Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding Pie Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Adapted by Tara Parker-Pope

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding Pie Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes, plus chilling
Read community notes

This is your grandma’s puddin’ pie, only it’s vegan — a smooth, cool and creamy pudding in a classic graham cracker shell. To make life even easier, you can use a store-bought crust. For added grandma love, serve with vegan whipped cream and shaved chocolate. (This recipe is an adaptation of one found in “Vegan Pie in the Sky: 75 Out-of-This-World Recipes for Pies, Tarts, Cobblers and More” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.) —Tara Parker-Pope

Featured in: Can You Bake a Vegan Pie?

Learn: How to Make a Pie Crust

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Yield:One 9-inch pie

    For the Crust

    • cups finely ground graham crackers (made from 10 ounces of whole graham crackers)
    • 3tablespoons sugar
    • 4tablespoons melted nonhydrogenated margarine, melted coconut oil or canola oil
    • 1tablespoon plain soy milk or almond milk

    For the Filling

    • 3cups almond milk
    • ¼cup cornstarch
    • cup sugar
    • 3tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • Big pinch of salt
    • ¼cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredient Substitution Guide


  1. Step


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham crumbs and sugar. Drizzle in the oil or melted margarine. Use a spoon to blend the mixture thoroughly to moisten the crumbs, then drizzle in the soy milk and stir again to form a crumbly dough.

  3. Step


    Pour the crumbs into the pie plate. Press crumbs into the sides of the plate first, then work your way down to the bottom. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until firm. Let the crust cool before filling.

  4. Step


    In a small (2-quart) saucepan off the heat, combine 1 cup of the almond milk and the cornstarch. Use a fork to whisk until the cornstarch is good and dissolved. Whisk in the remaining almond milk, the sugar, cocoa powder and salt. It’s O.K. if the cocoa is a bit clumpy at first; it will dissolve eventually.

  5. Step


    Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Keep a close eye because once boiling, you want to lower the heat and bring it to a slow rolling boil. Whisk consistently until the mixture is thickened, which should be about 7 minutes.

  6. Step


    Add the chocolate chips and mix to melt. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the pudding into the prepared pie shell and let cool for about 15 minutes on the counter, just until it stops steaming like mad. To keep a skin from forming, place a circle of parchment paper over the filling. Refrigerate and let set for at least 3 hours.



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Cooking Notes


3T of cocoa and 1/4 cup of semisweet chips? I'm not a fan of decadently chocolatey deserts, but I had to double the amount of both--and add more sugar--for the pudding to register as chocolate.

John Gordon

The picture shows a deep, dark chocolate pie -- a far cry from what I got following the recipe. Definitely more chocolate next time.


I don't consider this to be "This is your grandma’s puddin’ pie"....by any stretch of the imagination. Properly calling it Vegan Chocolate Pie would be less of a let down. Try doubling down on the chips, add tiny dash of cinnamon to enrich the taste, and lastly a dash of rum wouldn't hurt...for the cook, at least.


Some are made with milk; some are not. You must read the label on the package or bulk bin to know for sure. Dark, bittersweet, or semi-sweet chips are often, but not always, vegan. The label will tell, but be aware that other milk products, such as whey, may be listed. Milk chocolate chips are never vegan, and It's rare to find vegan white chocolate, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips, but there are recipes to make vegan versions at home.


Very chocolate-y and delicious if you double the amount of cocoa and choc. chips. Made cool whip-like topping by beating chickpea cooking water with cream of tartar and powdered sugar.


Fantastic - met my cravings for creamy chocolate pudding without dairy, or complex recipe! I didn’t have enough almond milk so subbed coconut milk. Not great for the saturated fat content but delicious! More than enough sugar for me, but I did double the choc chips for flavor. Trader Joe’s chocolate chips are dairy and soy free, happily.


Seems odd to bake and cool the crust twice before filling


The reviews are spot on that this needs more sugar and more cocoa powder. I doubled both and it was perfect. The extra cocoa powder made it the color or the photo. It looks like it won’t dissolve in the milk but it does eventually like the recipe says!


I think I prefer a non-vegan version that is made more custardy with egg yolk rather than this gelatinous pudding. That being said, this was a good recipe to use up a lot of almond milk- with the adjustments as recommended to increase the chocolate or sub Dutch cocoa. I wouldn't make it without the crust or some other topping.

Jo L.

Definitely more chocolate needed! Also, I found that 10 oz of crust material was too much (used a combination of graham crackers and Nilla wafers, because I needed to use them up). I cooled the pudding in the pan, rather than in the shell. And last, I lined the bottom of the cooled shell with caramel left over from thumbprints with salted caramel (from Sunset Magazine; https://www.sunset.com/recipe/chocolate-thumbprints-caramel-sea-salt, no paywall), then added the cooled pudding.


I used oat milk and it is rich and delicious.


I've made this pie thrice now, and it is SO good. But - some experiential advice: double the sugar, double the cocoa powder, double the chocolate chips, and add a dash of cinnamon. Used a pre-made vegan graham cracker crust and store bought coconut whipped topping each time. My son - who is 12, picky, and not vegan like myself - loves it. It's easy and delightful this way.


This recipe doesn’t actually say how long to bake it for. Advice, anyone?


Get that strawberry off the top of this beautiful pie!!! I’m in the chocolate and fruit never got together camp :). Other than whipped cream, the only thing chocolate needs is more chocolate.


I used two bags of graham crackers to make the crust which turned out to be wayyy more than needed. Therefore proportions were off and so crust was more of a crumble.. Still delicious thoughI also strained the pudding to get rid of clumps which there definitely was given the chocolate chips.

less butter

Use cashew milk


Just want to point out that this recipe is not vegan if made with most store-bought graham crackers, which typically include honey. If that is important to you, be sure to check the ingredients of the graham crackers.


