Chocolate Chess Pie

'Tis the season for romance! I credit my friend, Alex, and her Chocolate Chess Pie for playing a role in John and my whirlwind romance. Alex was my roommate in New York when I met my husband, John. If you know anything about me, you know I love hosting a good dinner party. My friends and I lived in tiny cubbyhole apartments in New York, so we rarely had people over; but when I was ready for them to meet John, I was determined to host a dinner party. I made roasted chicken, rice and gravy, and fried okra while Alex made a chess pie.

As we were finishing up the meal around the grandly set coffee table, Alex brought out her chess pie. When she asked John if he'd like a piece of pie, he said, "No thank you." Well, I wasted no time in kicking him pretty hard under the table. She had gone out of her way to make this pie for his visit and it would be rude to not graciously accept a piece!

 Later, John told me, "That's the day I knew you were going to be my wife." Apparently he didn't mind, and in fact was delighted by a strong-minded woman who would put him in his place when necessary. Chess pie is now a family tradition John wouldn't dare pass up. By the way, we also continue to kick each other under the table.

There are many theories as to the origin of the name “chess pie,” but my favorite is that it evolved from people calling it “jes pie,” as in “just” a simple pie.
— Carrie
I love this pie, and I love this story.
— Carrie

You'll Need:

  • 1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, well beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream or ice cream for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350
  2. Fit the dough into a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish. Trim and crimp the edges.
  3. Melt the butter and pour into a bowl. Add the sugar and mix well. Stir in the cocoa and flour. Add the eggs, mixing well. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into the pie crust. 
  4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until the top stops jiggling and the surface barely moves.
  6. Let cool completely on a rack before service with whipped cream or ice cream.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
— Carrie