A chocolate cream pie is pretty dang delicious—but a Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Pie with a graham cracker crust is absolutely decadent!
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A few years back I did an informal poll of family and friends for their favorite types of pie. The majority of votes were split between two types: apple pie and chocolate cream pie. I think they're all correct!
In that same poll, one of my nephews voted for chocolate cream pie and the other voted for caramel pie — so I decided to put their two faves together to create this tantalizing Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Pie.
There was always a chocolate cream pie at our holiday gatherings. Not only is it a simple dessert to pull together, but it's always the favorite of the kids in the house that don't like fruit pies. (I WAS that kid.) Chocolate cream also a favorite diner pie (all you old-fashioned diner fans out there know what I'm talking about.)
Pie lovers in New England: remember the great shop, Pie In The Sky in Maine?
What is a chocolate cream pie made of?
There are several types of cream pies, like coconut, banana, and peanut butter. (And also those generic cream pies that the Three Stooges threw in each others' faces.) (Affiliate link)
Their fillings are traditionally made using flavored, cooked or uncooked custards, which set in the pie shells during baking. However, the convenience of boxed instant pudding mixes has made it easy to create rich, cream pie fillings that need no baking or cooking.
Instant chocolate pudding is what I use in this pie, and it's so easy.
Is Boston Cream Pie the same as chocolate cream pie?
Even though "cream pie" is in the name, Boston cream pie is quite different from a chocolate cream pie. In fact, it's not a pie at all: Boston cream pie is made from vanilla sponge cake. The cake is sliced in half horizontally and a layer of vanilla pastry cream or custard is spread between the two layers. It's then topped with a thick coating of chocolate ganache.
It's absolutely delicious, and my husband's favorite. However, he also loves this Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Pie—so let's get back to it.
Why you'll love this dessert
Well, first of all: CHOCOLATE. And second of all? CARAMEL. Yes, salted caramel is layered into this chocolate pie. (Woot!)
You'll also love that this is an easy, from-scratch chocolate and caramel pie to put together. The no-bake filling is made using instant chocolate pudding. You'll be using salted caramel sauce too, ideally the expensive stuff that you hide from the kids!
For a delicious twist, try a goat's milk salted caramel sauce, like this one from Vermont's own Fat Toad. (Affiliate link) The tang of goat's milk works so nicely in this sweet pie.
There are directions below to make a simple graham cracker crust. This salted caramel dessert is also a great make with my Perfect All-Butter Pie Crust if you're so inclined. Press the dough into a pan, prebake it, and fill it once it's cool.
Pinched for time? Pick up a store-bought graham cracker crust. This pie will still be delicious, and you will still be the hero—the one who brought the chocolate caramel cream pie.
🔪 How to make Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Pie recipe
- Graham crackers: Use these to make the pie crust.
- Butter: Melted butter holds that graham cracker crust together!
- Heavy whipping cream: Turn this into whipped cream.
- Confectioner's sugar: This fine sugar will sweeten and stabilize the cream.
- Instant chocolate pudding: For the chocolate pie filling.
- Milk: This gets added to the pudding mix.
- Salted caramel sauce: Choose the best quality sauce you can find.
- Grated chocolate: For garnish!
Step 1: Make the crust.
Crush graham crackers and mix the crumbs with melted butter. Press this mixture over the bottom and sides of a pie pan. Give it a quick bake, then let it cool.
Step 2: Whip the cream
Beat the cold, heavy whipping cream in the chilled pan, adding in the confectioner's sugar as it whips. Stop the beater once the whipped cream is firm and has peaks.
Step 3: Prepare the filling.
Mix up some of the instant pudding with cold milk. Stir whipped cream into the mixture, then stir in more pudding mix. Stir it until the filling is smooth.
Step 4: Fill the pie shell.
Spoon the chocolate pudding mixture into the shell. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the top. Drizzle the salted caramel evenly over the top of the pudding.
Step 5: Add the whipped cream topping.
Spoon the rest of the whipped cream over the caramel and spread it evenly from edge to edge. Top the whipped cream with some grated chocolate. Refrigerate the pie for at least 15 minutes or overnight, before slicing and serving.
