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Chocolate Chess Pie

This Chocolate Chess Pie recipe gives a classic dessert a rich, fudgy twist. Think of it almost like a brownie in pie form!

Slice of chocolate chess pie topped with whipped cream

Rich, Fudgy Chocolate Chess Pie

Chess pie has long been one of my favorite desserts, and while there are a number of variations on the original, I think Chocolate Chess Pie is my absolute favorite. It’s so fudgy and rich, and unlike any other pie you’ve ever tasted! 

Most Chocolate Chess Pie recipes have cocoa powder in the filling. This one, however, uses melted dark chocolate instead. As you can imagine, the end result is a richer, more intense chocolate flavor. And you can never go wrong with more chocolate, right? Right

Because of the addition of that melted chocolate, the texture of this pie differs a bit from traditional chess pies. You’ll still get the crackly, partially sunken top, but the filling is thicker than the custard-like filling of most chess pies.

If you’re a fan of all things chocolate, add this recipe to your to-bake list. And then go ahead and move it to the top. Serve it chilled, warm, or at room temperature. Adding a scoop of sweetened whipped cream is my favorite way to enjoy it. That subtle sweetness offsets the richness of the pie in such a perfect way.

What You’ll Need

Like all chess pies, this one starts with a flaky crust and eggs, butter, and sugar for the filling. 

For the crust:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – The butter needs to be cold, which is how you get a delightfully flaky pie crust.
  • Cold water – Ice water is best; just take the ice cubes out before you measure the water.

For the filling:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Dark chocolate – Read more about melting chocolate properly here: Tips for Baking Brownies from Scratch.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Kahlua – Use leftovers to make Fudgy Kahlua Brownie Cookies!
  • Vanilla extract – Choose a high-quality vanilla extract for best results.
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Sweetened whipped cream or ice cream

Substitutions for Kahlua

I couldn’t resist adding a bit of Kahlua to the pie filling. Its coffee flavor is such a wonderful complement to that rich chocolate. Of course, you can omit it if you’re serving an under-21 crowd or substitute brewed coffee if you’d like. Otherwise, I would suggest doubling the vanilla or perhaps adding a teaspoonful of coffee extract.

Whole chocolate chess pie in pie dish

How to Make Chocolate Chess Pie

Other than the melted chocolate, the method for this chocolate chess pie recipe is similar to traditional versions!

To make the crust:

Combine the dry ingredients and butter. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, then add the chilled butter. Incorporate the butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter is the size of small peas.

Form a dough. Add a tablespoon of water and continue mixing. Continue to add more water as needed, a tablespoon at a time, until the crumbs come together to form a dough.

Chill. Take the dough out of the bowl and pat it into a circle. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.

Roll out the dough. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick.

Prepare the crust. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, then trim and crimp the edges as desired. Refrigerate the crust while you work on the filling.

To make the filling:

Melt the butter and chocolate. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Heat the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at half power in 30-second increments, stirring after each one. Stir until the butter has melted and the chocolate melts, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Finish the filling. Stir the flour, sugar, brown sugar, Kahlua, vanilla, flour, and salt into the melted chocolate mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Assemble and bake. Pour the filling into the pie crust. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the center is set and the top is puffed.

Cool. Let the pie cool in the pan on a wire rack; the pie will fall as it cools.

Serve. You can serve this Chocolate Chess Pie warm, at room temperature, or chilled, either on its own or with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.

Two slices of chocolate chess pie on plates topped with whipped cream

Tips for Success

Here are a few hints and tips that will help you along the way!

  • Switching up the pie crust. This Chocolate Chess Pie recipe includes my go-to pie crust. If you have a different recipe you prefer, feel free to use that, or if you’re in a time-crunch, you can use a pre-made pie crust.
  • Rolling out the crust. If the dough seems too hard to work with after you remove it from the refrigerator, you can let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly softened, but still cold.
  • About the chocolate. I use 72% cacao for this recipe. I recommend using a high-quality bar of chocolate rather than chocolate chips for best results.

How to Store

Cover the pie with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. You can also transfer the pie to an airtight container for storage. 

Can I Freeze a Chocolate Chess Pie?

If you’d like to freeze your Chocolate Chess Pie, you can wrap it tightly (or transfer individual slices to an airtight storage container) and freeze it for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

Chocolate Chess Pie

Yield 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Chocolate Chess Pie is a rich, fudgy twist on a classic dessert. It's a little bit like a brownie pie, and a must-make for chocolate lovers!

Whole chocolate chess pie in pie dish

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 & 1/4 cups (150g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces (113g) dark chocolate, roughly chopped*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • sweetened whipped cream or ice cream, for serving

Instructions

To make the crust:

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter is the size of small peas.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of water and continue mixing. Add more water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.
  3. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly softened but still cold.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick.
  6. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and crimp the edges as desired. Place the pie plate in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at half power in 30-second increments until the butter has melted and the chocolate melts when stirred. Stir until combined. Allow to cool about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, brown sugar, Kahlua, vanilla, flour, and salt to the chocolate mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Transfer the filling to the crust. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the center is set and the top is puffed.
  6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. The pie will fall as it cools.
  7. Serve warmed, at room temperature, or chilled with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.

Notes

This recipe includes my go-to pie crust. If you have a different recipe you prefer, feel free to use that.

*I usually use a 72% cacao chocolate.

Recipe adapted from MyRecipes.

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    15 Comments on “Chocolate Chess Pie”

  1. OMG! This is to die for! I love chess pie and a chocolate version would be amazing! I have to make this and then after a slice get it out of the house or I would eat the whole thing! Thanks for sharing!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,
    Linda

  2. This looks fabulous – I have never made a chess pie but just printed this out. Thanks!

  3. oh my goshhhh YES-I love that this recipe uses the melted dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder. Looks SO GOOD!

  4. Chocolate Chess Pie has been around for ages and still remains a family favorite. My great grandmother use to make this; her version was melted butter & unsweetened dark chocolate, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla & milk (can).   So good. 

    • It’s so great that you have her recipe, Leigh! There are some of my grandmother’s recipes that I never got.

      • I noticed the ingredients on Pintrest when you first open up recipe are slight different than when you press make it . The second ingredients show 1/2 cup of unsalted butter instead of 1 cup, The first ingredients showed 25 tsp of granulated sugar, The first ingredients showed 2 Tbsp water. Flour on first showed 1 1/3 cups second showed 1 1/2 cups. Concerned because first time making for my family for Thanksgiving want it to be perfect. Your timely attention much appreciated.

  5. Hi Jennifer! Quick question about the Kahlua. Can you substitute that with something else? Or with just plain water? Don’t have alcohol in the house, but I’d love to make this pie. Thank you.

  6. So delicious! I used a mix of milk and dark chocolate so I decreased the sugar a little and added more salt. Also used strong coffee instead of kahlua.
    Filling recipe is great but my pie crust on the bottom wasn’t fully cooked so I would probably blind bake the pie for 10 mins or so before I put the filling next time. Otherwise, awesome!!

  7. Is the dark chocolate sweetened, or is it baking chocolate?

    • Hi, Sarah. The dark chocolate is sweetened. You can use chocolate bars or blocks. Chocolate chips would work in a pinch. See the note at the bottom of the recipe for the cacao percentage I prefer.

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