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Grandma’s Chocolate Pie Recipe

Looking for a homemade chocolate pie that reminds you of your grandma’s Chocolate Pie recipe? This classic dessert is so simple to make and full of rich chocolate flavor.    

grandma's chocolate pie

Years ago my Aunt Anita gave me a small cookbook with handwritten recipe cards. I believe it was when I was first married, and it featured some of her tried and true recipes for special occasions. The recipe card I picked out first to make from the collection was a recipe for Grandmother Gibson’s Chocolate Pie.

(You’ll note I’ve titled this recipe generically “Grandma’s Chocolate Pie Recipe” for ease of the internet finding it. But rest assured, the inspiration was Grandmother Gibson, her husband’s grandmother.) 

I made that pie for years as it was written. I would make it for family gatherings and Christmas dinner. At some point, it fell out of my baking rotation. At some point years later, I learned that my aunt had actually updated the recipe to make it the perfect chocolate meringue pie. 

The original recipe used only cocoa powder in the filling. Over the years, she began adding chocolate chips to create a richer chocolate filling. After my first attempt at making the updated recipe, I knew her modern-day twist had made an even more luscious chocolate custard.

​Tips for buying a store-bought pie crust

It’s worth noting that I had a recent conversation with my aunt about the current state of affairs when it comes to buying a premade pie crust.

The basic summary is this — rollout refrigerated pie crusts are pretty terrible.

I truly, deeply wish this wasn’t the case. But having recently tested a pie with a popular national brand, I can say for certain you do not want to use one of those crusts if you’re looking for a flaky pie crust with a buttery crust. You’re better off buying a frozen shell. They’re not as good as a homemade pie crust. But they’re not horrible either. 

If you are unable to find a frozen pie shell and don’t want to make your own pie crust, my recommendation is to switch gears and go for a graham cracker crust. Those are both easy to make and easy to buy. Plus, they taste great. Using a graham cracker crust isn’t necessarily the norm in meringue pies, but in my opinion, taste trumps tradition in this case. 

grandma's chocolate pie
grandma's chocolate pie
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grandma's chocolate pie

Grandma’s Chocolate Pie Recipe

  • Author: Regan Jones, RD
  • Total Time: 50 min
  • Yield: 8 servings


Remember grandma’s Chocolate Pie recipe? This easy dessert is full of rich chocolate flavor!   


  • 1 pie crust
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ​1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Fit pie crust into a pie plate; poke holes in center and bottom of pie crust with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; remove from oven, and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile, separate each whole egg into egg whites and egg yolks; set aside.
  3. Prepare the chocolate pie filling: combine sugar, salt, cocoa, and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk and reserved egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 10 minutes. (It’s important to continually whisk here to achieve the right consistency. Remove from heat, and add chocolate chips to hot pie filling. Whisk until chocolate chips are melted.
  4. Pour warm pie filling into pre-baked pie shell, and smooth to edges using an offset spatula; set aside.
  5. Beat reserved egg whites and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. With mixer on gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla just until combined. Spoon meringue over chocolate filling, spreading to edges using an offset spatula.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F until top of the pie is golden brown and set, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 40 min
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 345
  • Sugar: 40 g
  • Sodium: 200 mg
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g

Keywords: Grandma’s Chocolate Pie Recipe

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