Photo: Raymond Hom; Styling: Pamela Duncan Silver
Hands-on Time
35 Mins
Total Time
4 Hours
8 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

Ground red pepper adds a subtle but distinct kick to the pie, while instant espresso powder intensifies the flavor. Omit either or both if you prefer a standard chocolate cream pie.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2

To prepare the crust, reserve 1 tablespoon crumbs for topping. Combine the remaining crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl, stirring well. Stir in egg white and butter. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 9 minutes or until lightly toasted; cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 3

To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup sugar and the next 7 ingredients (through egg yolk) in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place milk in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until milk reaches 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; stir until smooth.

Step 4

Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 10 minutes or until mixture cools, stirring occasionally. Spoon filling into crust, and cover surface of filling with plastic wrap. Chill 3 hours or until set; remove plastic wrap. Spread whipped topping over pie; sprinkle with reserved cracker crumbs.

Also appeared in: Cooking Light, May, 2011

Ratings & Reviews

Tallyliz's Review

April 25, 2011
I made this for Easter dinner and it was a big hit!

Mleigh's Review

June 20, 2011
I made this for Father's Day dinner because chocolate cream pie is my father's favorite, and next to chocolate with vanilla, chocolate with cinammon is one of my favorite combinations in the world! I would almost recommend making this the day before you want to serve it. I was worried the crust would get soggy so I made the pie the morning I wanted to serve it, but I think it tastes better today, after the crust has softened up a little bit overnight. The recipe is very easy to pull together, even if you are a novice at tempering eggs or making pudding.

carhearn's Review

July 09, 2011
This is a great pie, easy to make and super yummy. I changed the crust a bit by using chocolate graham crackers. I'm a beginning cook and had no problem following this recipe!

jo828ny's Review

May 15, 2011
Fantastic recipe. Definitely make the crust from scratch because the addition of cinnamon is wonderful. The chocolate pudding was rich and delicious and my guests were happy it was a cooking light recipe so they could have another piece! They heat wasn't over powering but you can tell that it's there with the slow burn in the back of your mouth. It's a show stopper for any dinner party. They best part is that you make it in the morning or the night before.

IoneTaylor's Review

January 19, 2014
I'm a big fan of cream pies and all things Mexican, so this recipe delighted me. It was also easy to make - graham cracker crusts aren't fussy. I made the recipe as written with the following exceptions: I used espresso powder, not espresso granules. I also substituted 1 cup soy milk and 3/4 cup half and half for the 2% milk and used semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet. I also did a small spritz of canned whip cream on each slice when I served it instead of the whipped topping. It was delicious - the cinnamon and cayenne adding just the right touch.

gracefully's Review

June 15, 2011

beldini's Review

September 01, 2014
This was amazing! Served it at a Mexican-themed dinner and it was a bit hit! The only thing I did differently was to whip up some real cream (never really cared for the frozen whipped topping). Also, I don't recommend taking a shortcut and buying a prepared graham cracker pie crust--you lose a lot of what makes it special by not having that cinnamon in the crust. It was a bit sloppy to cut on a humid evening, so next time I'll pop it in the freezer for an hour before serving.

jstowe's Review

September 02, 2011
Very good. Definite keeper. I omitted the graham cracker on the whipped topping and instead sprinkled a little cinnamon, sugar and red pepper. Came out wonderful and the color contrast was gorgeous.

crosscourt's Review

April 26, 2011
This was delicious. Surprisingly so. I didn't put in the expresso. The cayenne wasn't noticeable.

sparklyredshoes's Review

January 21, 2013
I really liked this! It was perfectly sweet with just the right amount of kick. I was glad i bought extra chocolate, because i burned the first batch of filling. Make sure to watch your milk. I would make this again for anyone would doesn't mind a little spice.