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With a flaky, buttery crust and rich filling, this Kentucky Chocolate Walnut Pie is a state favorite, especially on Derby Day! It’s amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side!

How can you say no to a dessert that is chock full of chocolate chips? If you love chocolate chip desserts, try making a Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie! Or go with a classic and make our best ever soft & chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies!

A slice of Kentucky Derby Day Pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top.

There is a very famous pie associated with the great state of Kentucky and specifically, the Kentucky Derby known as Derby Pie. I knew I had to try it for my American Eats series, where I’m working my way through some of the most popular recipes for each state, one state at a time, even though I had also already made Kentucky butter cake as a dessert to represent Kentucky. One can never have too many dessert recipes representing one’s state, right?

This is not quite the famous derby pie, which as I understand it, is a super-secret recipe that typically contains bourbon and possibly pecans in place of walnuts (I kept finding recipes that disagreed on this point so if someone has reliable intelligence on this, I’m all ears).

A slice of Kentucky Chocolate Walnut Pie on a dessert plate.

The elements of chocolate chips and nuts combine with an easy-to-whip-up filling that get poured into a pie crust and bakes into a chewy, gooey, toffee/butterscotch-esque layer with a crackly top that seem to come close to what a derby pie is actually like.

When I get the chance to go to Kentucky, I’ll do some reconnaissance work and see how similar they really are. Or if you happen to be from Kentucky and have particular insight, I would love if you would drop your wisdom in the comments below!

If you love pecan pie and chocolate chip cookies, this is the pie for you! It sort of straddles the line between those two desserts in a fabulous way!

A Kentucky chocolate walnut pie with four slices cut into it.

How to make Kentucky chocolate walnut pie

  1. Start by making and rolling out a pie crust to line 9-inch pie plate (affiliate link). Trim and crimp the edges for a decorative finish.
  2. Chop nuts and sprinkle them into the crust with the chocolate chips.
An unbaked pie crust filled with chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.
  1. Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl, then pour this directly over the chocolate chips and walnuts into the pie crust. It has a thick but runny that will seep around the chips and nuts, filling in the gaps.
  1. Bake the pie for 50 to 60 minutes until it is looking set on top. It shouldn’t jiggle and the top should lose it’s “wet” look and have a slightly crusted over appearance.
  2. Let it cool for 2 hours before slicing.
A whole chocolate chip walnut pie on a white surface next to a grey cloth napkin and pie server.

Tips for Chocolate Walnut Pie

  • Homemade vs. store-bought crust. I prefer this homemade pie crust which you can make ahead and keep in the freezer so you always have a pie crust on hand ready to go. But you can use a store-bought crust to make this a super quick and easy to make pie if pie crusts are intimidating to you.
  • Have patience! Let the pie cool completely before cutting into it! The filling takes a while to set up all the way and cutting into it too early will result in soupy slices that won’t transfer to a plate very well at all.
  • Change up the nuts (or leave them out!) Feel free to switch up the chips and nuts if you like! You could use dark or milk chocolate chips in place of semi-sweet, or pecans, macadamia nuts, or even almonds in place of the walnuts for a different result based on your personal preference! Or if you have nut allergies, this pie could be made without the nuts entirely.
A slice of Kentucky Chocolate Walnut Pie on a dessert plate with forks nearby and chocolate chips and walnuts sprinkled around.

Don’t just wait for the Kentucky Derby to make this pie each year! It’s a great every-day (well, maybe not EVERY day, but you know what I mean) kind of dessert because it’s so easy to make.

You might even want to think about adding it to part of your Thanksgiving dessert line-up for something a little different from the norm!

A side-angle image of a slice of Kentucky Chocolate Walnut Pie on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.

More pie recipes you’ll love

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A slice of Kentucky Derby Day Pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top.
Yield: 8-10 servings

Kentucky Chocolate Walnut Pie

With a flaky, buttery crust and rich filling, this Kentucky Chocolate Walnut Pie is a state favorite, especially on Derby Day! It's amazing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare and roll out a pie crust, then transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and crimp the edges of the crust.
  2. Add the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips to the pie shell.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt, then pour into the pie crust over the chocolate chips and nuts.
  4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the pie is looking set and doesn't jiggle on top. You may need to cover the edges of the crust with a pie guard or foil if it is browning too much before the middle looks done.
  5. Cool for 2 hours before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 460Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 3gSugar: 36gProtein: 6g

Curious about foods from other states in my American Eats series? Check them out below!

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaOregonPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaTexas