Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie

There’s nothing more comforting than a slice of Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie with a good story behind it… It’s easy and quick… oh, and did I say delicious?

This classic pie comes together with simple ingredients.

You can put a whipped cream or meringue topping on it if you like, or serve it with neither!


Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

This pie recipe belongs to Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg, fellow Southerner who hails from Alabama and writes amazing true-to-life stories and novels. 

Mr. Bragg’s publisher gave me permission to share this Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie recipe from his most recent book, “The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Southern Table” and let me tell you...the book is as fabulous as the vintage pie!

If you haven’t ready any of Bragg’s work, you should! He is a fabulous Southern writer! His stories are heartwarming and funny and his recipes are delicious!   

Why you’ll love this recipe

This old fashioned Chocolate pie recipe uses real ingredients- no gelatin or pudding mixes-just all natural ingredients!

  • Simple ingredients – you probably have all you need to make this chocolate pie in your kitchen
  • Rich and flavorful – not overwhelming in sugar… just a nice balanced flavor that doesn’t hurt your teeth
  • Doesn’t use a lot of bowls or mixing or different techniques- two bowls, one pan, that’s it!
  • It’s delicious- nothin’ fancy or complicated here… use a premade pie crust and call it done!

What you’ll need

Chocolate pie ingredients on countertop labeled

Unsalted butter, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, eggs, milk, vanilla extract and a 9″ inch pie shell. Yes, vanilla extract goes in this chocolate pie.

I use Pillsbury roll-out pie dough, but you can use one that’s already in a pan. Note, some of the pre-made crusts are 8″inch, so if you use an 8″inch crust, you may have a little chocolate pie filling leftover.

How to make it

This vintage chocolate pie recipe cheats a bit on the crust. I use a Pillsbury roll-out pie dough. (There are two to a package.)

Let the refrigerated pie dough thaw a bit at room temperature. (If it’s frozen, thaw it in the fridge first, then let it sit at room temperature.)

Roll thawed dough out over the ungreased pie plate and press it into the pan. Crimp the edges if you like and set aside.

Pie dough pressed into pie plate and edges being crimped
Crimp edges of pie dough

There is NO NEED to grease or flour a glass pie plate – just roll the dough out over it.

Egg yolks in white ramekin with fork

Separate eggs; put the eggs yolks, milk and vanilla in one bowl and stir it up with a fork;

Sugar, cocoa, flour and salt in glass bowl

Place the dry ingredients in another bowl; pour the wet ingredients into the dry; stir well

Chocolate pie filling in saucepan sticking to a red spoon

Pour this mixture into a deep saucepan and cook on medium high heat stirring non-stop, for 5 minutes or until it thickens.

Once the chocolate pie filling thickens, pour it into the pie crust and bake on the middle rack, uncovered @ 350.

Chocolate pie with whipped cream and chocolate shavings
Many vintage chocolate pies didn’t have a topping – I added a homemade whipped cream topping to mine!

Expert tips

I feel odd about adding “expert tips” to this vintage chocolate pie recipe, but I have to share with you what I learned when making it by Ada’s instructions:

  • Bragg’s Momma, Ada, says to cook this pie “until the top starts to crack” which she claims is 10-15 minutes; mine took longer–about 25 minutes @ 350 ºF, total baking time (my oven is old)

How to know when it’s done

If the chocolate filling “shakes” or “jiggles” when you pull it out of the oven, it’s probably not done yet

Test doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle; if it comes out clean, it’s almost done

The true indicator of “is it done yet” is this: look at the chocolate pie filling and if it has tiny cracks in it and a toothpick comes out clean, it’s done!

Let it cool. If you need to serve it fast, refrigerate it. Otherwise, just let it cool.

Ada didn’t put a topping on her chocolate pie. I added homemade whipped cream. You can do it plain or fancy…your call!

Vintage Chocolate Pie Recipe Close up

Let the pie rest a little before you slice it or add homemade whipped cream. This is absolutely The Best Chocolate Pie Recipe ever! 

Related recipes

CREDIT LINE: “Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie” from THE BEST COOK IN THE WORLD: TALES FROM MY MOMMA’S TABLE by Rick Bragg, copyright © 2018 by Rick Bragg. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Vintage Chocolate Pie Recipe Close up

Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie

Homemade Chocolate Pie has never been so easy and delicious!
5 from 5 votes
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8 slices
Author: Anecia Hero


  • 1 stick butter , room temperature
  • tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons flour , all-purpose
  • 1 cup sugar , granulated
  • ¼ teaspoon salt , table salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk , 2% or whole
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pie shell 9" inch; I use one 9"inch Pillsbury roll-out pie dough


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF
  • Thaw refrigerated pie dough at room temperature for 15 minutes; once thawed, roll onto ungreased pie plate; set aside
    1 pie shell
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and cocoa
    3 tablespoons flour, 1 cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2½ tablespoons cocoa powder
    Two bowls: one with wet and one with dry ingredients
  • In a second bowl, add lightly beaten egg yolks, milk and vanilla extract; combine well
    3 large egg yolks, 2 cups milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; stir
  • Pour this mixture into a medium to large saucepan on medium high heat, stirring constantly
    Chocolate pie filling in a pan
  • Add the butter in ⅓ increments, stirring well in between until pie filling begins to thicken
    1 stick butter
  • Once thickened, pour into pie shell
  • Bake @ 350ºF for 15-minutes on middle rack, uncovered; check for doneness with toothpick inserted into center; if jiggly, cook another 10 minutes, then re-check (See Recipe Notes)
  • Allow pie to cool before serving or adding whipped cream


  • the original recipe says cook the pie for 10-12 minutes, but it took my pie about 25 minutes to cook
  • you don't need to grease the pie pan
  • you don't need to pre-bake the pie shell; in fact, you don't need to do anything to the pie shell or pie plate before you pour in the chocolate
  • if the top of the pie cracks a little, that's ok
  • if you smart to smell the crust after about 15-20 minutes, move the pie to the top rack and let it continue to cook till it's no longer jiggly in the center
Homemade Whipped Cream recipe
CREDIT LINE: "Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie" from THE BEST COOK IN THE WORLD: TALES FROM MY MOMMA'S TABLE by Rick Bragg, copyright © 2018 by Rick Bragg. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 369kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 5gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 291mgPotassium: 132mgFiber: 1gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 549IUCalcium: 87mgIron: 1mg
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