!!!


What is Chess Pie?

Chess Pie is a traditional southern pie recipe with deep roots from England. Chess pie is made from sugar, flour, butter and eggs and then baked in a pie crust. The combination of the sugar and flour mixed together give the pie a crispy, crackle finish on the top while leaving a custard type filling from the eggs. For this chocolate version of the classic pie, cocoa powder is also included.

How To Make Chocolate Chess Pie

To make this pie, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Espresso Powder optional
  • Salt
  • Butter melted and slightly cooled
  • Evaporated Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (9-inch) Pie crust unbaked

  • Whisk together sugar, cocoa, flour, salt, and espresso powder. Pour your melted butter and evaporated milk into the sugar and cocoa mixture and beat on high speed with an electric mixer. Mix in vanilla extract and eggs until well combined and continue to mix for about 2 minutes to lighten the batter.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into a 9-inch, unbaked pie crust. Bake for 55 minutes. The center of the pie will be a bit soft, allow it to cool completely on a wire rack for an hour before slicing. The pie will continue to set as it cools.

How to Store This Pie

Cover the pie loosely with wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Horizontal photograph of chocolate chess pie on a stack of white dessert plates with full pie in the background. //

You’ll love it.


Here’s my recipe for Chocolate Chess Pie. I hope you love it as much as we do!

4.60 from 20 votes

Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

Dessert 1 hr 5 mins

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Servings 8
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Chocolate Chess Pie is a quintessential Southern chocolate pie. Get this family favorite chocolate chess pie recipe.


  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder optional
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted and slightly cooled
  • 5 ounces evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 (9-inch) pie crust unbaked


  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Whisk sugar, cocoa, flour, 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.
  • Pour mixture into 9 inch unbaked pie shell and bake for about 55 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.

Shout Out

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @addapinch or tag #addapinch!

Share it with the world!

Robyn xo

Pies / Tarts / Cobblers Recipes

Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Review


  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. 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!

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

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

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

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

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

  10. 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!

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

  12. 5 stars
    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!

  13. 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.

  14. 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 🙁

    1. 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?

  15. 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 =]

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 5 stars
    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!

  20. 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)

  21. 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.

    1. 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!

  22. 5 stars
    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.

  23. 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.

    1. 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!

  24. 4 stars
    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!

  25. 5 stars
    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.

  26. 5 stars
    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!

  27. 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.

  28. 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!

    1. 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.

  29. 5 stars
    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.

  30. 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.

  31. 5 stars
    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.

  32. 4 stars
    This was nothing like pudding pie! And while the texture wasnt exactly like my chess pie, it was similar & very good. Turned out fine.

  33. 4 stars
    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?

    1. 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

  34. 1 star
    I feel jealous of the people who were successful! I did everything right – it looked gorgeous when I took it from oven! I baked it a little longer than indicated – until the crust was getting too brown. I let it cool overnight but it never set up – like chocolate syrup in the middle – nothing like the picture. it did not hold together in a pie shaped piece.

  35. This pie is delicious!! So easy and tastes just like the ones my momma use to make, but of course she just mixed it up, never measured anything!????????

    1. I’m thrilled you enjoyed it Shirley! And love that it tastes like what your momma made! Thanks so much! xo

  36. 4 stars
    Really good,seemed a little thin in my pan… Then noticed it was 9.3 in… Never noticed before. I will use a little less sugar next time. Always trying to save calories… Thanks for sharing

  37. I have a question. The heading of the recipe says the cook time is 45 minutes but the instructions say 55. Which is correct? My pie is in the oven now so please respond quickly if you can. Thanks!

  38. 5 stars
    I made this pie and it was delicious. I have made chocolate chess pies before but I do not remember putting flour in them. The texture of this pie was very smooth. Tasty too!

  39. This was the best chocolate chess pie I have ever eaten!  I made a homemade buttery, flaky pie crust and topped it with fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate.  

  40. Is the recipe using a glass or metal pan? Ive read that the temp should be increased by 25° if using metal. The first time I baked this I used glass. This time im usimg metal.

  41. 5 stars
    Just saw this today in an email and had to try it right away. Oh my goodness! How can anyone not eat the whole thing in one sitting?

    1. Hi Debbie,
      The baking time is 45 minutes. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do! xo

    2. The total time, including prep, is 55. The baking time is 45 minutes. Hope you enjoy it Kenny! Thanks!

  42. 5 stars
    Made it last night with my son for pie day. Made it with a homemade graham cracker crust and it was delicious….almost like a smore.

  43. 5 stars
    Very good! I have made this every Christmas and the whole family loves it : even those who usually don’t like chocolate pie: a winner. Note:: even more delicious to drizzle caramel topping on top!

    1. I’m happy even the ones who don’t like chocolate pie love this one, Julie. I bet it is delicious with the caramel sauce.

    1. No, you would pour your chocolate mixture into the frozen pie crust then bake as directed in the recipe. Hope you enjoy the pie, Chartrusey.

  44. 5 stars
    Whole family loved this pie.
    Used only 1 cup of sugar, and 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder and omitted the espresso powder because I didn’t have any. Used a frozen deep dish pie crust. Cooked it for right at 55 minutes. Middle was set and the top didn’t even crack. Delicious in every way!!!

    1. The mixture just goes into the graham cracker crust… and popped into the oven. Worked out nicely… and it was decadent along with ice cream and berries.

  45. Mine turned out really runny😢 but top was bice and done! What could i do differently, i followed the recipe step for step.

    1. Meghan, it sounds like the pie didn’t cook long enough. Shake the pie gently and if the center jiggles only slightly, the pie is done. The center will be soft, not runny when it is done and then will continue to set as it cools.

  46. I’ve done something wrong. Mine comes out with like layers. The crust rises there is almost clearish on the bottom and then chocolate on the top. Still tasted good.

    1. Marsha, make sure you whisk the eggs in well so they are thoroughly combined with the other ingredients. If your melted butter gets too hot while melting, it will separate and then cause your pie to separate while it is baking. Melt the butter slowly so it is still creamy and not boiling. I hope this helps.

    1. I haven’t added nuts to this recipe, Zoe, but someone else posted that she added 1/2 cup of finely chopped walnuts to the recipe and it turned out great. So, an equal amount of pecans should turn out the same.

  47. 5 stars
    Made this recipe yesterday for Thanksgiving and it was a HUGE hit. I chose this recipe because of the addition of expresso and man, did it make a difference. It was delicious and decadent and we enjoyed changing it up from our usual pumpkin pie. I will definitely be making this again! Thank you so much for such an easy and yummy recipe!