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Chocolate Pudding Pie

Made with real homemade chocolate pudding and a buttery graham cracker crust, this Chocolate Pudding Pie is both easy and irresistible. Perfect for any holiday celebration, from the 4th of July to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This post is sponsored by American Dairy Association Mideast, all opinions are my own.

A slice of chocolate pudding pie topped with whipped cream

The Best Chocolate Pudding Pie Recipe

This Chocolate Pudding Pie is rich but light, and you’ll have no problem polishing off a slice. Trust me, I speak from experience.

The combination of the graham cracker pie crust with the silky homemade pudding and homemade whipped topping is just to-die-for. Top with some chocolate shavings for a presentation worthy of the holiday dessert table!

Personally, I love the graham cracker pie crust, but you can make this with an Oreo crust or a traditional, all-butter pie crust if you prefer.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Simple Ingredients. The filling is made with 7 easy ingredients like milk, sugar, egg yolks, cocoa powder, and real chocolate.
  • Easy to Prepare: The filling takes just 15 minutes to prepare.
  • Make it ahead of time. You’ll need to allow several hours for it to cool and set.
  • It’s almost no-bake! The graham cracker crust should be baked for 10 minutes to help bind the crust together and make it a little crispy, but once that’s done the oven can go off!
A slice of chocolate pudding pie on a polka dot plate with a bite missing and a gold fork next to it

Today I am partnering with my friends at American Dairy Association Mideast to bring you dessert. I’m honored to have been working with them for several years now and I love sharing the stories of the hard-working dairy farmers that put food on our tables. These guys work 365 days a year caring for their cows, including holidays.

Dairy is an essential ingredient in my kitchen and in my daily diet. Milk is packed with calcium and protein. Did you know that milk also adds a bit of sweetness to recipes and encourages the browning reactions in desserts like pie crust and cookies? And of course, it’s an essential ingredient for pudding.

Key Ingredients

There are 3 ingredients that are especially important in making this pie, as I’ve noted below. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full list and measurements.

  • Whole milk: Whole milk is higher in fat which makes adds richness to the pudding. It also helps to produce a nice, thick consistency. 
  • Chocolate: High quality chocolate is important because this is where the flavor comes from. I prefer dark chocolate, at least 72% cocoa, but if you like milk or semi-sweet chocolate that will also work. I recommend using a chocolate bar because they melt smoothly. I don’t like to use chocolate chips because they are coated, so once melted, they have an oilier texture.
  • Egg yolks: This adds a velvety texture and richness to the pudding. They also help to thicken the pudding as well.
Ingredients for chocolate pie portioned out in bowls and measuring cups

How to Make Chocolate Pudding Pie

This chocolate pudding pie does require some hands-on time as you make the pudding from scratch but truly the hardest part is waiting for it to set before diving in! Be sure to bake the crust in advance.

Step 1: Make the Crust

Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl, until the crumbs are well coated. Press into the pan until densely packed. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Step 2: Make the Pudding

  1. Prepare the milk mixture. Whisk together the milk, sugar, and cocoa powder until warm. The sugar should dissolve.
  2. Temper the eggs. Gently whisk the egg yolks. Add a small amount of the warmed milk and whisk quickly, to avoid cooking the eggs. Return to the milk mixture and whisk to combine.
  3. Thicken the pudding. Make a cornstarch slurry and add it to the saucepan. Continue whisking and cooking until the pudding thickens and lightly bubbles. It should coat the outside of the pan as it thickens.
  4. Add the chocolate. Whisk in the chocolate until completely incorporated. Stir constantly, cooking until bubbles start to break the surface. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  5. Strain. Strain the pudding through a fine sieve back into the bowl and transfer to the prepared pie crust.
  6. Chill. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding, poking a few holes to allow heat to escape. Cool on the counter for 60 minutes then refrigerate for at least 2 to 4 hours, until the pudding has set.
Half of a homemade chocolate pudding pie

Step 3: Add the Toppings

Beat the heavy whipping cream in the chilled bowl, using an electric mixer on high. Once soft peaks form, slowly add in the powdered sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form then spread over the cooled and set pudding. Top with chocolate shavings if desired.

How Do I Know When The Pudding is Done?

Once you’ve added all the ingredients (except the chopped chocolate), you’ll cook the pudding slowly over medium heat. The mixture will thicken, coating the side of the pan and the bubbles on top will start to disappear. Once the milk starts to lightly boil, and large bubbles are breaking the surface, it’s time to add the chocolate. 

Slowly add the chocolate and continue whisking until it’s melted. Pay close attention and continue whisking until you see large bubbles starting to break the surface again. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract.

The consistency should be thick, but pourable and it will further thicken as it sets. 

How Long Does It Take Homemade Pudding to Set?

You’ll need a few hours. I let it sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes until it is partially cooled then I refrigerate it for 2-4 hours. Be sure the pudding is completely set before you add the whipped topping.

Tips for Success

These tips will help you achieve the best chocolate pie, that’s smooth, creamy, and oh-so-chocolatey.

