Home » Cakes & Pies » Chess Pie

Chess Pie

This Southern Chess Pie recipe is one you’re bound to return to over and over again. It’s sweet by design and made with pantry staples that turns ordinary ingredients into an extraordinary dessert.


Easy Chess Pie Recipe

What is Chess Pie and where did it originate? There are many stories surrounding the origin of the name of chess pie. It’s not written in stone that any of them are exact. There’s a common story noted by food historians that says, that someone was asked what was for dessert and they answered “jes pie”. The story goes, that it was supposedly misunderstood and translated to “chess pie”.  While it is a rather whimsical story, in my own personal research it seems very likely that the original chess pie actually contained ground chestnut meal as a binder. Over the years, that binding ingredient has been changed to a variety of other more commonly known stabilizers. Ingredients such as cornmeal, all purpose flour or corn starch could be used depending on the preference of the baker, as you’ll see reflected in my own recipe. Chess may indeed be derived from using chestnuts, although no one knows for sure. Regardless of the origin, we can all agree that Chess Pie is a delicious dessert option.


How to Make the Best Chess Pie Recipe

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Chess Pie: One 9 inch deep dish pie shell, large eggs, granulated sugar, yellow cornmeal, all purpose flour, melted butter, whole milk, vanilla extract, white distilled vinegar, whipped cream and powdered sugar for serving.
  • Kitchen tools you’ll need: One deep dish pie dish, medium bowl, small bowl (microwave safe for melting butter), measuring cups and spoons, whisk and pie weights or beans for par-baking the crust.
  • You can use a quality frozen pie shell for this recipe or a homemade crust. If you’d like to make your own checkout my Flaky Pie Crust recipe.
  • Allow the eggs time some counter time to warm to room temperature prior to adding them to the filling for the pie.
  • Chess Pie is delicious served simply with a dusting of powdered sugar and whipped cream. You can use Cool Whip or a private label brand or make your own whipped cream.
  • How do you make homemade whipped cream? Chill the bowl and beaters of a stand mixer or a hand mixer.  15 -20 minutes in the freezer works wonders. Add 1 pint (2 cups) of heavy cream to the chilled bowl, then beat on medium-high speed using a mixer. While beating, add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and then slowly drizzle in 1/4-1/3 cup granulated sugar. Be careful not to overbeat, beat just until stiff peaks form. Chill until serving.
  • Homemade sweetened whipped cream should be made the day you plan on serving it as it isn’t as staple as frozen whipped toppings.
  • Store baked Chess Pie chilled in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

More Southern Style Pie Recipes to Make

There’s a pie for any and every occasion. More pie recipes you may also like to try:


Thanks for visiting come back soon!


Helpful Kitchen Items:

Chess Pie

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time55 minutes
Cooling time4 hours
Total Time5 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chess-pie, chess-pie-recipes
Servings: 8 servings (may vary)
Calories: 488kcal


  • 1 9 inch deep dish pie crust
  • Filling:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp plain yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter melted
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • whipped cream and powdered sugar for dusting


  • To prepare the crust: Fit pie crust in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Fold edges under and crimp using the finger pinching technique. Line pastry with aluminum foil or parchment. Fill with dried beans or pie weights and bake at 425° for 5 minutes. Remove weights and foil; bake 2-3 more minutes or until golden. Cool.
  • To make the filling: In a medium size bowl whisk together sugar, cornmeal, flour, salt, melted butter, milk, white vinegar, and vanilla extract until fully blended. Add eggs, mix well. Pour into pie shell.
  • Place into a preheated 350°F oven baking for 50 to 55 minutes or until the center is set when gently shaken. Cover edges with aluminum foil after 20-30 minutes of baking to prevent over browning, if needed.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack then chill for at least 4 hours.
  • Slice and serve dusted with powdered sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 488kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 306mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 514IU | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!


  1. I made this pie and went with your directions to the letter. The pie did not set up. I do not know why. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. If you followed the recipe to the letter, it should have. I’m not sure I have a definitive answer as to why yours wouldn’t set-up. Make sure you measured all of the ingredients accurately.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating