Amanda’s Espresso Chocolate Pie

This is a very fun post for me. :) I have a ton of recipe print outs, bookmarks, cookbooks and magazines. The other day I picked a few different pies and cakes and asked my daughter to pick which one I should make. She chose a recipe from an old Taste of Home magazine called Cappuccino Chocolate Pie. Well, that particular recipe used chocolate chips, corn syrup, a packaged graham cracker crust, Cool Whip and two boxes in vanilla pudding. While I’m sure it would have been tasty, I opted to revamp this recipe and make it my own by using more ingredients from scratch.

I’m branching out more and more now, making recipes my own, and like with my Chocolate Dappled Pumpkin Cake, I changed the original recipe so much that this pie is a whole new recipe of its own now.

My first challenge was to find something that could replace the boxed pudding. I found several different vanilla pudding mix recipes, but none of them were “instant”. So I had to change the list of ingredients to compensate for that. The remaining substitutions were fairly easy… semi sweet chocolate instead of chocolate chips, butter in place of corn syrup, whipping cream instead of Cool Whip, and a homemade crust instead of a ready made one.

NOTE: In this recipe I refer to “homemade pudding mix”, which I list below. I have also done the math so that you don’t have to make an entire batch of pudding mix like I did, you can use the measurements for one serving. I have not tried this pie using the smaller measurements, but I can’t imagine there would be any problem with it.

This pie is good (if I do say so myself). It passed the “daughter test” with flying colors. She loved it, a big thumbs up. :) I highly recommend keeping this pie refrigerated, but bringing it out about an hour before serving to make it easier to slice as the chocolate layer gets rather firm in the fridge.

NOTE 2: I noticed that my crust crumbled a little, but that was when I tried to cut the pie when it was still cold. So be sure to wait until the pie has been sitting at room temp for a while before trying to slice.

And my last comment: I used more coffee than the original recipe did, so I felt a more appropriate name would include the word “espresso” rather than “cappuccino”. ;)

ANOTHER DELICIOUS IDEA >>  Cherry Cheesecake

Amanda’s Espresso Chocolate Pie
recipe by me! ;)

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (24 squares)
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

6 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups cold whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon clear vanilla (regular will work!)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons brewed coffee
1 cup homemade vanilla pudding mix (see recipe below)*
2 tablespoons of ground instant coffee (see note)**
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, whipped until thick and pale

chocolate curls for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9″ springform pan.

Make the crust. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Add the graham cracker mixture to the melted butter, using your fingers to combine until evenly moistened. Pat crumb mixture into bottom of springform pan and halfway up the sides. Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set crust aside to cool while you make the pie filling.

Make the ganache. Place chopped chocolate and butter in a double boiler, or in a glass or metal bowl over simmering water, and stir occasionally as it begins to melt. Once chocolate is almost melted, slowly add the cream and vanilla. Stir over heat until smooth and completely melted. Poor ganache into the crust and spread evenly. Set aside.

Make the whipped cream. Stir the clear vanilla into the whipping cream. Sift the powdered sugar over the whipping cream mixture and, using the whisk attachment, beat on medium high until stiff peaks form. Reserve 1 1/2 cups for the filling and refrigerate the rest until needed.

Make the filling. Beat cream cheese in mixer with paddle attachment until smooth. Gradually add the milk and brewed coffee, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Turn off mixer and use whisk to combine smaller pieces of cream cheese with the milk. Combine the pudding mix and ground instant coffee then whisk into the milk mixture. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Pour filling mixture into a medium saucepan. Turn flame on medium low and slowly add the whipped egg, whisking in as you cook. Mixture will thicken quickly, so whisk continuously until you have a very thick custard. Do not allow mixture to stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat. Whisk the pudding in the pan, then run it through strainer into a bowl. Place a layer of plastic wrap directly onto the pudding so that a skin does not form. Refrigerate the pudding for about 30-40 minutes to cool. When cool, whisk again to make pudding smooth and pour into pie shell on top of ganache. Top with whipped cream.


Refrigerate pie for at least 4 hours (overnight is best) to allow filling to set. To serve, remove pie from the refrigerator about an hour before serving to make it easier to slice.

* to replace the 1 cup of pudding mix in the pie recipe, combine 6 tablespoons of dry milk powder, 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 6 tablespoons of cornstarch. Run through a food processor.

** instant coffee comes in crystals. Place the crystals in a sandwich bag, squeeze the air out and seal it, and roll the jar over the bag grinding them up. You can also grind it with a mortar and pestle. One tablespoon of crystals will yield about half of a tablespoon of ground instant coffee.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Mix
makes 8 cups of mix

3 cups instant nonfat dry milk
4 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cornstarch

Combine milk, sugar, salt and cornstarch in a food processor and process until uniform. You may need to do this in 2-3 batches. Store mix in airtight canister or a closely covered jar.