  • Slowly heat the milk.  You should be using medium to medium-low heat. If you think the milk is burning, or sticking to the bottom of the pan, turn down the heat and be sure to stir frequently.
  • Make a slurry with the cornstarch. Take a couple tablespoons of the warmed milk and whisk into the cornstarch then pour back into the saucepan. This allows the corn starch to dissolve easier and helps eliminate any grainy texture.
  • Strain the pudding. Strain the pudding through a fine sieve into a bowl or directly into the cooled pie crust to remove any dry ingredients that did not fully dissolve. Don’t scrap the bottom of the saucepan, you don’t want any of that in your pie filling. 
  • Cover the surface of the pudding with plastic wrap. This is to prevent a skin from forming. I recommend using a toothpick to poke a couple of holes to vent the warm air as well. Cool on the counter for 30-60 minutes before refrigerating to prevent further condensation.
  • How to easily slice the pie. Now it’s always difficult to cleanly remove the first slice of any pie, but if you take a knife or angled spatula and gently slide it along the outside edge of the crust, it will help to loosen it up before you lift the slice out. 
Chocolate pie with a slice missing

Serving Suggestions

If you don’t want to make the homemade whipped topping, you can also use Cool Whip or whipped cream from the store. I also like to add some chocolate shavings for the presentation.

Keep the chocolate pie refrigerated until it’s time to serve.

Can This Be Made Ahead Of Time?

Yes! It keeps very well in the refrigerator, but it’s best consumed within the first 48 hours, as the graham cracker crust will start to soften after that. I recommend preparing 24 hours in advance of serving whenever possible.

How to Store

This pie has to be refrigerated. Once cooled you can add the homemade whipped cream, and then store covered or in an airtight container.

For more information about dairy nutrition, to find delicious new recipes and to meet Ohio and West Virginia dairy farmers, visit Drink-Milk.com, and follow the American Dairy Association Mideast on FacebookTwitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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A slice of chocolate pudding pie topped with whipped cream

Chocolate Pudding Pie

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes (plus cooling time)
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Made with real homemade chocolate pudding and a buttery graham cracker crust, this Chocolate Pudding Pie is both easy and irresistible. Perfect for any holiday celebration, from the 4th of July to Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 ½ cups (135g) graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup (55g) packed light brown sugar
  • 7 tablespoons (98g) butter, melted

For the pudding

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup (95g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (7g) cocoa powder
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons (28g) corn starch
  • 8 ounces (226g) dark chocolate bar, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping

  • ¾ cup (177ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons (24g) powdered sugar
  • Chocolate shavings (optional)

Instructions

For the crust

  • Combine the ingredients in a medium-size bowl and mix thoroughly until crumbs are well coated. Press the crumbs into the pan until densely packed.
  • Bake at 325°F for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.

 For the pudding

  • Heat the milk with dry ingredients: In a medium sauce pan, whisk the milk, sugar and cocoa powder together and heat over medium-low heat until warm.
  • Temper the egg yolks: In a small bowl gently whisk 2 egg yolks. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the warmed milk and into the egg yolks and whisk, then pour thee yolks back into the pudding and whisk to combine.
  • Make a slurry with the corn starch: Add 2-3 tablespoons of the warmed milk and whisk into the cornstarch then pour back into the saucepan and whisk to combine.
  • Cook until thickened: Continue whisking the pudding until it starts to thicken and lightly bubble, approximately 10-15 minutes. The mixture will start to coat the outside of the pan as it thickens. Ensure its thickened before moving onto the next step.
  • Add the chocolate: Slowly add chocolate and continue whisking until it’s completely incorporated. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until bubbles start to break the surface, stirring constantly.
  • Add the vanilla: Remove the pudding from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
  • Strain the pudding: Strain the pudding through a fine sieve into a bowl and then transfer to the prepared pie crust. Cover with clear plastic wrap (placing directly on the surface of the pudding), then poke a few holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick.
  • Cool and refrigerate: Allow the pudding to cool on the counter for 30-60 minutes before refrigerating. Refrigerate 2-4 hours until the pudding has cooled and is firm.

For the whipped cream

  • Chill the bowl: Once the pie is completely cooled and set, prepare the whipped cream. Chill a mixing bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Add the powdered sugar: Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread over top of the pudding. Top with chocolate shavings (optional).

Equipment


Notes

  • Storing this pie: This pie must be refrigerated and  it’s best consumed within the first 48 hours, as the graham cracker crust will start to soften after that. I recommend preparing 24 hours in advance of serving whenever possible.
  • Chocolate bars are best for this recipe instead of chocolate chips. I prefer dark chocolate, but any type of chocolate will work,
  • Pro tip for slicing: Once sliced, take a knife or angled spatula and gently slide it along the outside edge of the crust, it will help to loosen it up before you lift the slice out.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 547
  • Sugar: 42g
  • Sodium: 159mg
  • Fat: 33g
  • Carbohydrates: 58g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 108mg

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2 comments on “Chocolate Pudding Pie”

  1. Avatar photo
    Kathryn Henson

    This pie was so luscious and delicious!! My whole family raved about it and it was the first time making one for me. The recipe is easy to follow