French Silk Pie Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 40 min. Cook: 10 min. + chilling
French silk pie combines the light texture of chocolate mousse with the delicate crunch of flaky pastry in every bite.

Updated: Mar. 04, 2024

Even if you don’t know the origins of this pie, we suspect that the mere phrase “French silk pie” would conjure an image of a smooth, luxurious dessert that’s as rich as it is light. If you’re picturing a chocolatey mousse cradled inside a delicate crust, perhaps topped with whipped cream and garnished with curls of extra chocolate, you’re right on the money.

Biting into a slice of French silk pie feels decadent, yet without the hefty weight of a pecan or pumpkin pie. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the best pie recipes ever, and it’s easier to make than you might guess.

What is French silk pie?

French Silk Pie in a steel pie plate on white painted wooden surfaceTMB Studio

Despite its name, French silk chocolate pie has American roots. It earned a place in the pie canon when a Maryland cook entered it in Pillsbury’s Bake-Off Contest in 1951. Over the years, variations of the original have been dubbed “chocolate silk pie,” “chocolate satin pie,” “silk and satin chocolate pie” and “satin silk pie” by other pie companies and bakers. For a time, it fell out of fashion because the original recipe called for raw eggs. This version of the vintage pie recipe addresses food safety concerns by heating the eggs, putting the pie back on the must-make list.

There are two things that set French silk pie apart from other chocolate pies: its light pastry crust and the airy, mousse-like filling. Although some people prefer to swap in a crumb crust—especially one that doubles down on the flavor by using crumb crust ingredients like chocolate cookies—a delicate pastry that balances the smooth filling is a hallmark of the classic recipe. A chocolate cream pie filling can be nearly as smooth as a silk one, but it has a denser consistency, almost like a pudding.

French Silk Pie Ingredients

  • Refrigerated pie crust: Some refrigerated premade pie crust comes in precut circles of dough, typically sized for a 9-inch pie plate, that can be recut and rolled to any size you like. In this recipe, you’ll start with a half-circle, and roll it out until it’s roughly circular again. That way, you create a smaller, thinner crust—in this case, for a 7-inch pie pan.
  • Eggs: Cooking eggs in desserts to 160°F reduces the risk of salmonella and other foodborne illnesses. You can substitute pasteurized eggs, which have been heated to a temperature that kills the bacteria, and heat the filling just enough to incorporate the chocolate. Either way, you want to use fresh eggs. Here’s how to tell if your eggs are bad.
  • Melted unsweetened chocolate: Regarding types of chocolate for baking, unsweetened chocolate has no added sugar, so it’s too bitter for eating on its own but perfect for sweetened desserts. Melting the chocolate into the sugar and egg makes it smooth and overrides the bitterness.
  • Heavy whipping cream: Folding whipped heavy cream into this pie increases its airiness. Combine it slowly into the chocolate to keep the filling light and fluffy.


Step 1: Shape the crust

A person's hands roll out dough with a rolling pin on a marble surfaceTMB Studio

Preheat the oven to 450°. Cut the pie crust in half, repackaging and refrigerating the other half for another use, like one of our quiche recipes. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining half-crust into an 8-inch circle.

a person's hands flute the edges of pie crustTMB Studio

Transfer it to a 7-inch pie plate, and flute the edge.

Editor’s Tip: While a fluted edge is the most traditional, here’s how to make decorative pie crusts for any sweet or savory pie.

Step 2: Blind bake the crust

a person's hands holding pie crust with dried beans in foil paper on itTMB Studio

Line the crust with a double layer of heavy-duty foil filled with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for four minutes. Remove the foil, and bake for two minutes longer, until the crust is golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Editor’s Tip: Every home baker should learn how to blind bake a pie crust. It comes in handy for everything from custard or no-bake pies to delicious quiche recipes.

Step 3: Combine the eggs and chocolate

mixing sugar and eggs in a saucepan , marble backgroundTMB Studio

In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and eggs until well blended. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 160° on an instant-read thermometer and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat.

pouring chocolate into a saucepan filled with sugar syrup, marble backgroundTMB Studio

Stir the melted chocolate and vanilla into the eggs until smooth. Continue stirring occasionally as the mixture cools to 90°.

Editor’s Tip: Here’s how to melt chocolate to a perfect consistency.

Step 4: Beat the filling

pouring melted chocolate into a large white bowl , marble backgroundTMB Studio

In a bowl, cream the butter for three to four minutes, until pale and fluffy. Add the cooled chocolate mixture, and beat on high speed for five minutes, until light and fluffy.

