This creamy, fudgy, intensely chocolate pie studded with roasted almonds and a hint of bourbon is for serious chocolate lovers only. You chocolate-is-ok-sometimes kind of people need to find yourselves another pie because this one is pure, unadulterated chocolate, and extremely unapologetic and in your face about it.
"I made this pie for Thanksgiving last year and it was such a SUPERSTAR that I'm making it again this year! The rich chocolate filling is perfectly balanced by the toasted almonds and that hint of bourbon. It's the perfect dessert for a special occasion and such a crowd-pleaser!" - JJ
Ok, so this pie is not quite as aggressive as all that but it IS the kind of rich chocolate pie that only true chocolate lovers will appreciate. Is that you? Then you're going to want to make this pie pronto and then just forget about dinner because this is all you're going to be eating tonight. I may speak from experience.
This is obviously the kind of pie that's perfect for the holiday season when we're all willing to set moderation and good sense aside for a few hours and just go for it. I have a friend who likes to say "everything in moderation including moderation" and feel that pretty much sums up my attitude from Thanksgiving through January 1st.
If yours is the kind of celebration for which one chocolate pie is not enough, consider including no-bake chocolate mousse pie and chocolate cream pie in your dessert table plans. And, there's always the classic pecan pie, maple pumpkin, and caramel apple pie if you want to balance all that chocolate with some other traditional holiday flavors.
"I made this pie for Thanksgiving last year and it was such a SUPERSTAR that I'm making it again this year! The rich chocolate filling is perfectly balanced with the toasted almonds and that hint of bourbon. It's the perfect dessert for a special occasion and such a crowd-pleaser!" - JJ
Ingredients needed to prepare this recipe
- One bottom pie crust. My two favorite pie crust recipes for this pie are foolproof pie crust and toasted almond pie crust.
- Honey, corn syrup, and brown sugar. I used a combination of three ingredients to sweeten this recipe because all three not only add sweetness but also flavor. Corn syrup also helps hold the filling of this pie together and prevents crystallization of the sugar while it bakes but see the list below for substitutions for corn syrup if you'd rather use something else.
- Cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate. Like the sweeteners for this pie, I've used a combination of three kinds of chocolate to create an intensely chocolate pie with a rich fudgy consistency.
- Salt. Salt is just as important in sweet foods as it is in savory foods because salt intensifies the flavor of the other ingredients. In this recipe, salt sharpens the caramel, almond, and chocolate flavors while providing some balance for the pie's sweetness.
- Eggs and butter. Just like a classic pecan pie, the rich and creamy base for this pie is made from eggs, butter, and sugar.
- Bourbon and vanilla. There is just enough bourbon in this pie to cut through the sweetness and create a balanced flavor profile that's intensely chocolate. Likewise, vanilla adds creaminess to the flavor of this pie, softening the bitterness of the chocolate and balancing the pie's sweetness.
Additions and substitutions
- Pie crust options: If you don't want to make your own, a prepared frozen pie crust works perfectly well for this recipe. Other good options include a graham cracker crust (see the graham cracker crust option in this New York Cheesecake recipe) or the Oreo cookie crust used in this no-bake chocolate pie.
- Instead of almonds: You can use any kind of nut instead of almonds including pecans, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. Regardless of the kind of nuts you use in this pie, I recommend roasting them which intensifies their flavor and makes them crunchier.
- Instead of corn syrup: Use dark corn syrup instead of light corn syrup to intensify the molasses flavor in this pie. You can also substitute brown rice syrup, agave nectar, sorghum syrup, or honey for the corn syrup in this pie BUT if you use any of these corn syrup substitutes, it's also important to add 1 tablespoon each of flour and apple cider vinegar. Just like in this recipe for pecan pie without corn syrup, that little bit of flour and vinegar take over the job that corn syrup does in preventing crystallization and helping to hold the pie together.
- Instead of bourbon: Use any kind of whisky in place of bourbon in this recipe or swap it out with a completely different kind of liquor like rum, Frangelico, or Amaretto. You can also just leave it out entirely.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
Roll out the pie crust and fit it to cover the inside of a 9.5-inch pie plate with about an inch of extra dough around the top of the plate.
Use the index finger of one hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your other hand to form a U shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge.
Loosely cover the pie crust and place it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Add the unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, and butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2-4 minutes on half power until the chocolate and the butter are melted, stopping every minute to stir.
Set aside to cool to room temperature
It's up to you whether you leave the almonds whole or chop them before adding them to the batter.
If you'd like to chop the almonds, chop them into whatever size pieces you like.
Add the melted chocolate and butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, salt, and cocoa powder to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture looks aerated and has lightened to the color of milk chocolate.
Stir the almonds into the batter, scrape the batter into the pie crust, and set it in a preheated oven to bake.
When done, the surface of the pie will look set and there will be small cracks around the edges. If you very gently shake the pie or tap the side of the pie plate the center will jiggle like jello. If you tap the side of the pie and the center seems to slosh like liquid, the pie needs longer to bake.