To prepare pudding: Stir the mix in the canister before measuring out 1/2 cup mix into a pan. Add 2 cups milk AND 1 teaspoon of vanilla and cook over low heat, stirring until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Continue stirring for 1 minute, remove from heat and pour into individual serving dishes. Pudding will thicken further as it cools.

For a text only (no recipe photos or commentary) printer friendly version of this recipe, click here

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  1. Tami says

    Oh! I would really enjoy this cake but since my family isn't crazy about "coffee anything", I will just have to drool over your pictures. It looks scrumptious!

  2. Deeba PAB says

    Fab work here Amanda…and your own recipe, even better! Love the pudding mix recipe too. Just what I need. This is a seriously yum looking pie…

  3. Marissa says

    I have already done the pie crust, in anticipation of you posting this today…but how am I ever going to wait for this to chill overnight?? I'll never make it. I can see me in front of the fridge in the wee hours, with a spoon. Mmmm, and I have espresso powder…this is going to be So Good!
    Thank You, Amanda!

  4. Barbara Bakes says

    I'm so impressed you took the time to revamp the recipe! It looks fabulous and I'm sure your daughter was so happy!

  5. Kayte says

    Okay, so I don't like chocolate, but I have to say that your pie looks stunningly beautiful and I know that I could make that here and win rave reviews….the guys would so appreciate this…I better make it for them.

  6. Lana says

    What better combination than coffee and chocolate? The coffee just seems to bring out the very best in chocolate, doesn't it? Add in some whipped cream, and, oh my! Fabulous job, Amanda!

  7. Rachel says

    I am a huge coffee lover and bet this pie is to die for! My birthday is right around the corner and I think I'm going to tell my husband that this is what I want in place of a cake :)

  8. biz319 says

    That, my dear, is definitely insulin worthy! My mouth is watering just looking at it! Love your version WAY better!

  9. Megan says

    So impressive that you can make homemade instant pudding. I love the way you re-did the pie – it looks so tasty!

  10. Jelli Bean says

    This pie looks so incredibly good! I was craving chocolate like mad yesterday, and this would certainly have been the perfect remedy. I hope to try it soon!

  11. Sangeetha Subhash says

    The expresso chocolate pie looks heavenly and very eye-cathing with that simple yet elegant presentation.:)

  12. Michelle says

    Hi Amanda! I love your layered pie! And adding a bit of expresso makes chocolate so much better!

    Instead of graham crackers try using crushed Zwieback Toast some call it Zwieback Teething Biscuits. I think it has a much better flavor for crust and it's wonderful with cheese cake.

  13. Tiffiny Felix says

    What an impressive-looking pie, Amanda! I love things with layers because they look so awesome when cut :) Great job re-making the original recipe, too!

  14. lisaiscooking says

    Great job making this a homemade recipe! So much better than the version with all the packaged stuff. The espresso layer sound incredible.

  15. Amanda says

    Thank you Bridgett! Me too :)

    Thank you Dorie, you are always an inspiration to me :)

    Nutmeg – thanks, hope you enjoy it as much as we did ;)

    Michelle – good idea about the cookies!

    Tami – you need to love closer to me LOL

    Deeba – thanks! I haven't actually made pudding with the mix yet, but will be trying it this weekend ;)

    Marissa – Did you make it? I'm dying to know!

    Barbara – Thanks so much Barb!

    Kayte – You could probably ditch the chocolate and maybe replace it with a caramel layer Mmmmmm

    Thank you Sarah. Ingrid and Lana! :)

    Rachel – I hope you try it, I loved it!

    biz – thanks mamacita!

    Megan, Jelli, Sangeetha – thank you!

    Good idea about the Zwieback Michelle!

    Tealady, Frederica, Honey, Tiff and Lisa – thank you all!

  16. Kathleen says

    This pie looks out of this world delicious! This is my first visit to your blog. I plan to visit often. Thanks for sharing!!!

  17. Jamie says

    Great recipe and gorgeous pie! Saw this on Refrigerator Soup and hopped right over and printed it out. Yum! Thumbs up for me too!

  18. Jessica says

    This looks absolutely delicious! I'm not sure if it's the white frosting, but it has such a festive quality! I'm glad it passed your daughter's "approval test!"

  19. LDH says

    Oh, Amanda, I think I found a new friend! I have only read three of your posts and I love each one. Thank you for stopping by my place and for becoming a follower. I think I'll do the same :)

    Kindly, ldh

  20. Nina says

    Oh. My. Goodness. OUTSTANDING job, Amanda! Your own recipe–how fabulous! The pie is stunning and I'm sure its so delicious. I cannot WAIT to make this one. Will report back. Bravo!!

  21. Memória says

    Wow, this pie looks amazing! Thank you for the homemade pudding mix recipe. I will be using that all the time, especially since I have a big box of non-fat powdered milk in my kitchen. Lovely photos.


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