Chocolate walnut pie recipe with a traditional derby pie variation with pecans - an easy and delicious gluten-free, grain-free treat.
I make chocolate walnut pie twice a year — for Thanksgiving and for the Kentucky Derby. I make it a little differently each time, and I've also made a more traditional derby pie version with pecans. Which, of course, resulted in a side-by-side taste test.
I have a hard time deciding which version I like better. They both deliver on that rich, sweet, chocolate nut flavor. The chocolate walnut version reminds me of brownies, and the pecan version tastes more like pecan pie.
In the pecan version, I also swapped out the vanilla for a splash of Kentucky bourbon, for a more traditional derby pie flavor. So while this version of the pie is not the original secret recipe, it is a delicious gluten-free, grain-free treat.
My husband usually requests the chocolate walnut version for Thanksgiving, but I think the pecan version may become our official derby day pie.
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Ingredients you'll need
Here's what you'll need for the chocolate walnut pie:
- prepared pie crust
- chopped walnuts
- cacao powder
- vanilla extract
- espresso powder
- sea salt
How to make it
- Pie crust: You'll need a prepared unbaked pie crust. You can use a purchased crust or your favorite pie crust recipe. I use my super simple pie crust made with almond flour. The method for making it is similar to making a graham cracker crust. You just stir together the ingredients and press it into a 9-inch pie plate - no need to roll out the pie dough!
- Filling: This filling is so easy to make! Just add the eggs, ghee, honey, cacao powder, vanilla extract, espresso powder, and salt to the blender and blend until smooth. (You can whisk it together in a bowl if you prefer.) Spread the chopped walnuts evenly across the bottom of the pie crust and pour the filling mixture over the nuts. Bake until it's just set in the center and cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
Variations and substitutions
- Walnuts: For the chocolate pecan version, substitute chopped pecans for the chopped walnuts and swap out the vanilla extract for bourbon.
- Cacao powder: You can also substitute cocoa powder for the cacao powder.
- Ghee: You can substitute unsalted butter for the ghee. Look for a good quality grass-fed butter.
- Chocolate chips: For an extra chocolatey version, sprinkle semisweet chocolate chips (these are gluten-free) over the nuts before adding the pie filling mixture.
There really is no substitute for the espresso powder in this recipe. It adds depth to the chocolate flavor, but if you can't find it I would substitute a little extra cacao powder or just omit it.
How to serve
This pie is best at room temperature. Serve it plain or with a spoonful of coconut whipped cream.
And of course, bake it in a pretty pie dish like this handmade ceramic one.
More paleo chocolate desserts
- Mexican Chocolate Avocado Mousse
- Easy Paleo Brownie Recipe
- Easy Dark Chocolate Pots de Creme
- 10 Chocolate Recipes Made with Cacao Powder
Chocolate Walnut Pie
- 1 prepared pie crust
- 1-¼ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup ghee
- ¾ cup honey
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or bourbon)
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9-inch pie crust and pre-bake for 10 minutes.
- Add all remaining ingredients, except walnuts, to blender and blend until smooth. Spread walnuts in bottom of pie crust and pour egg mixture over walnuts.
- Bake 30 - 35 minutes until just set in center. Cool completely before serving.
What is the purpose of the expresso powder? Can I use dandelion root tea or extra cocoa powder instead. I am allergic to coffee.
Hi Jessica, the espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor. You can substitute extra cacao powder.
Could I substitute coconut oil for ghee? Thanks.