a fork cutting into a piece of chocolate chess pie

Chocolate Chess Pie

Old Fashioned Chocolate Chess Pie is a chocolate lovers dream come true! The best chocolate chess pie recipe is a classic southern dessert with a fudgy, rich chocolate flavored custard in a flaky buttery crust. 
Course Dessert, gluten free dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 354.96kcal
Author Melissa Erdelac


  • 1 pie crust, homemade or store bought
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour or gluten free all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 5 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 425°F and adjust oven rack to lowest position. Roll pie crust and fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Refrigerate and chill for 15 minutes.
  • Line the bottom of the crust with foil or parchment paper. Place pie weights or dried beans on top of liner. Bake on the bottom rack for 5 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325°F and bake 4 minutes longer. Remove the liner and weights and bake 3-4 minutes longer. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • In a large bowl whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornmeal, flour, and salt. Add softened butter, eggs, evaporated milk, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Use a mixer to beat until well combined.
  • Pour filling into prebaked pie crust and bake on the lowest rack for 55-60 minutes. The top layer should be set and underneath will have a slight jiggle, but not a liquidy one. Insert a toothpick to make sure it isn't liquidy. Place on a wire rack to cool 1-2 hours before slicing and serving. Either serve at room temperature or chill.




    How To Tell When Chocolate Chess Pie is done
    The top layer will be firm and set. Underneath, the pie filling will have a slight jiggle, but shouldn't be sloshy. For best results, insert a toothpick in the center to make sure custard filling has set.
    You may also use an instant read thermometer to check if the pie has finished cooking. (Thermoworks MK4 is my all time favorite!) The filling should be a temperature of 200ºF (93ºC). Take the temperature in the center of the pie.
    Place baked pie on a wire rack to cool 1-2 hours before slicing and serving. Classic chess pie needs plenty of time to set up before slicing.
    TIP: If you fear the pie will not slice well, let it cool completely, and refrigerate it for 1-2 hours.


    Storing Chess Pie
    Chess pie does not need to be refrigerated. Store at room temperature up to 3 days. For a chilled custard pie, refrigerate after cooling. 
    Chess pie may also be frozen after baking. To prevent a soggy bottom crust after thawing, bake at 375ºF on the bottom rack for 15-20 minutes. Use a pie shield or aluminum foil to protect the exposed crust from becoming overly brown. 


    Calories: 354.96kcal | Carbohydrates: 47.89g | Protein: 5.62g | Fat: 16.71g | Saturated Fat: 8.2g | Cholesterol: 86.85mg | Sodium: 270.46mg | Potassium: 152.75mg | Fiber: 1.8g | Sugar: 33.19g | Vitamin A: 367.81IU | Vitamin C: 0.34mg | Calcium: 65.79mg | Iron: 1.43mg