Very chocolate-y and delicious if you double the amount of cocoa and choc. chips. Made cool whip-like topping by beating chickpea cooking water with cream of tartar and powdered sugar.


Thoughts on use of oat milk as an alternative to almond or soy?

Rebecca P.

I made this with Trader Joe’s brownie thins in the crust instead of graham crackers. It made the dessert gluten-free as well as vegan... and gave the chocolate another bump (on top of doubling the cocoa and the chocolate chips as other readers suggest). Combined with vanilla cashew cream, this was a super impressive vegan dessert!


The texture ended up kinda rubbery, not very appetizing. Will not be making again.


Did you ever try soft tofu and melted chocolate chips? Vegan, no cook and so easy...I wonder about the difference in taste...might have to do a taste off!

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Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding Pie Recipe (2024)


How do you keep a pudding pie from getting watery? ›

To fix this, you can cook the pudding mixture over low heat until it thickens, or add a thickener such as cornstarch or tapioca flour. Another possible reason for a runny banana cream pie is that the pie filling was not chilled properly before being added to the crust.

Why did my chocolate pie turn out runny? ›

This can happen for several reasons: if the cooking process was rushed, if the filling wasn't carefully watched and stirred frequently, the filling was overcooked, the stovetop heat was too high, or if the pie isn't given enough time to chill. Any ingredient substitutions could also result in a runny chocolate pie.

Why didn't my chocolate cream pie set? ›

Take care, however, because you also don't want to overcook the filling which will make it very dense, and can even make it start to weep and separate. What causes a chocolate pie not to set up? A chocolate pie can not set up if it doesn't have enough cornstarch, egg yolks, or the filling wasn't cooked to 160 degrees.

Why isn't my chocolate pie thickening? ›

Why Is My Chocolate Pie Runny? If your filing didn't set, it probably means that you didn't cook the filling long enough. Cornstarch needs to be heated in order to activate its thickening properties.

How do you thicken pudding pie filling? ›

How can I thicken my pudding? A simple way to thicken is with corn starch. 1 tbs of cornstarch will thicken 1 cup of liquid. If your liquid amounts to 4 cups, take half cup of that liquid (COLD) and mix with 4 tbs cornstarch in a small container.

Why didn't my pudding pie set? ›

Instant pudding takes about 5-10 minutes to set up. That means it gets thicker as it sits. If you added the cool whip immediately, it lost its chance to thicken.

Why didn't my chocolate pudding pie set? ›

If your pudding pie filling is runny, it likely means that you either overmixed or undermixed the pudding. If you mix it on too high or a speed or for too long, it can become watery. If you don't mix it long enough, the ingredients won't combine well enough to thicken properly.

How do you keep a chocolate pie from weeping? ›

Beat a mixture of thickened cornstarch and water into the egg whites to bind and stabilize the liquid in the meringue (and keep it from seeping out). Cook the filling for the full 2 minutes on the stove top so the cornstarch thickens completely and doesn't start breaking down and "leaking" during chilling.

Why is my pudding pie runny? ›

Pudding is usually runny because it has been stored in the refrigerator for too long or in an open space. Another cause could be due to improper cooking methods.

What is the difference between French silk pie and chocolate cream pie? ›

The Crust: Chocolate cream pie traditionally sits on a cookie crumb crust, while French silk pie traditionally sits on a pastry crust. The Filling: Chocolate cream pie filling has a denser, pudding-like consistency, while French silk pie filling has a lighter, airier, more mousse-like consistency.

What to do with pudding that doesn't set? ›

Thicken runny pudding with gelatin

Eggs or cornstarch will both help to thicken things up, but you do have other options. If vegan options aren't a concern for you, gelatin is a great way to fix a pudding that is a little too soupy for your liking.

Why is my chocolate cream pie gritty? ›

Chocolate is very sensitive to heat and melts at just above body temperature. But if it gets too hot then it will turn grainy or lumpy and the fats will start to separate out. Sometimes this can be corrected by adding some cream or water.

How can I make my pie more firm? ›

All-purpose flour is an easy solution, as you're sure to have it in your pantry. Since it's lower in starch, you'll use more of it than you would higher-starch thickeners.

What is the best ingredient to use in thickening the filling of cream pies? ›

Very often flour or cornstarch is used, but in certain instances tapioca, arrowroot and potato starch can also help achieve the desired consistency. Tapioca starch is preferable for products that will be frozen because it will not break down when thawed. We like tapioca in blueberry, cherry or peach pies.

Is cornstarch or flour better for thickening pie? ›

All-Purpose Flour

Most people prefer other thickeners over flour because it creates a cloudy filling with a slightly gummy texture and a wheat-flavored taste. How to substitute: As a general rule of thumb, use twice as much flour as cornstarch or arrowroot.

How do you fix a watery pie? ›

The best way to thicken runny apple pie filling before baking it is to add some cornstarch, tapioca starch, or flour to your mix. To fix a runny pie that's already been baked, simply let it cool to see if it will congeal naturally. If not, you can stick it back in the oven for a bit longer.

Why does cooked pudding get watery? ›

When the pudding is then placed in the fridge, the gel molecules contract, reducing the amount of liquid they were holding. This can cause the pudding to have a watery consistency [2].

What causes a cream pie to get watery? ›

The watery layer between the meringue and the filling (weeping) is usually caused by undercooking. This is where it is important to put your meringue onto hot filling so it can begin cooking right away.

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