This Chocolate Pecan Pie is a twist on an iconic Derby Day indulgence. No ordinary pecan pie recipe since adding chocolate chips & bourbon kick it up a notch!

A Kentucky Derby Pie is traditionally made with walnuts, but you’ll get no complaints whether you dish up my version for one of the Triple Crown races or save it for a family gathering.

Overhead view of a slice of derby pie topped with whipped cream and a pecan on a white dessert plate

Why You Must Make

  • Whether you use walnuts or pecans, this may be the most decadent and delicious pie you’ll ever bake!
  • If you adore a pecan pie, just imagine a version with chocolate chips in the filling. Sold yet?
  • If you’re having a Derby party, this is perfect for your menu.

Expert Tips

  • PRO-Tip: Bourbon, like any alcohol used in cooking, is a flavor enhancer. Kentucky bourbon is always preferred, but any decent bourbon will do! Feel free to omit it if that’s your preference.
  • As I’ve mentioned, this is a super-rich, highly caloric dessert. Even though the standard pie serves 8, you can easily cut much smaller slices. Folks can always have seconds!
  • PRO-Tip: If you’d like a traditional Derby pie, substitute walnuts for the pecans. And don’t skip the bourbon!
  • PRO-Tip: Toast your nuts before chopping. Toasting brings out their natural, essential oils helping to enhance their flavor and texture. Just watch carefully so they don’t burn.
  • Toasting whole pecans will take about 10 minutes in a 350° oven, checking and stirring every 3-4 minutes. They can also be toasted over medium heat in a nongreased saute pan. Again, watch carefully, and stir occasionally. You will know they’re done when you smell a nutty aroma and there’s a subtle darkening of their color.
  • Serve each slice with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream or even vanilla ice cream. Garnish the whipped cream with a half pecan, and chocolate shavings or chocolate chips if desired. If you want to go the extra mile, add a touch of bourbon to the whipping cream, along with some vanilla extract to make an ultra-delicious topping.
Side view of whole, uncut chocolate pecan pie recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Kentucky Derby Pie?

Derby pie is the trademarked name of a pie that’s associated with the Kentucky Derby, the first of 3 horse races that make up the Triple Crown. The recipe was developed by George Kern in 1950 to serve in his family’s restaurant, the Melrose Inn, located in Kentucky.

What’s in a Derby Pie Recipe?

A traditional Derby Pie is made of walnuts, chocolate chips, corn syrup, granulated white and brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, flour, bourbon, vanilla, and salt, all mixed together and baked in a pastry crust. Feel free to use walnuts instead of pecans for an authentic version.

How Long Do You Need to Wait Before Slicing a Derby Pie?

Your pie must cool completely before slicing it. Feel the bottom of the pie pan and if you detect any warmth, cool longer before serving. Placing your pie on a rack allows air to circulate under the pie allowing the heat of the pie to dissipate from both the top and the bottom.

How Do You Store a Chocolate Pecan Pie?

You can store your Derby Pie at room temperature for up to 5 days. After that, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

What Do You Serve with a Derby Pie?

Serve your Derby Pie at room temperature, with a dollop of whipped cream. If you prefer vanilla ice cream, you can also add some chocolate, fudge or caramel sauce. For the full Kentucky Derby experience, stock your bar with ingredients to make mint juleps!

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Slice of derby pie on a dessert plate topped with whipped cream and a pecan

Kentucky Derby Chocolate Pecan Pie

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Additional Time 4 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Yield 8

A twist on the classic Derby Pie using pecans instead of walnuts!


  • One homemade or storebought pie crust, unbaked
  • 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon, Kentucky if available
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½teaspoon salt
  • Sweetened whipped cream, pecan halves and/or chocolate shavings to garnish if desired.


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°.
  2. Fit the rolled-out pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp the edges.
  3. Sprinkle the pecans and chocolate chips over the bottom of the crust and set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, whisk together the corn syrup, sugar, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil and whisk frequently until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
  5. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter, flour, bourbon, and vanilla.
  6. While whisking continuously, drizzle about 1/2 cup of the hot syrup mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until incorporated.
  7. Whisk in the rest of the hot syrup and mix until smooth.
  8. Pour the filling over the pecans and chocolate chips.
  9. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until the edges are set, but the center still jiggles when you nudge the pie plate.
  10. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  11. Serve slices of pie with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and garnish with a pecan half, chocolate chips, or curls.


May substitute walnuts for a traditional Derby Pie recipe.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

I slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 665Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 336mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 4gSugar: 70gProtein: 8g occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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