The filling of this pie will puff up as it bakes and then settle as it cools.
Allow the pie to cool completely then sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top before serving.I like to use a large fine-mesh strainer to sprinkle powdered sugar over the pie. Add a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to the strainer, hold it above the pie, and tap the side of the strainer with one hand. As you do, the powdered sugar will gently rain down onto the top of the pie creating a soft, even blanket of sugar.
Chopping the almonds or leaving them whole is a matter of personal preference. My husband prefers it when I leave the almonds whole and I prefer it when I chop them into small pieces. In the pie you see pictured here, I compromised and chopped them into largish pieces but what you do is entirely up to you.
How to serve and store this pie
This pie needs nothing except that light dusting of powdered sugar but that doesn't ever stop me from serving it with generous scoops of vanilla ice cream.
If you want to go way overboard with the amount of chocolate, add a drizzle of hot fudge. Go big or go home, right?
Another good option is to serve it with lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream. To make, simply use an electric mixer to beat heavy whipping cream with a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar and a tablespoon of vanilla until the cream is thick enough to scoop.
One word of caution when whipping cream - if you whip it past the soft, scoopable stage, you run the risk of whipping it into butter.
This pie will keep well at room temperature for up to 48 hours and in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. You can serve it straight from the refrigerator if you like. When cold, the texture gets more dense and fudgy while at room temperature it's softer and lighter. Both are delicious and really just a matter of preference.
More recipes for chocolate lovers
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
- One pie crust; enough pie crust dough to fit a 9 ½ inch pie plate (*See notes below)
- 2 cups (approximately 12 ounces) whole roasted almonds (*See note below for how to roast raw almonds)
- 2 ounces (about ⅓ cup chopped) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)
- 2 ounces (about ⅓ cup chopped) unsweetened chocolate
- 3 tablespoons (43 grams) butter, salted or unsalted
- ¾ cup (160 grams) dark or light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (104 grams) light or dark corn syrup
- ⅓ cup (111 grams) honey
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons bourbon (or rum or any kind of whisky)
- 1 ½ teaspoons table salt, OR 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon (10.5 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- Powdered sugar, about ¼ cup, for dusting over the top of the pie
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Remove pie dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 13-inch circle. Run a large spatula or dough scraper under the dough as you roll to ensure your crust is not sticking to your rolling surface. Add additional flour as necessary.
- To place the dough in your pie plate, fold the dough in half (I use a large metal spatula for this task) and then fold it over again, making a triangle. Place the dough in the pan with the tip of the triangle in the center of the pan. Unfold and gently press into the pan, making sure the crust is snug in the corners of the pan.
- Trim the excess dough from the edges with kitchen sheers, leaving enough to create a nice high edge to your pie, about an inch of overhang. Fold the overhang under itself so you have a cylinder that rests on the edge of the pie plate. With one hand on the inside of the edge, and one hand on the outside, use the index finger of your inside hand to push the dough between the thumb and index finger of your outside hand to form a U or V shape. Continue this crimping motion around the entire edge.
- Cover the crust loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
- Add the bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave at half power for 2-4 minutes until melted, stopping to stir every minute. Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan set over low heat, stirring constantly. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
- The almonds can be incorporated into this pie whole or chopped. If you'd like to chop the almonds, do that now. Chop them into pieces as large or as small as you like.
- Add the melted chocolate and butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, honey, eggs, vanilla, bourbon, salt, and cocoa powder to a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is aerated and has lightened to the color of milk chocolate.
- Stir in the almonds and pour the filling into the chilled pie shell. Place on a baking sheet (just in case any of the filling bubbles over as it bakes), and bake for 40-50 minutes. When done, the pie will appear set and have small cracks all around the edges. If you very gently shake the pie plate or tap the side of the pie plate, the center will jiggle slightly - like Jello. If the center sloshes like liquid, the pie needs longer to bake.
- Remove the pie from the oven, set it on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Dust the surface of the pie with powdered sugar before serving.
- The two pie crust recipes I like to use for this pie are foolproof pie crust and toasted almond pie crust. If using the recipe for foolproof pie crust, cut the recipe in half. Of course, if you have a favorite pie crust recipe, use that. Or, use a prepared frozen pie crust.
- To roast raw almonds: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spread almonds in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast until dark brown and fragrant - about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before using.
- You can also substitute brown rice syrup, agave nectar, sorghum syrup, or honey for the corn syrup in this pie BUT if you use any of these corn syrup substitutes, it's also important to add 1 tablespoon each of flour and apple cider vinegar. Just like in this recipe for pecan pie without corn syrup, that little bit of flour and vinegar take over the job that corn syrup does in preventing crystallization and helping to hold the pie together.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: ⅛th of the pie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 613Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 737mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 7gSugar: 42gProtein: 13g