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Old-School Chocolate Cream Pie

Servings: 10 to 12

Flaky crust? Check. Chocolate pudding? Check. Heaps of whipped cream? Check. A sprinkling of chocolate curls or shards on top makes a nice contrast to the whipped cream.


For the filling

  • 2/3 cup (4 5/8 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (1 oz.) unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/4 cup (1-1/8 oz.) cornstarch, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 2-2/3 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks (or 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk)
  • 4 Tbs. (2 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the topping

  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (1-3/4 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • Sifted unsweetened cocoa powder, chocolate curls, or chocolate shards

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 380
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 230
  • Fat (g): 26
  • Saturated Fat (g): 16
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 115
  • Sodium (mg): 190
  • Carbohydrates (g): 34
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Sugar (g): 20
  • Protein (g): 5


Make the filling

  • Put the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk until well blended. Pour in 2/3 cup of the milk, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the yolks (or whole egg and yolk, if using), and then the remaining milk.
  • Set the pan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Cook for 1 minute, and then slide the pan off the heat. Add the butter and vanilla, and stir until the butter is melted and the pudding is smooth.
  • Scrape the filling into the cooled piecrust, spread evenly, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, if you like. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 5 hours or overnight.

Whip the topping

  • Put the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl, and beat with an electric hand-held mixer fitted with wire beaters on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed to medium high, and beat until the cream is thick and holds medium-firm peaks.
  • Peel off the plastic from the filling. Scrape the topping onto the center of the pie and, using a small offset or silicone spatula, spread it to cover the filling, leaving the center slightly domed along with lots of swirls and peaks.
  • Sprinkle with cocoa powder, chocolate curls, or chocolate shards (optional). Serve immediately or cover loosely and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • JKinME | 02/17/2021

    I've made this pie a few times, and it has come out perfectly delicious every one of them! It's definitely an old-school chocolate cream pie, very classic but not too rich. The flavors are excellent, and when I've shared it with others, they've gone back for seconds and thirds.

  • user-6775758 | 09/06/2019

    In the photograph both custard and whip cream looks firm. Not so when making. Cook the custard longer than it states, and I'm fairly certain the custard in the image has a stiffener in it. The recipe says to whip the cream to only medium peaks. I wouldn't recommend this either. The flavour was too mild for my taste and didn't hold it's shape even remotely. I wouldn't make this again. Might as well use a packaged pudding and coolwhip (which of course, I wouldn't, but) that would definitely have been an improvement on flavour, shape and presentation.

  • user-4674285 | 10/24/2018

    I have many recipe's for chocolate cream pie. Some get quite expensive with all the quality chocolate, some are vey time consuming using double boilers, some are fabulous for the first two bites but then you find yourself overwhelmed and slightly ill with how rich they are but this pie was quick and easy to make, all the ingredients are pantry staples and my family, including the in-laws loved it just as much as any of the other chocolate cream pies I have made. This one is going in the recipe binder.

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