This vegan chocolate chess pie is rich, fudgy, and impossible to resist! A secret ingredient gives it the same texture as the original version, without the eggs.
Chocolate chess pie is an old-fashioned Southern dessert that’s sweet, creamy, and rich. While the middle has a custard-like texture, the edges where the filling meets the crust bake up crisp and even a little bit chewy, kind of like a brownie.
Traditional chocolate chess pie contains sugar, cornmeal, eggs, cream or milk, and chocolate or cocoa. Unlike cakes and muffins, the eggs in a chess pie aren’t just there for binding and rise—they’re key to the silky, custardy texture. That means some of our go-to egg substitutes like flax seed just won’t cut it.
The solution? Aquafaba! If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s a fancy way of saying: the liquid from cooked chickpeas. You can drain it off of a can of chickpeas or cook chickpeas yourself and use that liquid. Either way, aquafaba is rich in protein and will help you make a perfect vegan chocolate chess pie.
Why Is It Called Chess Pie?
There are a variety of stories as to why this dessert is called chess pie, and no one can agree on the precise origin. Some food historians think it’s derived from cheese pie; others believe it’s derived from chest pie because it’s either stored in a pie chest or made with all of the ingredients in a chest (i.e., pantry).
In the South, the story goes that upon being asked what she was baking, a baker replied, “it’s just pie,” which sounded like, “it’s jes pie” in her Southern accent. This was misheard as “it’s chess pie” and the name stuck.
Notes on Ingredients
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Vegan pie dough – You can use store-bought or make my homemade vegan pie crust recipe.
- Vegan butter
- Non-dairy semi-sweet chocolate chips – Not all chocolate chips are vegan, so be sure to read the label.
- Aquafaba – Boil this until it is reduced to 1/3 cup.
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Dark unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder – Dutch cocoa powder has a smoother flavour than natural cocoa powder.
- Vegan whipped cream – Use my cashew whipped cream or coconut whipped cream, or buy vegan whipped cream at the grocery store.
- Vanilla ice cream – I have a recipe for vegan ice cream too!
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Chess Pie
If you don’t have time to make the whole recipe in one go, you can prepare the pie crust the day before and leave the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Place the pie dough onto a floured work surface and roll it into a large circle slightly bigger than the pie pan. Transfer the rolled out dough to your pie pan and fold or crimp the edges as desired.
Bake the crust. Use a fork to poke a few holes into the bottom of the pie crust. Line the pie crust with parchment paper and add pie weights or dried beans. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes.
Combine the butter and cocoa. Add the chocolate and butter to a small bowl and microwave in 10 second increments, stirring often. When the chocolate is smooth, remove the bowl from the microwave and continue to stir until the remaining chocolate fully melts.
Whip the aquafaba and sugar. Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to whip the aquafaba in a large bowl for 2 to 3 minutes on the highest setting until it’s foamy. Add the sugar and continue whisking until it has dissolved and the mixture resembles marshmallow fluff.
Finish mixing the wet ingredients. Add the melted butter and chocolate, along with the vanilla extract, and mix on medium speed to combine.
Mix the dry ingredients. Set a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Press the dry ingredients through the strainer into the bowl.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add all of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix together on the low setting until combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in any remaining batter.
Bake. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Pour the batter into the pie crust and bake for 55 minutes.
Serve. When the pie is done, serve it warm with vegan whipped cream or vegan vanilla ice cream.
Tips for Success
Here are some simple tips for a perfect vegan chocolate chess pie.
- Don’t skip reducing the aquafaba. This is super important for achieving the perfect custardy texture.
- Protect the edges. If the pie crust is browning too quickly in the oven, cover the edges with strips of foil for the remaining baking time.
- Bake until set. Just like with a traditional chess pie, this vegan chess pie will be set on the edges but still a bit jiggly in the middle when it’s done. The centre shouldn’t be liquid like hot lava, but instead be more like Jello when you gently jiggle the pan.
While I love this vegan chocolate chess pie with vegan whipped cream or vegan ice cream, you can also drizzle the top with caramel sauce for some added decadence. Fresh raspberries or strawberries are a delicious garnish too!
How to Store
Allow the pie to cool completely before storing. Place the cooled pie in an airtight container or cover the pan in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
Yes, you can freeze vegan chocolate chess pie for up to 2 months. Wrap it tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
More Vegan Desserts and Treats
Vegan Chocolate Chess Pie
- 1 Vegan Pie Dough uncooked (can use homemade or store-bought)
- ¼ Cup Vegan Butter 1⁄2 Stick (56 grams)
- ¼ Cup Non-Dairy Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 56 grams
- 1 Cup Aquafaba boiled and reduced down to 1/3 Cup (very important) (60 grams reduced)
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar 240 grams
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract 4 grams
- 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour 60 grams
- 1/3 Cup Dark Unsweetened Natural or Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder 33 grams
- ½ Teaspoon Salt 2 grams
- Vegan Whipped Cream
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Before starting this recipe, place the pie dough onto a floured clean kitchen surface and roll it out into a large circle just bigger than the pie pan. Place and shape the pie dough into a pie pan. Cut and fold or crimp the edges to your liking.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Use a fork to poke a few holes into the bottom of the pie crust. Place parchment into the pie dough and use pie weights or dried beans to weigh down the parchment onto the crust. Place the pie crust in the oven and partially bake it for 15 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, place the chocolate and butter together in a small bowl and microwave in 10 second increments, stirring often. When the chocolate is mostly melted, remove the bowl from the microwave and keep stirring until all remaining chocolate fully melts. Set aside to cool.
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, add the reduced aquafaba to a large bowl and whisk for 2 – 3 minutes on the highest setting until very foamy.
- Add in the sugar and keep whisking until it has fully dissolved into the aquafaba. This may take another 2 – 3 minutes. The mixture will be fluffy and resemble marshmallow fluff when done. Scrape the sides of the bowl down to make sure all sugar is fully incorporated.
- Add in the melted butter and chocolate, and vanilla extract and whisk on medium speed to combine.
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients through the strainer and into the bowl. Press down any large remaining clumps of flour or cocoa powder until all dry ingredients are fully sifted through the strainer.
- Add all of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk together on the low setting. When the ingredients appear to be whisked together fully, remove the whisk from the bowl and use a rubber spatula to fold in any remaining batter on the bottom that may not have mixed fully.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Pour the batter into the partially baked pie crust and bake for 55 minutes. When the pie is done, serve it warm with vegan whipped cream or vegan vanilla ice cream and enjoy! Place any leftovers in an airtight food safe container or cover the cooled pie pan in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for up to 3 days.