Yes, you absolutely need to refrigerate chocolate cream pie, including any leftovers. Not only is this necessary for food safety, because of the dairy ingredients in the mixture, but the texture of the pie will also deteriorate if left out at room temperature for too long.
When covered and chilled, the pie should last as long as five days. I prefer to make this pie no more than 24 hours in advance so that the graham cracker crust still has its crunch. But leftovers will still be very tasty for several days.
- If you have never made your own graham cracker shell, you really should. It's not difficult at all, adds very little time, and it tastes out of this world.
- Make sure you buy "instant pudding". It's easy to mix up the "instant" and "cook and serve" varieties! The cook and serve pudding will work of course, but it will add some time to the preparation of this pie.
Alright, time to make your very own Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Pie! First though, a few other dessert ideas:
💬 Have you tried this chocolate pie with salted caramel? Leave a comment and a star rating!
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Pie
- 12 sheets (about 6 ½ ounces) graham crackers, finely crushed
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2½ cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar
- 7.8 ounces (2 packages) instant chocolate pudding
- 1 cups cold milk
- ½ cup salted caramel sauce
- Grated chocolate from a chocolate bar
- Place the bowl and whisk attachment of a stand mixer into the freezer to chill.
Make the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Place the graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl. Pour in the melted butter. Stir until all the crumbs are moistened. You can also complete this step in a food processor if you'd like.
- Press the butter-crumb mixture into an even layer over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
- Bake the shell for 15 minutes until it is a deep golden brown. Remove and let the crust cool completely.
Make the whipped cream:
- Assemble the chilled bowl and whisk on the stand mixer and pour the whipping cream into the bowl. Whisk the cream on high. Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar as the mixer is running. Whisk the cream for about 3-5 minutes until it holds stiff peaks.
Make the filling:
- In a large bowl, combine the milk and ONE of the pudding mixes. Whisk them together.
- Stir in 3 cups of the whipped cream.
- Sprinkle the second box of pudding mix over the mixture and stir it in. Stir until the mixture is smooth—it will be thick.
Fill the pie:
- Spoon the chocolate pudding mixture into the crust. Use the back of a spoon to smooth the top.
- Drizzle the salted caramel evenly over the top of the chocolate filling.
- Spread the rest of the whipped cream over the caramel, smoothing it edge to edge. Sprinkle the grated chocolate over the top.
- Cover and refrigerate the pie for at least 15 minutes, or even for a few hours to overnight.
- Slice and serve the pie immediately.
- If you have never made your own graham cracker shell, you really just should. It's not difficult and tastes out of this world.
- Get "instant pudding". It's easy to mix up the "instant" and "cook and serve" varieties.
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Nancy, this pie looks absolutely delicious. I love chocolate pie and the caramel is the key . I will make . Your recipes are the best.
Donna, I hope you get to make this one, I love chocolate pies too! I’m so happy you left this comment for me, thank you! ❤️
My twist on Gram's classic ❤️
Oh man! That sounds so good! I have to try it. I haven't had much luck with cream pies. I'm obviously doing something wrong. They come out a bit too...well, they lack form. I've gotta figure out what I'm doing wrong and fix that.
They do seem to be finicky. I remember at my grandmothers the chocolate pies would sometimes be perfect, sometimes runny. Fingers crossed this one works more often than not 🙂 Thank you!
Oh my gosh, this looks delicious! I wish I could have a slice right now! I'm saving the recipe. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Nancy!
Thank YOU! 🙂
Harleo - Adventures of Two Golden Doodles
The carmel and chocolate combo is a charming idea. Breaks up the chocolate - yummy
I did not mind making this already sweet pie even sweeter. Thanks!
Looks delicious so long as you make it and only give me a small piece. Good idea to put a layer of caramel. I think I gained weight just reading about it.
I'd be happy to 😉 Thanks Jo
Lori L MacLaughlin
I hadn't thought of putting caramel syrup in it before. Definitely have to give that a try!
I'll be making this one a lot, I think 🙂
This looks Del-i-cious! I'm pinning for later.
Thank you so much Kris!
Looks yummy. Anything with chocolate pudding sounds good to me!
~Visiting from A to Z
Thank you Wendy! The caramel helps a lot too 😉