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A slice of old fashioned chocolate meringue pie on a white serving plate.

Chocolate Meringue Pie

Old-fashioned chocolate meringue pie with its rich chocolate filling is the ultimate chocolate lovers' indulgence perfect for any occasion.
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 358kcal


  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 9-inch pie shell baked and cooled


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the 3 egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, salt, and cornstarch. Stir in about one cup of the milk.
  • Place the saucepan over medium high heat and with a large whisk, gradually add the remaining 2 cup milk, whisking constantly until well blended.
  • Bring to a low boil. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  • Add a small amount of the hot mixture to the egg yolks, stirring well, then add the egg mixture back to the cocoa mixture in the saucepan.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the cooked, cooled pie shell. (Note: the chocolate mixture should be somewhat thickened but will finish setting up as the pie cools.)
  • Add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the ¼ cup sugar. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the meringue immediately on the hot filling and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown on top.


  • Storing your pie: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I recommend a sealable container rather than plastic wrap because the wrap will stick to the meringue. When it comes to freezing meringue pies, I don't recommend it. The texture of a meringue changes dramatically when frozen becoming tough and rubbery. If, however, you don't mind a tough, rubbery meringue go right ahead and freeze your pie. Wrap it well and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
  • Making meringue: The eggs need to be at room temperature to get the most volume possible when making meringue. Before starting to beat egg whites, make sure that the bowl and beaters you are using are scrupulously clean. Even the smallest amount of fat, oil, or yolk in the bowl will prevent the egg whites from beating correctly. If you happen to get a tiny bit of yolk into the whites when separating the eggs, you'll simply have to throw those out and start over. They'll never whip up into a meringue.
Why is my pie watery? Occasionally, you may find a watery layer between the filling and topping of any meringue pie. This is referred to as "weeping." It can occur if the filling is not hot when the meringue is placed on top of it. The meringue needs the heat from a hot filling to cook its underside while the oven cooks the top. To avoid weeping, make sure your filling is hot when you add the meringue and that you put the pie directly into the oven to bake.
How long does it take for egg whites to form stiff peaks? When using an electric mixer, it usually takes about 4-5 minutes for egg whites to create stiff peaks. If beating by hand with a whisk, it only takes slightly longer. For best results, use a stainless steel or copper bowl when beating a meringue.
What sugar is best to use for making a meringue? I'm old fashioned so I've always used plain old white sugar. However, you can use powdered sugar if you like. 1 ¾ cups of powdered sugar equals 1 cup white granulated sugar.
What are those little beads that sometimes form on top of a cooked meringue? That's actually sugar syrup that has seeped out during the cooking. It's quite typical to see beading on more rustic, country style pies and it does not bother me in the least. If you insist on having a perfect meringue with no sugar beads on top, you'll need to try something like an Italian meringue that requires more steps and is stabilized to prevent beading. I kinda like the little beads myself :-)


Serving: 1g | Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 214mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g