Chocolate Cream Pie is a lot easier to make than you might think! Pairing it with a buttery graham cracker crust makes for a perfect pie. Learn how to make chocolate pudding from scratch, how to make the best graham crack crust ever, and how to decorate for a super elegant looking pie. This truly is the best chocolate pie you will ever have!
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I love this chocolate cream pie with graham cracker crust recipe I am about to share with you guys. It’s perfectly smooth and ever so chocolatey. It really is quite a dream with some delicious whipped cream on top!
This is honestly the best chocolate pie I’ve ever had, I might be biased but I think you’ll agree once you try this is recipe. Everything ranging from the chocolate pudding filling to the graham cracker crust, to the whipped topping all made from scratch makes for a cleaner tasting and delicious pie!
The keys to the best chocolate pie are
- A delicious chocolate filling made from scratch
- A super buttery graham cracker crust
- Topped liberally with fresh whipped cream
Making a chocolate cream pie from scratch is a lot easier than you think. All you have to do is just work carefully and not rush it. Let me give you some pointers on how to make each component so you feel like a chocolate clad Rockstar!
The Best Homemade Chocolate Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
How to Make Chocolate Pie Filling From Scratch
The most technical part of this pie has to be the filling, but you have nothing to worry about! If you read through the recipe a couple of times and stage out your ingredients, it’ll be a breeze! Be sure to check out this post of other helpful kitchen tips that professional chefs use every day in their kitchens!
Believe it or not, the base for a chocolate cream pie recipe is a custard! Custards are seen in so many recipes, but I feel like American’s don’t recognize them because a lot of our food comes in boxes. Any recipe that calls for egg yolks to be warmed with some kind of dairy is considered a custard. No worries though, it’s a breeze to make a simple custard.
The custard in this recipe ought to really be treated like when we make ice cream (be sure to check out this post dedicated to making the perfect ice cream at home)! Lower heat to cook our eggs but not scramble them.
I like to melt my chocolate while I’m making my custard base so that it’s ready for me when I’m ready to mix it all in.
The trick to making a custard free of scrambled eggs is to add the scalded milk very slowly while whisking the eggs quickly. Once you add the eggy milk mixture back into the pot, I stir with a spatula to keep the eggs from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If you use a whisk, you run the risk of incorporating air into the custard which will give you a false sense of when it’s really thick.
When it comes to mixing in my butter, extract, and chocolate, I used a whisk to make sure that everything got nice and incorporated. Whisking also helps introduce cool air to the custard to help it slowly cool.
I didn’t set my custard in an ice bath because the coolness of the butter stirred in at the end will help cool the custard slightly before chilling the chocolate pie in the fridge to set.
Story of My Uber Buttery Graham Cracker Crust Recipe
The crust is phenomenal when done correctly and you can go two different routes: you can go the traditional pie crust route which is very delicious OR you can go the graham cracker route… I am a sucker for graham crackers so I went with this option.
But my graham cracker crust isn’t just your ol’ run of the mill graham cracker crust. It’s almost a custard consistency itself. Let me tell you a story to illustrate how this came about.
Two years ago, I was helping prepare for our Thanksgiving buffet at work and there were still lots to do during the week leading up to that big day. The day before, I had worked my regular morning shift and seeing that there still was help needed prep wise, I decided I needed to stay and help out my chef.
Due to stress, lack of eating, and just working a ton that week, I was nursing a 4-hour old migraine that was showing no signs of stopping. I was now on hour 12 of what would be a 16-hour day for me when my chef asked me to make 13 graham cracker crusts for some pumpkin pies we would be making later. He handed me a recipe and asked me to make enough for the 13 pies.
Now this recipe was a doozy for a couple of reasons: 1) the measurements were mostly in teaspoons/tablespoons which was hard if you need to know how many 1 pound blocks of butter you were going to need. 2) Again I had a migraine so I couldn’t think straight. I had to figure out how many tablespoons were in a pound… Which is 32, by the way, in case anyone needed to know.
I got my conversions (which I assumed were correct, seeing as how my head felt like it was going to implode at any time) and started to make my crusts. I blind baked them and let them cool. I finished off the rest of my night and went home only to be back 6 hours later to help set up the buffet.
Fast forward to buffet service; my chef had his family come in for lunch that day and sat down with them to enjoy the food. I was prepping items for the next days’ lunch service when my chef came up to me and said “Marlee, open your mouth.” He held out a piece of pumpkin pie with the graham cracker crust that I made the night before and fear shot through my body! Did I royally screw this crust up??? Thank you, jerky migraine! I didn’t even protest with the “I don’t like pumpkin pie” argument because I knew that would be invalid.
