The Classic French Silk Pie is a rich, luscious, and unforgettable chocolate dessert. You’ll become a fan after only one bite. Guaranteed!

I fell madly in love with this Chocolate Silk Pie as a teen. But until I made my own from scratch, I didn’t realize how truly exquisite it truly was.

Overhead view of a French Silk Pie slice on a plate with a red handled fork.

Why You Must Make

  • I was introduced to French silk pie as a reward for behaving on family shopping trips. It worked!
  • If you like chocolate, this is the richest, silkiest chocolate pie you’ll ever taste!
  • It’s the perfect special occasion dessert. It’s frequently on our holiday table.

My mom loved to shop. It must be genetic. A few weekends a year, the family would pile in our Plymouth Satellite station wagon, without a radio or even seat belts, and drive the 30+ miles to the big metropolis of Des Moines, Iowa for a little retail therapy. After stops at the art museum, Pier One, and the downtown Younkers department store, we were rewarded with a slice of Baker’s Square pie. My selection was always French silk!

Classic French Silk Pie overhead view.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Kitchen Staples – Sugar, Real Vanilla Extract, Eggs, Powdered Sugar
  • Unsweetened Chocolate – Use a decent brand for the best flavor. I use Ghirardelli bars.
  • Real Vanilla Extract – Make sure it’s marked real vanilla. Do not use imitation vanilla.
  • Butter – Salted butter is fine. Salt is a flavor enhancer and the pie won’t taste salty with the amount of salt in salted butter.
  • Heavy Cream – Your whipping cream should be at least 36% butterfat.
  • Whip-It – This is a whipped cream stabilizer. It prevents whipped cream from separating and is nice to use in whipped cream that’s piped on a pie for garnishing. An alternative for stabilizing whipped cream is to sweeten it with powdered sugar. The cornstarch in powdered sugar helps keep the whipped cream stable.
  • Chocolate Curls – Find my favorite technique for making in this recipe post.
  • 9-inch Pastry CrustHomemade pie crust is best, but you can always use store-bought pie dough or crust. Bake before filling.

How to Make

Watching the original Martha Stewart cooking show years ago, I became totally engaged when I saw her prepare a classic French silk pie. Finally, a version made with real butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate, and vanilla. The results were heavenly!

  1. Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment so you don’t whip too much air into the filling.
  2. Cream butter and sugar for about 2 minutes, till light and fluffy.
  3. With the mixer running, gradually add the melted chocolate and the vanilla.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed for 5 minutes after each addition. It’s worth the wait.
  5. Scrape the filling into a baked pie shell. Make sure to chill for at least 4 hours so the filling firms up.
  6. Before serving, whip the cream. Sweeten with powdered sugar if desire. If you want to pipe some swirls of whipped cream to garnish, you way want to add an envelope of Whip-It to the cream. it will stabilize the whipped cream so it doesn’t separate.
  7. Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired. Slice, serve, and prepare for swooning!!!
A slice of Classic French Silk Pie on a plate with a red handled fork.

Expert Tips

This decadent chocolate pie has a few simple ingredients, so it’s imperative that you use top-quality ingredients. No margarine, just pure dairy butter, good quality chocolate, and the best pastry crust you can muster.

  • PRO-Tip: The eggs are not cooked in this dessert so use caution and don’t serve it to small children, the elderly, or anyone who is immune compromised unless you use pasteurized eggs.
  • Salmonella, a food-borne illness, is often spread via uncooked eggs. So it’s best not to serve this to anyone at risk.
  • Pro-Tip: Use a European butter if you’d like a real treat! The amount of butterfat is slightly higher.
  • Pro-Tip: Have your butter at room temperature so it becomes light and fluffy when beaten.
  • Pro-Tip: Have your eggs at room temperature for easier incorporation.
  • Don’t use inexpensive sweetened chocolate. Ghirardelli is fine, but generic brands may not give the best results.
  • If you’re comfortable making pie crust, a homemade crust made with at least part real butter is a phenomenal base for this French silk pie.
  • Keep this pie refrigerated.
  • To serve, you may like to garnish with chocolate curls and piped whipped cream rosettes. I stabilize the cream by adding Whip It, so it keeps its shape.
  • Alternatively, you can pass whipped cream with a slice of pie or spread whipped cream all over the top of the pie (my go-to method when serving this pie to my family).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a French Silk Pie?

A French Silk Pie is a rich, silky chocolate pie nestled in a pastry shell or graham cracker crust. It’s often topped with whipped cream.

Why is it Called French Silk?

The super-rich, smooth and silky chocolate filling inspired the name. This is an American pie, though, not French.

Where Did the French Silk Pie Originate?

It was an entry in the 3rd annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1951.

How Long Does a French Silk Pie Keep?

If not left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours, a French Silk Pie will keep well for 3-4 days. If a whipped cream topping used, it’s best to stabilize the cream with powdered sugar or Whip-It cream stabilizer so it doesn’t separate.
An alternative is to serve with whipped cream on the side. A dollop can be added to each slice.

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French Silk Pie | The most decadent, dreamy chocolate pie you'll ever eat!

Classic French Silk Pie Recipe

Prep Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Yield 8 servings

A recipe for Classic French Silk Pie, a dreamy chocolate pie topped with whipped cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 baked 9-inch pastry shell, cooled
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • A few tablespoons of powdered sugar to sweeten the cream, optional
  • 1 package Whip-It to stabilize the cream, optional
  • Chocolate curls or shavings, to garnish if desired

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar for about 2 minutes, till light and fluffy.
  2. With the mixer running, gradually add the melted chocolate and the vanilla.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating at medium speed for 5 minutes after each addition.
  4. Pour filling into cooled crust. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 4 hours.
  5. Before serving, whip one cup of heavy cream, adding sugar and vanilla to taste. Add an envelope of Whip-It to stabilize the cream if you want to pipe the whipped cream on top of the pie.
  6. Garnish with chocolate shavings if desired.

Notes

Adapted from Jean Webster via the Martha Stewart website.

Total time does not include chilling time.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 76mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 6g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com 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 thatskinnychickcanbake.com 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 thatskinnychickcanbake.com 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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