Jan 30, 2021

This pie filling recipe is one that I make EVERY year during the holidays, but don’t be fooled. This is not just a holiday treat, it makes a lovely celebration or anytime sweet.  It’s so simple, and with the exception of evaporated milk, you probably already have all of the ingredients on hand.

Unlike most chocolate pies, this one gets baked in the oven, much like the custard of a pumpkin pie, or chess pie.  The trickiest part of the recipe is that there is no tricky part. 

 All of the ingredients get whisked together, poured into a partially baked pie crust, and baked until jiggly-set.

 Why do I love this pie?  

  • You don’t have to fuss with melting any chocolate or cooking a pastry cream filling.
  •  It’s chocolatey, but not too rich.  It is delicious at room temp, or cold from the fridge the next day.
  • And last but certainly not least, it sort of tastes like brownie batter.

 The best way to serve this pie:

Feel free to keep it plain, or pile it high with meringue or whipped cream and chocolate shavings for a show stopping treat. Celebrating a birthday? Throw some sprinkles on top!  You do you. There’s really no wrong way to eat this pie.

Don't skip this important step...

A crucial step to making this pie next level is to partially bake the crust. This is what makes a sturdy pie and prevents that dreaded soggy bottom.  I've included a link to my absolute favorite resource for par-baking in the recipe below.

When the pie shell is partially baked and cooled, it’s time to move on to the filling.

 All you need is a bowl, a whisk and a small pot to melt the butter.

  • Whisk together the cocoa powder and sugar (this keeps the cocoa powder from clumping up and leaving dry pockets in the custard.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, salt and evaporated milk.
  • Whisk in the melted butter
  • Fill the pie shell
  • Bake

  Don’t fall into the time trap.

 So many bakers I know get so attached to the bake time listed with the recipe.  In any recipe, the time is just a guideline.  Learning to develop and trust your instincts is critical to pretty much all things baking.  There are a number of variables that can contribute to differing results, no matter how meticulous you feel you’ve followed the recipe.

 For example, if your pie shell is warm, the filling will take less time to bake than if the pie shell is completely cool.  And don’t forget, each oven bakes differently and has its own unique hotspots, so invest in an oven thermometer because it's better to be safe than sorry!

 My best advice? 

Let it be easy.

Baked custard pies can feel intimidating, but they don’t have to be.

If you feel like you are falling into the time trap or getting tripped up second guessing yourself, just take a deep breath and know that this is part of the journey to becoming a better baker.  

This recipe is a good opportunity to brush up on your pie dough skills and spend some time practicing awareness.  

So, here are your marching orders:

Try out this recipe, take some notes, and practice some baking awareness.  It takes practice to effortlessly nail it, so go easy on yourself and more importantly, have fun!


Baked Chocolate Pie: 

Yield: 1- 9 inch pie 

You will need: 1 par-baked 9 inch pie shell, cooled


  • 290g   sugar
  • 25g     dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 57g     melted butter
  • 100g   eggs
  • 152g   evaporated milk
  • ¼ tsp   salt
  • 1 tsp    vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F

Melt the butter in a small pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and cocoa powder to remove any clumps.

Add evaporated milk, vanilla extract, eggs, salt and melted butter.

Whisk until completely smooth and everything is fully incorporated.

Pour custard into the cooled pie shell and bake for ~45 minutes until the center is set. 

I recommend checking on the pie at the 20-30 minute mark to see if the crust is getting too brown.  You can tent your pie by gently putting a sheet of foil over the top and curling it downward around the sides. This will protect the crust and slow the browning.

When the pie is done, cool on a wire rack or trivet until room temp before cutting.

Go ahead and dig in once it's room temp, otherwise, store wrapped in the fridge and enjoy it cold.

Need a pie dough recipe?  Check out my post and give it a try.

If you struggle with par baking pie dough, or you just want to brush up on it,  check out my favorite resource by the pie queen herself, Erin McDowell.



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I Can't Wait To Start Baking With You!

I know baking by yourself at home can be overwhelming and lonely, and that is why I'm so excited to start sharing what I know with you! Let's get started with this free Flaky Pie Crust Guide...