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chocolate chess pie recipe

Dark Chocolate Chess Pie

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Heather Mubarak
  • Prep Time: 25 min + pie dough time
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 85 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x
  • Category: Pies & Tarts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


A rich and fudgy dark chocolate chess pie made in a homemade, all butter crust. This delicious twist on the classic southern pie will be the hit of your holiday table! Serve chilled with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.


Units Scale

Chocolate Brownie Filling

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pie Crust from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 2 1/2 cups (325 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (285 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup cold vodka
  • 1/4 cup cold water



Pie Crust from Cook’s Ilustrated

*Note: This recipe makes two pie crusts but only one is needed for the chess pie. Wrap the second round of pie crust dough in two layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for another pie.

  1. In a food processor fitted with a blade, process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar until combined, about 2 or 3 pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until the dough just starts to pull together in large clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and all of the flour should be coated). Scrape down the sides of the bowl with rubber spatula and spread the dough evenly around the blade. Add the remaining 1 cup  of flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around the bowl and the dough has been broken up, about 4 to 6 quick pulses. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle vodka and water over the dough. Using a folding motion with a rubber spatula, press down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Use a bench scrapper to divide dough into two even balls and use your hands to flatten each into a 4-inch disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 2 days.
  3. Adjust the oven rack to the bottom third of the oven and place a baking steel or pizza stone on it. Pre-heat oven to 425˚ F.
  4. Lightly flour a cold work surface and roll out the chilled dough into a circle of about 11 inches in diameter. Transfer the rolled-out dough to the 9-inch pie pan. Fold under excess dough and crimp the edge. Use a fork to dock the bottom and the sides of the dough.
  5. Line the pan with one big piece of parchment paper, and fill it with pie weights to the top edge (ex. dried beans, rice or reusable ceramic pie weights).
  6. Place the pan on the baking steep/pizza stone in the oven to par-bake the crust for about 15 minutes. Remove the pie plate and carefully lift out the pie weights. Replace the pie crust into the oven for another 3-4 minutes, until it starts to turn a golden color.
  7. Remove the pie crust and let cool on a wire rack for an hour.

Chocolate Brownie Filling

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the bottom third of the oven and pre-heat oven to 325˚ F. When the oven is ready, start combining all of the ingredients so that the pie can go in the oven immediately after being mixed together.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove. If microwaving, melt the butter and chocolate in 20 second increments and stir between each. Set aside to slightly cool.
  3. Whisk together the granulated and brown sugars and cornstarch. Add in the 3 eggs and whisk until the mixture lightens in color (1-2 minutes).
  4. Add in the sifted cocoa powder, instant coffee, salt, heavy cream and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture to the bowl and whisk to combine. Be careful not to overmix.
  6. Transfer the pie filling into the cooled par-baked pie crust.
  7. Place the pan in the oven for 50-55 minutes. It is done when the center is set and there is a chocolate crust on top. Let cool in the pan for 60 minutes before cutting the pie.
  8. Add whipped cream and chocolate shavings to the top of pie before serving.



*Pie crust adapted from Cooks Illustrated Foolproof Pie Crust. I omitted the shortening and replaced with butter.

**Store left over pie in the refrigerator for up to three days.

***If using salted butter, omit the extra salt in the pie crust and filling.