chocolate cream pie

chocolate cream pie

A perfect summer dessert, this chocolate cream pie is silky and delicious. The perfect ratio of salt and sugar create a delicious graham cracker crust. Thick, dark chocolate pudding fills the crust and the whole pie rests in the fridge overnight. Cool and silky, this is the perfect way to satisfy your chocolate craving!

chocolate cream pie

breaking bread

My husband, Kenny, and I love to host dinner parties. We invite friends, family, and coworkers to our tiny Palo Alto apartment and make them feel nurtured with a home-cooked meal. In our experience, nothing builds relationships quite like sharing a meal at home.

One challenge of living in Silicon Valley is that many of our friends and coworkers are transplants. They’ve packed up home and family to pursue the promise of IPO riches. With a different startup blossoming every month and the Tech giants being based in Silicon Valley, this area attracts smart folks from all around the world.

chocolate cream pie
pin this “make ahead dessert” recipe for your next dinner party!

I never realized how lonely the life of a transplant could be until Kenny and I traveled Europe for 4 months. Being apart from friends and family for those short months was difficult and helped us build empathy for friends who’ve been away from home for years. We decided to use intimate dinner parties as a means to make our community feel close to home.

make ahead desserts

When these dinner parties first began, my stress levels were high. I always planned an overly ambitious menu and grossly underestimated cooking times. I’ve since become wiser and more conscious about quarreling with Kenny over what should be a fun event.

A few things I do to reduce dinner party stress are:

  • prepare one dish in advance (usually dessert)
  • cook one thing in the oven
  • cook one thing on the stovetop
  • ask guests to bring a veggie or side salad – makes people more involved with the meal and helps reduce my workload

For summer dinner parties, this chocolate cream pie is my favorite dessert to make in advance. Since it requires an overnight stay in the fridge, it’s the perfect dessert to whip up the day before. Just whip the cream right before you serve this dessert and be prepared to wow your guests!

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chocolate cream pie

chocolate cream pie

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  • Author: Sepideh Campos Esmaili


Smooth, silky dark chocolate cream pie inside a delicious graham cracker crust. 




  • 9 honey graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4  teaspoon kosher salt


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules 
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces 50% dark chocolate, finely chopped plus 2-3 square inches of chocolate for garnish
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces  
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Break the graham crackers into small pieces and drop in a food processor. 
  3. Pulse the graham crackers until they are broken down like grains of sand. 
  4. Scatter the butter, sugar, and salt over the graham cracker pieces. Pulse to fully incorporate the butter until mixture sticks together when squeezed between your fingers. 
  5. Scatter the graham cracker pieces evenly over the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan. Use your fingers or the flat part of a measuring cup to press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. 
  6. Place the pie pan inside a larger baking sheet (for easy pie dish removal) and bake in the oven until the crust is fragrant and the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes. 
  7. Remove from oven and allow crust to cool before adding the warm filling.
  8. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. 
  9. In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, instant coffee, and cocoa powder. 
  10. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until steam rises from the surface of the milk, 5-8 minutes. 
  11. While whisking, slowly pour half of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture to gently heat the eggs without curdling. 
  12. Pour the warm eggs and milk back into the pot with the rest of the milk. 
  13. Stirring constantly with a whisk, cook the pudding over medium heat until thick and glossy, 3-5 minutes. 
  14. Once the whisk leaves a trail in the thick pudding, remove from the heat. 
  15. If the pudding is slightly curdled, place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and pour the custard through the sieve. Use a rubber spatula to push the custard through the sieve. 
  16. While the pudding is still hot, add the vanilla and chocolate to the pudding, stir until the chocolate is fully melted and combined. 
  17. Add the butter to the pudding and stir until completely melted and combined. 
  18. Slowly pour the warm pudding into the cooled pie crust. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the pudding, touching the surface to prevent a pudding skin from forming. 
  19. Chill the pie in the refrigerator overnight (at least 8 hours). 
  20. When you’re ready to serve the pie, combine heavy cream and powdered sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer. 
  21. With the whisk attachment in place, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form, 3-5 minutes.  
  22. Mound the whipped cream on top of the cooled chocolate pie. 
  23. Using a vegetable peeler or box grater, grate chocolate curls over the top of the whipped cream. 
  24. Serve cold and keep leftovers in the refrigerator. 


This recipe was inspired by America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe for chocolate silk pie – from the cookbook, “Naturally Sweet“. 

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