We’re adding chocolate to our Thanksgiving dessert menu with dark chocolate pecan pie. Rich and delicious, this variation of a classic is garnished with sea salt, chocolate shavings, and homemade whipped cream.
Why mess with pie perfection? Years ago, I shared my late grandmother’s pecan pie recipe. Pecan pie isn’t the variety I typically reach for, but it’s a whole other story when grandma’s is around. Her pecan pie boasts a chewy texture underneath a layer of toasty pecans and offers a wonderful sweet-salty balance. The natural flavor of pecans truly shine and I knew using the base of her recipe would be ideal for today’s chocolate rendition. Not only do toasty pecans scream for a little dark chocolate, Thanksgiving dessert is seriously lacking in the chocolate department. I will gladly welcome a sliver of deep dark chocolate-y pecan pie to my dessert plate.
Why You’ll Love Chocolate Pecan Pie
- A decadent adaptation of my favorite pecan pie
- Simple to make with only 9 ingredients in the filling
- Sugary and buttery, but not overly sweet
- Incredible texture
- The filling sits atop the best pie crust
- No pre-baking needed
- Great make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert
Chocolate Pecan Pie Ingredients
Since this pie is made with just a few ingredients, it’s imperative to use high quality nuts and spices. I genuinely love Diamond of California pecans and McCormick pure vanilla extract (though homemade vanilla extract is excellent too!).
For the BEST chocolate pecan pie, use these ingredients:
- Homemade Pie Crust: We’re talking mega flaky, mega buttery, and mega delicious. This is the one and only pie crust recipe I use. It’s been passed down through generations and stands the test of time. It’s old-fashioned, yet never out of style. Here’s my recipe for all butter pie crust if you’re interested.
- Pecans: An obvious addition!
- Dark Chocolate Chips: You’ll need 1 hefty cup of dark chocolate chips. If you can’t get your hands on dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chips work just as well. Or chop up a couple dark chocolate bars and use those instead.
- Eggs: Eggs hold the filling together.
- Corn Syrup + Brown Sugar: I prefer to use dark corn syrup and dark brown sugar for a deeper flavor and highly suggest you try the same. Corn syrup sweetens the pie and helps prevent crystallization while the pie bakes. We’re only using 1/2 cup of brown sugar because the chocolate chips add sweetness, too.
- Salt + Butter + Vanilla Extract: Each give pecan pie its traditional flavor.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a little something special. 🙂
Baker’s Tip: Make sure you use room temperature eggs. You see, there’s melted butter in this pie filling. Cold eggs will solidify it and you’ll be left with random chunks of butter in your filling. Those chunks of butter will melt once the pie is baking, but then you’ll have random patches of pie with melty butter and others without. We can’t have butter-less bites of pie! Room temperature eggs definitely make a difference.
How to Make Chocolate Pecan Pie
- Make the pie crust.
- Roll out the pie crust. You’re aiming for a pie dough circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish.
- Spread the pecans inside pie crust.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top.
- Whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour on top.
- Bake. I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. If you find the whole pie is browning too quickly, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole pie.
- Slice and serve. The pie is delicious warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or even salted caramel.
How to Freeze Chocolate Pecan Pie
Chocolate pecan pie is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time. Simply bake the pie as directed, allow it to completely cool, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Place in a freezer-safe zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before slicing. This pie freezes and thaws beautifully; no one will ever realize it isn’t freshly baked!
Let’s Compare Pecan Pies
I’ve shared a few pecan pie recipes on my blog and you might be wondering which to make first. Here’s a quick review:
- My Favorite Pecan Pie: This pecan pie recipe is classic and simple with an unexpected dash of cinnamon. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and salty– my favorite for good reason.
- Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie: Today’s recipe! Dark chocolate pecan pie is a deep and decadent variation of my classic recipe.
- Maple Pecan Pie: You’ll love the warm and cozy flavor combination in maple pecan pie. It’s made without corn syrup!
- Brown Butter Pecan Pie Bars: My brown butter pecan pie bars feature a brown butter crust. They’re easily portable and serve a big crowd.
- Salted Pecan Pie Tarts: Made with my favorite homemade pie crust and a salted pecan filling, these salted pecan pie tarts are adorable and perfect for any holiday gathering.
Whichever you choose to make, you’re guaranteed pecan pie-fection!Print
Deep decadent and delicious dark chocolate pecan pie with sea salt.
- Homemade Pie Crust (my recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve the crust recipe or freeze the 2nd half)
- 2 and 1/2 cups (250g) shelled pecans
- 1 cup (180g) dark chocolate chips*
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (240ml) dark corn syrup*
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed dark brown sugar (or light brown)
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- sea salt for topping
- The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
- After the pie crust has chilled, adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (you can freeze the 2nd for later use, see note). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish.* Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Flute or crimp the edges of the crust. No need to pre-bake the crust.
- The filling: Spread pecans evenly inside pie crust and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top. Set aside. Whisk the eggs, corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Once completely combined and thick, pour evenly over pecans and chocolate chips.
- Bake the pie for 40-50 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a pie crust shield on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. You can also tent a piece of aluminum foil over the whole pie if the top is browning too quickly. Remove finished pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. The pie filling will set as it cools.
- Sprinkle with sea salt (if using), then slice and serve pie. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if desired. Cover and store leftover pie at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Pecan pie is a wonderful dessert to make ahead of time. You can get started by combining all the filling ingredients (except the pecans and chocolate chips) one day ahead of time. Keep it covered tightly in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pie. You can also make the pie dough 1-5 days in advance since it needs to chill. If you want to bake the pie 1 full day in advance, bake it as directed, allow it to completely cool, then cover tightly and keep at room temperature until ready to serve the next day. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Dark Chocolate Chips, Glass Scalloped Pie Dish, Rolling Pin, Glass Mixing Bowls, Pastry Blender, and Pie Crust Baking Shield
- Extra Pie Dough: You can freeze the 2nd pie dough for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
- Pie Dish: I strongly recommend a glass pie dish so you can see when the crust on the sides is browning, which signals that the pie is finished.
- Chocolate Chips: Instead of dark chocolate chips, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips. Or 6 ounces of chopped semi-sweet, dark, or bittersweet chocolate.
- Corn Syrup: If desired, you can use light corn syrup instead.