Triple-Layer Pumpkin-Chocolate Pie

If you never imagined chocolate and pumpkin as great pie partners, this pie will surprise and delight you.

Photo of Triple-Layer Pumpkin Chocolate pie. Excerpted from Pie Academy © Ken Haedrich. Photo © Emulsion Studio.
Excerpted from Pie Academy © Ken Haedrich. Photo © Emulsion Studio.

Triple-Layer Pumpkin-Chocolate Pie has a “plain” pumpkin pie layer, a chocolate-pumpkin layer, and a sweetened sour cream layer on top. It’s the one pie my wife, Bev, must have every fall. You may feel the same once you’ve tried it. The recipe makes 8–10 servings, depending on how generous you are.


Use your choice of single-crust pie dough (there are several recipe options available in Pie Academy).

Filling Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 12 ounces full-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée, canned or fresh
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream


  1. Prepare and refrigerate the pie dough. Roll the dough into a 12 ½- to 13-inch circle and line a 9 to 9 ½-inch deep-dish pie pan with it, shaping the edge into an upstanding ridge. Flute or crimp the edge, chill the shell, and partially prebake at 375°F (190°C) for 25 minutes using the blind baking method.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the butter in the top insert of a double boiler set over, not in, barely simmering water. (Alter­natively, use a heatproof bowl, suspended by the sides of a saucepan, over barely simmering water.) When the butter is partially melted, add the chocolate. Heat until the chocolate has melted, then whisk to smooth. Remove the insert. Let the chocolate partially cool.
  3. Using an electric mixer (handheld is fine), cream the cream cheese on medium-high speed in a large bowl, gradually adding 1 ¼ cups of the sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt, and blend until evenly combined. Pour slightly less than half of the filling into a separate bowl and stir in the melted chocolate until evenly blended. Pour the chocolate filling into the cooled pie shell and gently shake the pan to settle the filling.
  4. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 20 minutes. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Carefully ladle the remaining plain pumpkin filling over the chocolate layer. Shake the pan gently to settle the filling. Bake for 35  to 40  minutes, until the pumpkin layer is set. When done, the perimeter of the filling will have puffed somewhat but not so much that it develops large cracks.
  6. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool until the filling settles and flattens out, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Combine the sour cream and the remaining ¼ cup sugar in a small saucepan over very low heat. Warm the mixture, stirring often, for 2 or 3 minutes. When the sour cream has thinned and is slightly warmer than body temperature, slowly pour it over the top of the pie. Immediately shake and tilt the pie so the topping spreads and fully covers the layer underneath. Cool thoroughly, then cover with loosely tented aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers right away.

Excerpted from Pie Academy © Ken Haedrich. Photo © Emulsion Studio.

Ken Haedrich

About the Author

Ken Haedrich is the author of more than a dozen cookbooks, including Pie Academy, The Harvest Baker, Maple Syrup Cookbook, and Home for the Holidays, a winner of the Julia Child Cookbook Award. Founder and “dean” of The Pie Academy, Haedrich is one of America’s most respected food writers and a recognized authority on baking — pies, in particular. His articles have appeared in many publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, and Bon Appétit. He can be found online at


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