Old Fashioned Chocolate Chess Pie is a terrific treat. The ingredients for this easy Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe are a staple in most pantries which makes it a go-to pie for holidays or anytime.

We love desserts that are rich and delicious like Slow Cooker Apple Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Drizzle and Pumpkin Spice Muffins.

Chocolate Chess Pie on a plate
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Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe

This Chocolate Chess Pie is a family favorite and a Southern tradition. If you are looking for a terrific pie to celebrate the holidays, this pie is for you.

Pour Chocolate into pie crust

My name is Diane and I am contributor for Jenn at Princess Pinky Girl. I blog about easy recipes at Recipes for our Daily Bread.

What is Chess Pie?

Chess Pie is a Southern specialty. It has a simple filling of eggs, sugar, butter, and a small amount of cornmeal and flour. Yes, Cornmeal! Do not worry. You cannot taste the cornmeal and magically this pie comes out smooth and creamy.

Chess pie is a cousin to Buttermilk Pie and Egg Custard Pie. If you have had either one of these pies, they have similar ingredients but with a slightly different taste and texture.

Chocolate Chess Pie slice

Why is it called chess pie?

While the origin of chess pie is unknown, it is thought that it could possibly have been a mistake! Well, the pronunciation was a mistake. Some people think that the intention was to call it “cheese pie” because of the combination of the butter, sugar and eggs that give it a custard-ish texture.

How easy is chess pie to make?

Chocolate Chess Pie is actually super easy to make! You are basically just combining the ingredients using an electric or stand up mixer and pour it into a pre-made pie shell! Then baking for about an hour.

Chocolate Chess Pie Ingredients in mixing bowl

Old Fashioned Chess Pie A Holiday Tradition For Decades

Every Thanksgiving and Christmas you will see a Chess Pie on our holiday table of desserts. Usually, my mother-in-law makes the pies. She typically prepares a Chess pie without the Chocolate.

Floy, my mother-in-law, also makes her famous Pecan Pie. She grew up in Tennessee. Her mother, Ma Willie, who also grew up in Tennessee made these pies for her family.

Chocolate Chess Pie baked

I grew up in South Alabama where we had plenty of pecans. You guess it. Growing up, pecan pie was a staple on our holiday table. Like Floy and Ma Willie, we had a chess pie too and I still love them today.

Making Chess Pie For My Family

When I started making chess pie for my family, being the chocolate lover, I am I added chocolate to the recipe. Chocolate Chess pie has become one of my favorite chocolate pies.

It is full of chocolate and super creamy. If you live in the south, chances are you have had a chess pie. Chess pie is a Southern tradition, and now you can taste why.

Ingredients needed for Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe:

  • Sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Yellow cornmeal
  • Salt
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Eggs
  • Butter
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla
  • Unbaked pie crust

Does Chocolate Chess Pie need to be refrigerated

After the pie has completely cooled (about 2-3 hours), you should loosely cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Chess Pie - Old fashioned recipe

Pre-made pie crust vs homemade pie crust

If you are looking to make this recipe super easy, go with the pre-made, store-bought crust. However, if you want to totally make this from scratch we have a really easy and delicious graham cracker pie crust recipe.

Whichever way you go, our Chocolate Chess Pie is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

How to make a graham cracker pie crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I prefer to store-bought already crushed crumbs, rather than crushing them yourself
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter

Melt the butter, mix all ingredients together and press into 8 or 9-inch pie dish. Bake at 375 for 8 minutes. Let cool completely.

More Easy Pie Recipes

Southern Chocolate Chess Pie Recipe
4.65 from 17 votes
Chocolate Chess Pie Square Featured Image

Chocolate Chess Pie

Serves — 8
The ingredients for this easy Chocolate Chess Pie are a staple in most pantries which makes it a go-to pie for holidays or anytime.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1 – ¾ cups sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoon yellow cornmeal
  • cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup butter 1 stick, melted
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 unbaked pie crust


  • Preheat oven 350 degrees.
  • Prepare the bottom of the pie crust by rubbing 1 tablespoon softened butter on the bottom. Next, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar on top of the butter.
  • In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, cornmeal and salt.
  • Add the wet ingredients which includes the melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla, and 4 beaten eggs.
  • Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust and sprinkle the top with nutmeg or all-spice.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until the filling is set.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 299mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 498IU | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg

Original Photo from Post:

A piece of cake on a plate, with Chocolate and Chess pie

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  1. I’m not sure if I missed something or if it’s an internet issue, but when I look at the list of ingredients, there is no chocolate mentioned….??

  2. 4 stars
    Pre-baked a crust for 10 minutes at 450*. Let it cool til warm to the touch. Used NF Greek yogurt in lieu of buttermilk as that’s what I had. Used 1.75 cups of sugar and medium grind cornmeal with no additives. Baked for 60 minutes til top barely jiggled. It turned out just as described. Ate one piece when cooled to room temp and it was “ok”. Chilled overnight and had another piece and it was good. 4* rather than 5* as it’s a lot of sugar and butter but still, the ingredients are in most pantries so it’s easy to put together.