Editor’s Tip: A hand mixer or stand mixer with beaters or a paddle attachment makes it easy to cream the butter and whip the eggs. Switch from a paddle to a whisk attachment to form the heavy cream into stiff peaks.

Step 5: Whip and fold in the cream

a hand mixer with large glass bowl filled with milk, marble backgroundTMB Studio

In a separate large bowl, beat the cream until it begins to thicken. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

pouring whipped cream into a bowl of chocolate mixture, marble backgroundTMB Studio

Using a flexible spatula, fold the whipped cream slowly and gently into the chocolate mixture until just combined.

Step 6: Fill and chill the pie

pouring chocolate mixture into a pie crust, marble backgroundTMB Studio

Pour the filling into crust, smoothing the surface evenly. Cover the pie with loose-fitting foil, or enclose it in a pie container. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving.

smoothing the whipped cream on french silk pie, marble backgroundTMB Studio

Garnish the pie with additional whipped cream and chocolate curls if desired.

Garnishing French Silk Pie with chocolate curls, marble backgroundTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Homemade pie pastry: Switching to a homemade pastry can bring an even lighter touch to this pie. Try a pastry for single-crust pie with shortening for a tender base, or a richer, flakier classic butter pie pastry. For a gluten-free pie, consider an almond flour pie crust.
  • Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate typically has a higher percentage of cacao than other varieties. It can be melted into this recipe without making the pie overly sweet.
  • Crumb crust: Although not traditional, crumb crust ingredients like chocolate-flavored wafers, graham crackers or cookies can double the chocolate in this pie. Crumbs also give you the option of a no-bake crust.
  • Baker’s choice topping: You can easily make chocolate curls, but they’re not essential to the texture or flavor of this pie. Leave them off, or replace them with grated chocolate, mini chocolate chips or chopped toasted nuts. Little dollops of whipped cream that support fresh raspberries or cherries can add a decorative, complementary flavor.

How long does French silk pie last?

Chocolate silk pie needs to be refrigerated, even after it has fully set. When stored in a pie container or covered loosely, it will keep for three to four days in the fridge.

Can you freeze French silk pie?

You can make this pie last even longer by freezing it. This is best done before you add the whipped cream and any other garnish. Wrap the chilled pie tightly in plastic wrap, then foil, and store it in the freezer for up to three months. Let it thaw completely in the refrigerator, and serve cold.

French Silk Pie Tips

French Silk Pie in a steel pie plate on white painted wooden surfaceTMB Studio

Can I make a larger French silk pie?

Many pie plates are 9 inches in diameter, so you’ll need more crust and filling to make a larger chocolate silk pie. For a deep-dish 9-inch or a standard 10-inch pie plate, roll out an entire sheet of refrigerated pie crust or homemade single-crust dough, and double the filling. One sheet of refrigerated pie crust will unfold and slide neatly into a standard 9-inch plate, but doubling the filling may leave you with a little extra. Simply pour the bonus filling into a bowl, refrigerate it for at least two hours, until set, then enjoy it like other mousse recipes.

How do I keep French silk pie from becoming too dense?

An airy, silky chocolate pie can get dense if you rush the creaming, whipping and folding steps. Creaming butter until it is pale and fluffy can take several minutes, especially if you’re mixing it by hand. Also, when whipping the heavy cream, take enough time so stiff peaks form, but avoid beating it for so long that it becomes butter. And don’t forget to chill the beaters and bowl to help the cream set up more quickly (here are other tips on how to make whipped cream). Finally, fold the whipped cream slowly into the chocolate so that it doesn’t deflate and become heavy. Stop folding as soon as the dark and light streaks disappear.

Watch how to Make French Silk Pie

French Silk Pie

Prep Time 40 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 6 servings.


  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
  • Optional: Whipped cream and chocolate curls


  1. Cut pie crust in half. Repackage and refrigerate 1 half for another use. On a lightly floured surface, roll out remaining half into an 8-in. circle. Transfer to a 7-in. pie plate; flute edge.
  2. Line crust with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450° for 4 minutes. Remove foil; bake until crust is golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and eggs until well blended. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 160° and coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from the heat. Stir in chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Cool to lukewarm (90°), stirring occasionally.
  4. In a small bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture; beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  5. In another large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture.
  6. Pour into crust. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 463 calories, 33g fat (19g saturated fat), 124mg cholesterol, 202mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

I first made French silk pie when I was in high school. Years later, I tinkered with the recipe until I was happy with it. Now it’s one of my husband's favorites. —Lisa Francis, Elba, Alabama