I opened my mouth and prepared for the worst. He shoved that piece of pie in my face and…. IT WAS AMAZING! I finally relaxed and he said “this is the most amazing crust I’ve had in my life! What did you do?” Well chef… I had a migraine and was exhausted so this was a complete fluke, really! I told him what my conversions were and that I had added 3 POUNDS of butter to 12 cups of graham cracker crumbs… Man oh man was I relieved that my migraine was my saving grace instead of being my detriment! We had a couple of catering events later that he asked me to make that crust for as part of the desserts. Part of my legacy.
How To Make a Graham Cracker Crust
Now you can definitely ease up on the amount of butter in this crust recipe! But I will say, it is something that needs to be experienced at least once though!
The trick to getting a great graham cracker crust (aside from an obscene amount of butter) is having fine graham crumbs. Nothing is worse than having uneven bits of graham cracker to ruin the consistency of your pie crust!
I like to use my food processor to get a fine crumb but you can also put the graham crackers into a plastic bag and pulverize it with a rolling pin! Just make sure that the crumbs are uniform.
After the butter has been added to the pie crust and has the look of wet sand, I pat it into my pie dish as best as I can with my hands and then bake it for ten minutes. However, with how much butter is in this graham cracker crust recipe, you could honestly set it in the fridge to solidify it and it would hold together. This would make an excellent no-bake pie!
How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream
I am reminded time and time again how amazing homemade whipped cream is! And it takes no extra effort at all! All you need to make killer whipped cream is
- Heavy cream
- Powdered sugar
- Extract of some kind (I chose vanilla for this recipe but any fun flavor that pairs well with chocolate would work!)
In order to pipe pretty designs on to the pie, you need to whip the cream to stiff peaks. That means that when you pull the whisk attachment out of the cream, the cream will create a peak that doesn’t fall over. If you are in the mood for plopping whipped cream on to a pie, though, soft peaks works just as good too!
How to Decorate the Best Chocolate Pie
To give this chocolate cream pie recipe a gourmet feel, I really struggled over how to garnish my pie. I talked with my husband on if I should do chocolate work or just shave chocolate curls. After consulting the Google, I was reminded of how simple but elegant chocolate shavings really look on a dessert.
The process is super simple but it really does take this pie up a notch. Take a bar of your favorite chocolate and peel with a peeler. My favorite peeler happens to be this Kuhn Rikon one! I’ve had it for 9 years and it’s seen me through 6 restaurants. It can take a beating and is still incredibly sharp! You need this one in your kitchen!
Be sure to not handle the chocolate shavings too much after creating them because the warmth of your hands will melt them. You could even shave them over the pie to make sure they stay nice and pretty!
How to Store Chocolate Cream Pie (Can You Freeze It)
Like I said in the beginning of this post, this is the best chocolate cream pie I’ve ever had so I’ve never had reason to store it. However, for your information I have some suggestions on how to store the best chocolate cream pie you’ll ever have if you have extra… which you won’t.
This pie is fine in the fridge for up to 7 days. Just place a piece of plastic wrap over the cut portions of the pie to prevent a skin from forming on the custard and for the pie from absorbing any fridge smells.
If you happen to need to freeze it, I would cut the pie into portions. Place those portions onto a baking tray and freeze in the freezer until solid. Take those pieces and place them in individual baggies. When you’re ready to eat a piece, pull out of the fridge to thaw for a few hours and then enjoy!
I hope that you enjoy my recipe for the best chocolate pie! If you have, please make sure to leave a comment down below (with a rating!)
Happy eating everyone!
This chocolate pie would be a great addition to a Christmas dessert table! Be sure to check out these other dessert ideas with this post.
Chocolate Cream Pie is a lot easier to make than you might think! Pairing it with a buttery graham cracker crust makes for a perfect pie.
- 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate aka Bakers chocolate
- 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 pint milk
- 2 ounces Sugar
- 2 each egg yolks
- 1 each whole egg
- 2 ounces Sugar
- 1 ounce cornstarch
- 1 ounce Butter chilled
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 18 sheets graham cracker
- 1/2 cup Butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor*, break up graham crackers into tiny crumbs. Add butter in a steady stream until crumbs get together.
- Press evenly into a pie pan and bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Melt the chocolates in a double boiler or in the microwave until melted and smooth. Set aside for later.
- Bring milk and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat.
- While milk and sugar are heating, beat eggs in a medium sized bowl. Add cornstarch and sugar to the eggs and whisk until a smooth mix is achieved.
- Temper hot milk into eggs. Combine in saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until mix becomes thick.
- Combine in saucepan and stir constantly over medium heat until mix becomes thick.
- Whisk in chilled butter and vanilla extract.
- Mix in melted chocolate.
- Pour into cooled crust and chill entire pie.
- Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
*if you don’t have access to a food processor, place graham cracker sheets into a large Ziploc bag and crush crackers with a rolling pin or the bottom of a saucepan until fine crumbs are achieved.