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+ servings

Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

yield: 1 (9-inch) pie
Prep Time: 10 mins
Work Time: 45 mins
Bake Time: 50 mins
5 from 7 votes

Special Equipment

  • stand mixer
  • Rolling Pin
  • aluminum foil
  • pie weights


For the Stand Mixer All-Butter Pie Dough

  • 3 Tablespoons (1.5 ounces or 43 grams) very cold water
  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup ice
  • ½ cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) very cold unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups (5.65 ounces or 160 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • pinch of kosher salt

For the Chocolate Chess Pie Filling:

  • ¾ cup (6 ounces or 170 grams) unsalted butter, chopped into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 3 ounces (or 85 grams) dark chocolate (between 60 to 70% cacao), chopped into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cups (10.5 ounces or 298 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


For the Chocolate Chess Pie

  • First, make the pie dough. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the water and vinegar. Add the ice and whisk, Refrigerate while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  • Freeze the butter. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and place them in a small bowl. Freeze while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
  • Mix the dry ingredients, then add the butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Beat on low until just combined, about 15 seconds.
    Add the butter all at once and beat on low until the mixture has the texture of coarse meal, with pea-sized pieces of butter throughout, about 3 minutes.
  • Add water. Remove the ice water mixture from the refrigerator. With the mixer on low, add 4 Tablespoons of liquid from the ice water mixture.
    Beat on low for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the dough clumps around the paddle and/or sides of the bowl. If the dough seems too dry, add more liquid from the ice water mixture 1 teaspoon at a time.
  • Prep the dough for refrigerating. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured counter with the spatula. Quickly knead the dough into a rough ball. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and flatten into a small disc.
    Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  • Form the bottom crust. Roll out the disc of chilled dough on a lightly floured counter and fit it onto a 9-inch pie pan.
    Crimp the edge and use a fork to poke holes all over the bottom and sides of the dough.
    Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.
  • Prep the oven and pan. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
    Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the frozen crust, still in its plate, in the center of the pan. Cover the crust with foil, making sure the crimped edges are completely covered and that there are no gaps between the foil and the crust. Fill with pie weights and spread them out so they are more concentrated around the edges of the crust.
  • Prebake the crust and make the egg wash. Bake for 35 minutes.
    While the crust is in the oven, make the egg wash: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, water, and salt.
  • Eggwash the crust. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, keeping the oven on. Carefully lift out the pie weights and foil.
    Use a pastry brush to coat the bottom and sides of the pie crust (but not the crimped border) with a thin layer of egg wash.
    Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack to cool slightly while you make the chocolate chess pie filling.
  • Make the chocolate chess pie filling. Place the butter and dark chocolate in the top pan of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a heavy-bottomed sauce pan filled with a few inches of simmering water (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).
    Cook over medium heat, using a heatproof rubber spatula to stir the mixture and scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the butter and chocolate have melted and combined, about 10 minutes. Set the double boiler or bowl on a wire rack and let the chocolate mixture cool while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Mix the ingredients for the chocolate chess pie filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Slowly add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the pie shell.
  • Bake the assembled chocolate chess pie. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the edges are set and the center of the pie just slightly jiggles. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Serve and store. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie can be kept at room temperature, under a cake dome or a large bowl turned upside down, for up to 3 days.


  • Unlike most pie doughs that instruct you to make the dough by hand with a pastry cutter or in a food processor, I instruct you to make the dough with a stand mixer. After chilling the ingredients for five minutes or so, you throw everything into the stand mixer and mix it on low speed like you would a cookie dough. It takes less than 5 minutes to come together and eliminates TONS of mess and work. Furthermore, unlike a food processor, a stand mixer allows you more control and visibility as the dough comes together—no flat, dense crusts here, folks!
  • In the oven, the chocolate filling will rise dramatically like a souffle and then fall as it cools. When it does, the edges of the filling will be a little bit gloopy, but the top should still be crispy like a meringue. As the filling continues to cool, its top will crack; this is totally normal and the look that you want! Every time you make this pie, it will rise, fall, and crack in different ways—that’s part of the recipe’s charm, I promise.