Mayan Dark Chocolate Pie


My dad isn’t really into cake, preferring pie on special occasions like father’s day and his birthday. Growing up, that meant whipping up a banana “cream” pie and a chocolate pie (yes, he liked a slice of each!) at least a couple of times a year. Both used just a simple pudding filling, but he was in heaven.

Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free LivingThese days, pie is still on the menu, but I make it dairy-free and gluten-free, and he now prefer recipes like this dark chocolate pie that use less sugar and are packed with flavorful goodness. I definitely concur.

This recipe was created by Shandi of Not Perfectly Paleo and shared with us by So Delicious Dairy Free. Unlike many chocolate desserts, this dark chocolate pie contains more cocoa than sweetener – a dream for chocoholics who like a deep, rich flavor. The cayenne in this recipe is what gives it a passionate Mayan heat, but you can tone it down or omit it altogether for a simple dark chocolate pie.

Mayan Dark Chocolate Pie: Vegan & Gluten-Free

For a richer, thicker flavor, coconut milk beverage is used in the filling. It isn’t as watery as rice milk, acting more like a 2% milk – perfect for making pudding! And overall, this dark chocolate pie comes together quite easily…

Mayan Dark Chocolate Pie: Vegan & Gluten-Free

Pressed pie crust (no rolling required!)

Mayan Dark Chocolate Pie: Vegan & Gluten-Free

Filled with a cooked, thickened pudding (just prior to baking)

Mayan Dark Chocolate Pie: Vegan & Gluten-Free

Beautiful dark chocolate crackles after baking – dig in!

Mayan Dark Chocolate Pie
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This dark chocolate pie recipe was created by Shandi of Not Perfectly Paleo for So Delicious Dairy Free.
Serves: 1 9-inch pie
Pie Crust:
Pie Filling:
  • 2 cups vanilla coconut milk beverage (such as So Delicious Dairy Free Vanilla)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup agave nectar (can sub maple syrup, if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (for some noticeable heat, use the full ¼ teaspoon)
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ⅓ cup cold water
To Make the Pie Crust:
  1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF.
  2. Combine all of the pie crust ingredients in a bowl, and mix thoroughly with a fork until crumbly.
  3. Mash the dough together (with your hands) until it is thoroughly kneaded together and you can form it into a rough ball (it may still be a little crumbly).
  4. Place the ball in a greased 9-inch pie plate. Using your fingers patiently mash the crust down until it completely and evenly covers the entire pie plate. Set aside while you make the filling.
To Make the Pie Filling:
  1. Combine the coconut milk beverage, cocoa, sweetener, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the cocoa is dissolved and the mixture comes to a slow boil.
  2. Add the cayenne and stir thoroughly.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch in the cold water until dissolved. Briskly whisk the mixture into your saucepan.
  4. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook, while whisking for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the pudding becomes thick and heavy.
  5. Pour the pudding into your prepared pie crust, smoothing it out as needed.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top of the pie becomes dark and crater like.
  7. Allow the pie to cool off for an hour or two before serving with dairy-free ice cream or fresh fruit, if desired.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. This looks amazing but along with my dairy allergy I also have a coconut allergy which makes desserts hard for me. Is there a way to sub anything else in for the coconut here??

    • Yes! There is. In the crust, omit the coconut flour and the milk beverage. Add more almond flour or another flour until it reaches a crumbly consistency that sticks together a bit when you pinch it with your fingers.
      In the filling, simply swap in your favorite dairy-free vanilla milk beverage. It isn’t essential that you use a coconut one. Keep in mind though that milk beverages with protein added tend to thicken aggressively and can sometimes clump. I prefer to use a milk beverage with few to no additives.

  2. How about giving a substitute for the cornstarch as in the past it was recommended to avoid it, and now it’s GMO.
    And agave is not good.

    • I use non-GMO cornstarch like Bob’s Red Mill or Frontier, Jennifer. If you don’t approve of non-GMO or organic cornstarch, then you can swap in arrowroot starch. As for the agave, feel free to substitute your liquid sweetener of choice. I would recommend maple if you want to keep it strictly vegan.

