We found that the secret to perfect chocolate cream pie was to combine two different types of chocolate for a deeper, more complex flavor. Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate provides the main thrust of flavor and intensely flavored unsweetened chocolate lends depth. One ounce of unsweetened chocolate may not seem like much, but it gives this pie great flavor. For the best chocolate flavor and texture, we recommend using either Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate or Ghirardelli semisweet or bittersweet chocolate.–The Editors at America’s Test Kitchen

Chocolate Cream Pie FAQs

Can you use other types of cookies besides Oreos for the crust?

Other types of chocolate sandwich cookies than Oreo may be substituted, but avoid any “double-filled” cookies because the proportion of cookie to the filling will be off. An equal number of Nutter Butter cookies may also be substituted for a peanut-flavored crust.

My chocolate custard is lumpy. How can I fix it?

If your eggs became too hot too quickly while whisking into the half and half mixture, they can begin to cook and bits of egg will appear in your custard, making it lumpy. It’s critical to temper the egg yolk mixture before adding to the simmering half and half, however, if you do end up with lumps, simply strain your custard through a fine mesh sieve before adding to the pie crust and chilling.

A slice of chocolate cream pie, topped with chocolate curls on a white plate with a fork beside it.

Chocolate Cream Pie with Oreo Crust

4.77 / 13 votes
This chocolate cream pie with Oreo crust is a classic American dessert. Layers of rich chocolate pudding and sweet whipped cream are nestled in the Oreo crust. It's a quick, easy, back-pocket dessert.
David Leite
Servings8 servings
Calories700 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time4 hours


For the crust

  • 16 Oreo cookies, broken into rough pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons (3 oz) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) pieces
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping


Make the crust

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Pulse the cookies in a food processor until coarsely ground, about 15 short pulses. Then let the machine run until the crumbs are uniformly fine, about 15 seconds. With the machine running, pour the butter through the feed tube and process until the mixture resembles wet sand. Empty the crumbs onto the pie plate. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crumbs into an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake until the crust is fragrant and looks set, about 15 minutes.

Make the filling

  • Bring the half-and-half, half the sugar, and the salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
  • As the half-and-half mixture begins to simmer, in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, the remaining sugar, and cornstarch until smooth.
  • Slowly whisk about 1 cup simmering half-and-half mixture into the yolks to temper them. (This means to slowly change the temperature so the eggs don’t curdle.) Then slowly whisk the tempered yolks into the remaining simmering half-and-half mixture and reduce the heat to medium. Whisking constantly, return the mixture to a simmer and cook until thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface, anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the butter, then the chocolates, and finally the vanilla, whisking until completely smooth.
  • Pour the warm filling into the baked, cooled pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it flush against the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until the filling is cold and firm, at least 3 hours. (The pie, without the topping, can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 1 day.)

Make the topping

  • Just before serving, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a chilled bowl with a stand or handheld mixer until soft peaks form. (The cream can be whipped and refrigerated separately from the pie, covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 2 hours.)
  • Gently mound the whipped cream attractively over the top of the filling. Top with chocolate curls, if using. Slice the pie and have at it.
The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

Adapted From

The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

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Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 700 kcalCarbohydrates: 46 gProtein: 8 gFat: 55 gSaturated Fat: 32 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 261 mgSodium: 163 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 29 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2005 America’s Test Kitchen. Photo © 2005 Lauren Allen. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This chocolate cream pie with Oreo crust was everything I needed this week. It was a recipe that was a total pleasure to put together, that tasted delightful, totally satisfied a chocolate craving, and may have even brightened a lousy day. Within minutes of having our first bites, my husband declared that I must make this again. And I happily agreed.

The pie is super chocolatey without feeling heavy or fussy. This is the perfect dessert for a summer dinner party. Or a Wednesday night after a loooong work day.

I was drawn to this recipe because my family and friends love chocolate cream pie. I made this recipe for a birthday dessert and it was loved by all. My family said that I definitely need to make this pie again and soon!

The chocolate pie filling was perfectly creamy with a dark chocolate flavor that had the perfect amount of sweetness. The crust was easy to make, delicious, and added just the right amount of chocolate crunchy goodness.

Preparing the pie filling wasn’t difficult and I really liked that I didn’t have to constantly stir the half-and-half mixture as you often do when making a cream pie filling. I’m always cautious when tempering eggs as I don’t want to end up with scrambled egg bits. I followed the directions as written and it worked perfectly. Once you add the tempered egg mixture back to the half-and-half mixture, it will thicken very quickly. It will only take a minute or less. Stir in the rest of your ingredients and pour it into your cookie crumb crust.

The total time to prepare this pie is 4 hours. Most of that time is waiting for the pie to set.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made it for Pi day. It is fairly easy and tastes wonderful. I also substituted the Oreo cookies for graham crackers. It took about a dozen rectangles and more butter. This is a great recipe! I looked at a lot of various chocolate pie recipes. I like that it calls for half & half, eggs, and vanilla; those ingredients are always indicative of something wonderful. I also know that ATK is another sure sign of excellence. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Oh goodness, this is so good! As another commenter mentioned, I am a self-proclaimed cream pie hater but THIS is another thing entirely. It was my first foray into tempering egg yolks and I’m happy to say my worrying was for nothing. I brought this to a fall party so I swapped Oreo for graham cracker and served with marshmallow whipped cream-it was a hit! I love finding simple, crowd-pleasing recipes that are always a win and this fits the bill. Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Wonderful, kayla. Delighted to hear it was a smash. And welcome to the Tempered Eggs Club! It really is a simple technique–one that once mastered opens up a whole world of recipes.