  3. Pingback: Best coconut flour recipes - Hedi Hearts

  4. Hi! I loved how this pie looks and want to try making it this weekend. Can i substitute the agave for normal honey? What about stevia? If so, how much stevia for the same sweetnes as the original recepie? Thank you!

    • Hi Isabella – agave, yes. That will work fine. However, stevia would alter the recipe quite a bit, so I couldn’t give a simple swap. It would change the taste, quantity and consistency.

  5. Turned out great! Plus, now I have a good pudding recipe! My local store doesn’t stock the soy pudding anymore I had been buying for my son’s lunches. Now I can make batches of this recipe and put in small containers for him to take to school. Thanks!

  6. Problem solved. Thought I would post in case anyone else has the problem of the filling not thickening. I did end up adding a bit more cornstarch mixed with water, but that didn’t help, and I finally realized the problem was that my stove (electric) was not hot enough. When the recipe says “medium heat” mine should have been set at medium-high, and when the recipe says “low,” mine should have been “medium.” As soon as I turned up the heat, the filling thickened to a pudding consistency. The pie was a big hit for my husband’s birthday. Next time, I will tweak the crust; I thought it could have used some sweetness.

  7. Making this pie as I type. The filling is not getting thick. I’m a proficient baker and have checked the recipe three times to make sure I didn’t miss something. The filling is still runny after whisking 10 minutes over low heat. I’m going to try adding more cornstarch but was just wondering if you’ve had this happen or could hazard a guess. I used the So Delicious vanilla coconut milk from the refrigerated aisle.

  8. Hi, I have a toddler that has a diary allergy and am looking for a good recipe for chocolate cake for her birthday. She is two years old.

  9. Made this pie this morning for our dinner dessert………….was very disappointed as it was the consistency of marshmallows – not very sweet, etc. So wasn’t sure if the gummy texture was due to the fact I had used tapioca starch instead of corn starch or what. We did laugh over it – hubby said it might make good tires but he said it just needed to be tweaked a little……….so help……..I was all ready for some chocolate yumminess and didn’t get that.

    • Dee, it could have been the difference in starches. This is really a pretty basic chocolate pudding recipe, so that result is a bit surprising. I’ve notified Shandi to see if she has any further tips.

    • I am so sorry the pie didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. When I was working this recipe my intention was to create something like dark chocolate with spice, therefore, very little sweetness so you did nothing wrong there. 🙂 You could easily double the amount of honey if you wanted a sweeter pie. As for the tapioca starch, I purposefully avoided it in this as tapioca tends towards a gummier texture. However, the texture is quite heavy even with the cornstarch as it is a very rich thick pie. I hope this helps!

  10. Hi there
    I am looking for recipes for a wedding cake, this looks awesome
    Do you think I can use it as filling between the layers of chocolate cake?
    Not sure about the consistency,, do you think I can pour it over the batter of he cake I am making and bake together, or bake separately and sandwich?
    Does the mixture become more runny when at room temperature, or does it keep its shape?
    Thanks so much for your time!

    • Hello Kim. When I made this recipe I used cornstarch because I wasn’t sure anything else would create the consistency I wanted, however, as I avoid all starches in my diet I had forgotten exactly how thickening corn starch was and the result was…thick, very thick. I had even contemplated cutting back on the cornstarch but I loved how heavy it was. So, is it runny at room temperature? Not in the least. Could you pour it over a batter? I wouldn’t risk it as it is fairly heavy and likely to sink and mix with your batter. I would use a sandwich technique instead. This will most definitely keep its shape. Good luck and mazel tov!

  11. Can I grind up organic, unsweetened shredded coconut into coconut flout?
    I am new at this a little and am trying to eat no dairy/gluten as I am sensitive to both and things are very hard to find where I am. Thanks!

  12. Oh my gosh, this looks amazing! I’m totally the cocoa more than sweetener gal. My favorite way to enjoy chocolate is intensely covering medjool dates in raw cacao powder. So good…. but this pie looks better!

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